Funny, campy, over-the-top. This Halloween tract by Jack Chick starts with a vampire story, but ends with a straight gospel message.
Storot:Yeah, “campy”…concentration campy.
nepphi: I don’t know, I think less ‘intense, soulless horror’ and more ‘awkward teenage years’ when I read this one, so maybe…bible campy?
Storot: I was just looking for a pun on the sheer awfulness of the tract. Or Jack’s Jewy arch-villains.
J: You know, isn’t Jack kind of disobeying his own moral guidelines, here, by telling a vampire story? If other forms of fantasy are all evil and will lead people to demonic possession, does it really matter if they tack a gospel message onto the end of it? By this logic, if D&D guidebooks included some random passage from Mark at the end of it, would Jack retract Dark Dungeons?
Storot: When reading the following tract, enhance your experience with an audio track. We at Consolidated Incorporated (our slogan “If you need it, talk to someone else. We can’t help you”) recommend “Fingernails on a Chalkboard”, “Cats In Heat”, or “Rosanne Barr’s Rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner'”. Anything to distract you from the pain before you.
J: This must be one of those lib’rul moonbats I keep hearing so much about. I wonder if it barks?
Storot: Chick decided that if the Holy Ghost descends as a dove during the day, it descends as a bat at night.
J: It almost looks like it’s carrying it on its back. Is this Batlas?
nepphi: Aren’t full moons for werewolves, not vampires?
J: Expecting consistency from a Chick Tract… why would you do that to yourself? You’ll only be disappointed.
nepphi: and therefore have my worldview once again successfully reinforced?
Storot: At this zoom level, it looks like Batlas is about to open his mouth and yell IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZAH!!!11!1oneoneone1!, based on how his face is drawn. SHOOP DA WHOOP!
Storot: FANG! RUN FOR IT! YOU’RE IN ANOTHER TRACT!!!
J: Get it? Fang? In a Tract about vampires? HAW HAW HAW!
J: The way they’re mugging for the “camera” like that, it’s almost like Jack caught them unwillingly by surprise. “Shit, not this asshole again.”
Storot: I like to think the wolf on the left is Fang’s stronger, yet less cool brother.
J: Wait, that’s a wolf? I thought it was some kind of bear.
Storot: That castle’s structure defies at least twenty laws of physics right there. Look at the tower: most of the weight is off to the side, overhanging. It’s like these people got MC Escher as an architect. I bet there are all sorts of weirdly-juxtaposed staircases that spiral eternally inside, too.
J: Apparently nobody ever told these people about load-bearing structures.
nepphi: Is it just me, or does Gandalf’s nose resemble Tom’s nose from Gun Slinger? Also, points for the irony of including Blade in the vampire gathering.
Storot: I would probably have called him Blackula, but I didn’t know who he was.
J: Wait, that’s a nose? I thought it was some kind of potato.
Storot: That’s more like a tall-ass wizard Gimli. Or Hagrid with a hat. There’s Celeborn, the Lothlorien Elf-King, there, in front of the rest of the pack. “Tell me, where is Gandalf, for I much desire to DRINK HIS BLOOD AND DEVOUR HIS SOUL!!!”
Storot: Also, just realized, Fang’s fangs are SHARP AS HELL. And viciously curved. Is he part of this group too? Is Fang suddenly an embodiment of Satan? “I’M FANG, AND I WANT TO EAT YOUR SOUL! FEAR MY LACK OF OPPOSABLE THUMBS!”
J: All right, here’s what I don’t get about this: Aren’t vampires supposed to be, well… dead? Like, it’s a demon that’s taken over a person’s corpse but somehow has access to all of their memories? So how can a dead thing be pregnant?
nepphi: is that King Henry the VIII in the middle there? As for the vampire thing, didn’t you just bitch at me about not expecting consistency from Jack? And here you go expecting him to know about vampires and their various undead biologies.
J: My god, you’re right! What have I become? What have I become!?!?
nepphi: melodramatic, apparently.
