Some of you may already be familiar with "Jack Chick tracts", or "Chick tracts", or the name "Jack T. Chick". Others may already know what I'm talking about, even if you didn't know the name off-hand.
Chick tracts are these little black and white comic books that born-again Christians use for witnessing. That's a euphemism for "proselytizing". You may have had some streat preacher hand you one, or found them in your mailbox, or what not. They're created by a cartoonist named Jack T. Chick. And no matter what topic you can think of that has ever upset Jesus freaks, you can find some Chick tract about it: sex, evolution, Islam, dungeons & dragons, Catholicism, homosexuality, rock music -- you name it.
Ironically, the biggest "fans" of Chick tracts tend to be atheists, Pagans, and other non-Christians who just find them to be an entertaining collection of bad art work and fallacious arguments. I knew one atheist who had a stack of about 50 of them on his living room table.
I've run into a number of Chick-related links over the years, so I thought I'd put them all here in one place:
- First there's the official site, chick.com. I must admit, I'm impressed that they secured this domain name. You would think that a name like "chick.com" would have been grabbed by somebody else to make a porn site. You can see all of the original Chick tracts here. Pick one and look through it, and you'll get an idea of what they're about. Note how all Chick tracts end with a questionaire, usually a "Have you accepted Jesus?" followed by a yes/no set of checkboxes.
- I've seen at least two books written about Jack Chick and his tracts. One is "The World of Chick?" by Robert Flowler, which catalogs all known titles and printings of the tracts. It's sort of a collectors' guide, like others that have been written for other comic books.
- Another book is The Unofficial Guide to the Art of Jack T. Chick: Chick Tracts, Crusader Comics, And Battle Cry Newspapers. This gets into more details of the history, including some parodies, lost artwork, etc.
- Debunking of "Big Daddy" page at IronChariots.org. "Big Daddy" was a Chick tract that desperately tries to refute evolution and argue for creationism. This page takes the tract panel by panel, and shows just how embarrassingly dishonest and wrong creationists can be in their arguments.
And now for the parodies!
- The Jack T. Chick Parody Archive. This is a really old site, and I'm surprised it's still up, despite most of the links on its links page being dead. But there are still some great things here. You'll find a number of different parodies from different people. I especially like the ones from Jim Huger, like "Dead to Rights". Jim Huger is the creator of Jhuger.com, an excellent atheism site that I've been visiting since I first saw it in the 1990s.
- MST3K Presents Dark Dungeons. This site takes a look at "Dark Dundeons", a Chick tract about the evils of Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games (RPGs), but done in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Hilarious.
- "Who Will Be Eaten First?", a parody that uses the same old fire n' brimstone reasoning that Chick tracks use for Christianity, but instead apply them to the god Cthulhu. You can read all about it from the original creator Howard Hallis, here on his blog. He got a cease and decist notice about it. I do remember seeing another Cthulhu parody out there, but I can't remember the name. I'll add it here if I find it.
- Saturnalia is about a Pagan family who moves into a Christian neighborhood, and finds that they have to educate the Christians and correct their misconceptions.
- Some Bob Loves Me. The Chick tract "Somebody Loves Me", retold in an Animated .gif format, and of course with a Church of the Subgenius twist. Tiny pic, probably because it was made quite a while back.