24 October 2016

Obituary for Jack Chick: Adios to a Crazy Chick




Jack T. Chick died at the age of 92 in Glendale, California.  Chick was infamous for publishing fundamentalist Christian tracts in the form of comic books for six decades and distributed over 750 million copies and has been translated into over 100 languages.

Early in his evangelizing apostolate, Chick discerned that the most effective way to reach those who "weren't saved" was via comic books. Chick supposedly was inspired by the propaganda comics of the Chinese Communists in the 1950s.  Chick was not a skilled artist but started to use others artists sketches and not attributing the pieces for a decade, until it came out that he was using Fred Carter's handiwork.

Chick was an intensely private person.  He evangelized through comics because he was too shy to talk to others about his faith. Later, Chick became a recluse having no pictures taken of him (aside from two pictures from his teens).  Chick also refused all professional interviews after 1975 because he was fearful that Catholics (particularly the Jesuits) would kill him.

Chick's personal paranoia carried over into his funny paper tracts. While he railed against rock and roll, homosexuality and witchcraft, Chick saved most of his spite for Catholicism.  If one were to believe Chick. Catholicism was created by Satan, that Popes take their marching orders from the devil.  Chick blamed the Jesuits for starting the American Civil War (and that the "men in black" backed the Confederacy) as well as the Ku Klux Klan (which hated Catholics).

In addition, Chick claimed that the Catholic Church supposedly started Nazism, Communism, Islam, Masonry, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and the New Age movement. Chick pinned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy on the Vatican as well as the Holocaust. Continuing in this craziness, Chick surmised that the Vatican runs the United Nations and global finances and the Illuminati..  Amongst the biggest whoppers was that the Vatican has a super computer that tracks the names of every Protestant in the world.






Naturally, in the end times Chick proclaimed that the Antichrist would be the last Pope. It must have really freaked Chick out that Pope Francis is from the Society of Jesus (i.e. a Jesuit). No surprise that Catholic anti-defamation groups chronicled Chick tracts for over three decades.

During the 1980s, Chick did eight comic books based on the testimony of Alberto Riviera, allegedly a former undercover operative of the Jesuits in Spain who was sent to infiltrate and destroy Protestant churches and institutions.  Riviera claimed to have been secretly made a bishop but he had a conversion and became a fundamentalist preacher who saved his sister from a nunnery in London. Unfortunately, there are no public records of the clerical adventures of Alberto Riviera aside from Chick Publications.

Catholics weren't the only Christians spared from Chick's emnity, as he also attacked Southern Baptists (N.B. Chick was an Independent Baptism who believed in premillenial dispensationalism), and Latter Day Saints et ali.

Aside from the great volume of work that Chick Publications produced, Chick tracts were featured by the Smithsonian American History Museum in an exhibit on American Pop Culture.  Even comic strip critics had to acknowledge Chick's work.



Perhaps during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Chick's imagined screening of "This Was Your Life" at the Pearl Gates Cinescreen won't be taken as "The Nightmare World of Jack Chick" but will be viewed as a Comedy of Manners.

One of Jack Chick's early successes was an early 1960s tract of a playboy who dies and is forced to watch all of his life's foibles on a big screen before the pearly gates of HeavenAs word of Chick's death spread on social media, perhaps the kindest yet most ironic tribute came from a Catholic priest.





H/T: Catholic Answers 
        Los Angeles 
        Comic Strip Critic

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