Storot: His calculations are always correct! It’s a jab at intellectuals! Actually, in all truthfulness, the Bible isn’t even mathematically accurate. King Solomon built a giant golden bowl-thingy in front of the temple, that is even described as being a circle, and it’s ten cubits across and thirty cubits around, so…pi is 3?
J: The vampires’ most holy night… is the celebration of the harvest?
J: But wait — there’s more! If you act now, you’ll get this set of professional Japanese cutlery ABsoLUTEly FREE!
nepphi: Is this the same YAAAAAH lady from Mad Machine, with the baby and the going of bannanas?
J: Somewhere in Florida, David Caruso just put on a pair of sunglasses mid-sentence. YAAAAH!
Storot: Why is King Leonidas the one asking if it’ll be Halloween? This setting looks moderately Romanian so far; why a Spartan? What, because the Spartans were Pagan (before Christianity even existed), they must be Satanists, and therefore vampires? “THIS! IS! SAMHAIN!!!
Storot: Guy standing right behind the ugly “YAAAAH!” chick has had WAY too much coffee.
J: Ugly people in a Chick Tract — will wonders never cease?
Storot: HALLOWEEN IZ EVUL
J: Wow, Riff Raff has really let himself go.
nepphi: Yeah, we’re gonna have to write you up for some fire code violations, I’m pretty sure summoning the infernal minions of the conflagration counts against your 221-d, and the limitless souls of hell definitely exceed your 309 safe occupancy limit. S’gonna be a hefty fine, you’ll be billed this monday, court proceedings in six weeks if you want to appear. Have a nice day, y’all.
J: Summoning the ancients? How many different mythologies is he going to drag into this? And how many clichés?
Storot: “You’ve picked door number 13! Alright, Vanna, open ‘er up…Oh! I’m sorry, looks like you’ve won eternal damnation. But, before you go, we have some lovely parting gifts, like this NEW CAR! And a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax!”
J: I thought I was going to die! Uh… again!
J: …is this guy wearing a bald wig?
nepphi: I’m just wondering what the heck happened to his schnoz, it looks like it was kind of smeared across his face. Is he made of play-doh?
J: Well, you know what they say: Anything Goes with Play-Doh. Including devil-worship!!! I think Jack might actually be confusing vampires with clowns. They’re both scary, after all…
nepphi: Well if Stephen King has taught us anything it’s that you shouldn’t fuck with turtles, don’t step on roses, and clowns (like everything else in our lives) are waiting to turn on us in an orgy of frenzied bloodshed.
Storot: Okay, everything I’ve seen about vampires suggests that they ARE evil, and they ARE enemies of God, but they’ve always been far more self-serving than this. These guys actually don’t seem half bad: they’re getting along pretty well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen vampires DIRECTLY worship Satan though…
nepphi: Is that snake trying to catch raindrops on its tongue?
J: Ever notice how much wildlife there is around haunted old castles? You’ve got bats, snakes, mice, owls, wolves… they could probably make some extra money on the side as a nature preserve. The atmosphere already serves as a deterrent to most humans. Take only pictures, and leave only footprints as you run fearfully away. Maybe some terror-induced urine.
nepphi: More talking buildings, speaking of disconcerting stuff. I wonder if all the architecture in Jack’s world is reminiscent of a visit to Hogwarts, what with speaking windowpanes and paintings and the like. Hell, there’s even a mickey mouse rat hanging out by the window.
J: Eww, a coming child? Aren’t there laws against that kind of thing? Maybe it’s like Tribbles, where they’re already born pregnant, only it’s the far more disgusting male equivalent.
Storot: Heheh, the owl asks “Who?” too.
J: What delightful wordplay! Not sure what he was going for with the mouse, though. They don’t usually growl, to my knowledge, so obviously he was going for something, here, but I’ll be damned if I can suss out what, exactly.
