More from the archives:
Cartoonists have brought us many wonderful things: superheroes and super villains, pets smashing each other with frying pans, and people who turn green when they’re angry. However, Jack Chick cares not for these things; instead, he wants to save us all from eternal damnation with his magic cartoon power.
He means it, too. After publishing his first collection of sketches, he spotted a group of teenagers hanging around with nothing to do. “I didn’t like teenagers or their rebellion,” he recalls. “But, all of a sudden, the power of God hit me and my heart broke and I was overcome with the realization that these teens were probably on their way to Hell.” Only one thing could save them: rubbish po-faced cartoons about God and stuff! “With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my car off the road and wrote as fast as I could,” Chick says. “God poured the story into my mind.”
And what stories! Evil rock bands turn innocent kids into agents of Satan by singing “we’re gonna rock! Rock! Rock with the rock!”, teachers attempt to brainwash kids with facts and science, and everybody’s just gagging for a bit of Gospel.
It’s gripping stuff – just check out The Accident (“When a priceless carpet is permanently stained, its owner learns that only Jesus’ blood can remove the stain of sin”) or Titanic (“Chester thought he didn’t need God. But when the ship began to sink, he learned how wrong he was” – wouldn’t a lifeboat have been more useful?). But our favourite is The Sissy: “Duke thought Jesus was a sissy, until a trucker explained to him the horrible price Jesus paid so his sins could be forgiven. Then Duke saw that Jesus had more guts than anyone who ever lived. Great for truckers and bikers!”
Of course, Chick isn’t interested in preaching to the converted. He suggests that you should give his tracts “to people you meet each day. They will often thank you for it!” We thought that was a great idea, so we headed for the local biker hangout and distributed copies of The Sissy. We’re pretty sure the bikers were impressed: beating us senseless was just their way of saying thanks.