J: A common Eastern European boy’s name! Never mention it! If you bump into any other Igor, you must not address them by name or you will die! You know, most horror stories give the name Igor to, like, lab assistants and such. You’d think that Satan wouldn’t want his offspring to share a name with all those generic hunchbacks who drop brains and generally fuck things up.
nepphi: I wonder if the high vampire here is dying because he said the name? If so, that’s some pretty powerful commitment to his flock there, being willing to die so they can know…the…truthWAITAMINUTE HERE.
Storot: “No, it’s pronounced EYE-gorr.” “They told me it was Igor.” “Well, then, they got it wrong then, didn’t they?” Also, the high vampire apparently loses any and all depth when making a dramatic announcement. Seriously, he looks like one of those pop-up cardboard cut-outs you see in a crappy haunted house ride.
J: I think you may be holding Jack’s art to too high a standard. I mean, you have actually seen Chick Tracts before this one, right?
J: What’s so important about the name, anyway? What does it matter? This page and the last seem like a total waste of time, which is really saying a lot when you’re talking about a Chick Tract. It’s like if in Dark Dungeons, he devoted a couple panels to showing, say, Marcie making a character sheet or something.
nepphi: He’s trying to illustrate the difference betwen Christian mumbo jumbo (the SIMPLE PLAN OF SALVATION!) and the complex and ultimately futile rituals of the occult. Which is a lot like a guy from Amway making fun of someone from Vector Marketing or Cutco.
Storot: Hagrid-with-a hat looks PISSED. “HAGRID SMASH!”
J: That’s the first vampire I’ve seen who could double as a grizzled old prospector.
nepphi: Disbanded? Their chosen one is prophesied and they just quit? Damn, that’s the laziest cult I’ve ever heard of!
J: Not to mention undiscerning, considering they apparently let in Ozzie fuckin’ bin Laden, who, in my understanding, isn’t dead yet, thanks to the fact that we don’t actually seem to be looking for him. Maybe they just give him a sharp, pointed straw?
nepphi Maybe he’s there to kill them all, since they’re obviously evil infidels, rather than good, honest, extremist muslims. Also, part of me is amused to think that those bats are just floating there. Fun fact, in some of the L stations in Chicago, they have animatronic hawks hanging from the ceilings to scare away bats and pigeons.
J: That’s pretty awesome. And hey, wait a second… I thought “non-Christian” and “devil-worshiping” were the same thing! Are… are you calling Jack Chick a liar, sir?
nepphi: Am I calling Chick a liar? Was Mother Theresa a lying sadistic attention whoring bitch?
Storot: Look “more closlier”, and you’ll see Professor McGonagall in the back and a three-fanged Frodo on Ozzie’s right.
J: Looks more like Early-90s Michael Jackson and a made-up Alan Cummings to me.
Storot: Apparently, this isn’t the only coven, either. There are a bunch of these covens, all waiting for this Chosen One. Wouldn’t they offer up their own “Chosen Ones”? I mean, these are supposed to be evil, self-serving, Satanic bastards, shouldn’t they be, y’know, sinning more?
J: How are vampires born, anyway? Can demon-infested corpses reproduce?
nepphi: I love how they summon satan just for reassurance that the child he prophesied to be their chosen one wouldn’t fail. “Totally guys, he’s gonna rock it up.”
J: Maybe they just do this for every question they need answered. “Great lord Satan I summon thee… should I use the strawberry preserves on my toast, or the orange marmelade?” *POOF* *THUNDERCLAP* “The strawberry preserves!” *POOF* *DISAPPEAR* I wonder if Jack feels this is somehow the equivalent to Christians praying for guidance for every little thing.
nepphi: And apparently, in addition to vampires (biting), witches (covens), these guys are racists (dragon master = kkk I think) and masons (lodge)! Certainly an eclectic group of humanity…much like one William Schnoebelen. Seriously, do some research on this guy, he makes more outrageous claims than Mike Warnke!
J: Over the following years, little Igor was instructed by the Seven Jew Bankers, the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo, the Shriners’ Club, the Holy Order of Cardinals, the Illuminati, the Friars’ Club and the 4-H, to teach him their darkest secrets!
nepphi: And just to ensure the proper degree of jewish mysticism, the Learned Elders of Zion, using their protocols to take over the world.
Storot: Don’t forget Gary Gygax’s ghost. “Very good, your bite hit; now roll 2d8 for damage.”
Storot: “That boy is our last hope.” “No…there is another.” “No, douchebag, there isn’t another, why do you think I’m so worried about him failing?” I also like the comparison here: in other tracts, Jack says Jesus was our “blessed hope”. So, this vampiric Chosen One is the Anti-Christ? And Satanism is ALSO a “religion of hope”?
Storot: I like how Satan is always depicted as ugly in a sad sort of way. I always imagined that some sort of incredibly powerful anti-god would be some sort fantastic cosmic horror kind of thing with a writhing mass of tentacles springing from what can only be supposed to be its head, continuously spewing foul incomprehensible speech from a thousand ever-screaming mouths strewn haphazardly upon his twisted, ever-shifting, non-Euclidean visage that would induce instant madness in the most stalwart of mortals. You know, something in the Cthulu/Shub-Niggurath/Azathoth family of horror. This guy just looks like the Numa Numa guy in crappy make-up.
J: Well, in Christian “anti-devil” art and media, Chick Tracts in particular, the artist — or in this case “artist” — is utilizing a kind of propaganda caricature tactic to make the opponent seem somehow week or laughable. “Of course the devil is conquerable — look at him, he’s a pussy-wristed, prancing little jackass!” Jack, though, for some reason, likes to draw on antisemitic stereotypes. Guess he just hates the Jews or something and thinks their stereotyped characteristics are perfect for indicating villainy or something.
Storot: I just looked up that Schnoebelen guy. WHAT. THE. FUCK. I…how…WHO THE FUCK IS THIS STUPID?!?!? You can find him on Chick.com, he claims to have been a high priest in 6 or so “evil” faiths, been a practicing vampire, and claims to have been an “authentic rituals” consultant for D&D 1st Ed. He also claims to have worshiped the “Great Old Ones”. Yep, he once worshiped Cthulu & Pals. NO, REALLY. I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP. HE ACTUALLY WORSHIPED THE GODS IN THE CTHULU MYTHOS. /aneurysm
Storot: Two months? These guys are taking their sweet time with their big Xanatos Gambit here. First we’ve got the nine month gestation, then 14-17 years of “INTENSE OCCULT TRAINING” (as Dark Dungeons would put it) (“Igor, roll 1d20 to hit! Now 2d8 for damage! Excellent, you’ve been practicing!”), then they waste another two months looking for the victim? Couldn’t they have, y’know, picked the victim during the training, or something? I guess only “good Christians” know how to use their time wisely.
J: Well, you can’t pluck your victims too early or else they spoil. In seriousness, though, if they kidnapped a baby and raised it to be the sacrifice, then it would’ve been versed in their ways and likely a willing participant. Thus, Jack loses the whole “helplessness” effect that he’s going for — because the whole point is that these people are victimizing our precious Christian babies and whatnot.
J: What’s with the “Ummm”? It’s like she’s really ugly and he’s trying to fill the time while he comes up with the best compliment he can. “What do you think of my girlfriend?” “Oh, she, ummm, has a lovely, uh… neck! And, uhhh, her, ummm… hair is a nice… color.”
Storot: Apparently, vampires have Elvish mercenaries do their spying during the day. Also, notice that somehow they ended picking a white chick in a nice, all-white American suburb, despite being, apparently, in friggin ROMANIA. What, there are no kind, innocent virgins in Europe? Also, I like the implication that you can render yourself completely safe from this sort of thing by whoring yourself out and being a total bitch/asshole.
nepphi: Of course there aren’t nice and innocent girls in Europe, that’s the home of the New World Order Mother Faith Science Doctrine Jew Haus.
J: They gotta have Faith-a Faith-a Faith, they gotta have Faith-a Faith-a Faith-ahhhh.
Storot: The emphasis turns Elfpire into a total bastard. “I almost feel sorry for her. Almost. I would really feel sorry for her, but I’m just a dick.”
J: Show me on the picture where the bad man touched you, Igor.
Storot: Now this is an interesting idea. Usually you hear about vampires biting the jugular vein, which would spurt a bit at first, but would then require sucking in order to get the rest out, but think about it: biting the artery would create a high-pressure blood spurt all the way up until death. Igor would be able to “shotgun” blood right from her neck, with no effort required. Jack actually had a cool idea. Also, check it out: “I will draw you, Saruman, as I DRAW BLOOD FROM THE NECKS OF THE INNOCENT!!!” Since when does Gandalf teach vampires?
nepphi: I heard it explained that vampires focus on the jugular -because- veins tend to self-seal and minimize the blood loss, allowing a lingering meal for greater enjoyment, or making it more likely for the victim to survive, possibly for future feedings.
J: If you look at the castle the right way, it looks like a kind of pudgy, goofy-looking horned monster with fat lips, one glowing eye and a single front tooth.
Storot: This panel does lead one to think that maybe Chick DOESN’T Fail Biology Forever, though. I mean, he got the body part and the name of the artery right (for the longest time, I thought it was the “garroted” artery).
J: I don’t know, I have my doubts about the quality of Igor’s special secret cult training. This is, like, fifth grade anatomy class, here. And one would think that vampires would instinctually bite where it’s best, because otherwise they’d have all died off and been weeded out of the gene pool.
Storot: Cars? Vampires drive? Where do they buy gas? Wouldn’t the attendant see the fangs and shit and be like “OHMYMANYGODS GET OUT OF MY STORE VISHNU PROTECT ME!!!”?
J: No, see, their cars have fangs as well, and they just bite down and drain gasoline out of other cars.
Storot: “FUCK, he’s coming? I just cleaned that tapestry!”
nepphi: See, she’s not referring to Igor, she’s referring to the guy who’s going “yes, yes!” a few paces away. Clearly he’s bored and has resorted to furious masturbation. Hell, I think they’re all just cheering wanking-guy on.
J: Haven’t we done enough ejaculation puns in this thing?
J: I like to think that the “Oh joy!” guy is Stimpson J. Cat. I mean, they have Osama bin Laden and Michael Jackson and the Freemasons and Gandalf, so why the hell not?
Storot: So, the Anti-Christ is…Alfred E. Neuman? With fangs? And really bad acne?
J: What, me undead? I didn’t think the undead were capable of getting acne. Yeah, he looked a lot cooler on the previous page, what with the devil-may-care hairstyle and the leather jacket with the flipped up collar… all pointin’ like a badass… with his… his Rolling Stone magazine and… and his… and his makeout parties.
Storot: This owl that keeps showing up every time they zoom outside the window is kinda cute. Like the new Fang.
J: .smees ti tahw ton si lwo ehT :luferaC
nepphi: The dialog here implies they killed the guy’s dad, I think, because how else could they have prepped two months out that his dad would die? Sinister! Also, why wouldn’t Faith and Auntie have gone to the funeral?
J: Maybe grandpa was an asshole. Or maybe Faith and the aunt are. What I find weird here is that they’re going to drug the aunt. Why not just poison her and be completely sure she’s removed from the picture? These guys are really inept at being evil.
Storot: Because Jesus doesn’t care about the loss of loved ones, only how many souls he gets. BUT HE LOVES YOU!!!
Storot: The sinister nature of the dialogue is significantly offset by the vapid, unfocused expression of Elfpire’s face. It’s like he’s about to say “I LIEK CHOKLIT MILK!”
J: Her aunt’s kind of a lazyass, isn’t she? Wait, is the implication here that cat in the background is supposed to be the aunt? It all makes sense now! Why would a cat go to a funeral?
Storot: “Ready to meet the children with little treats.” Now, does SHE have the treats, in preparation for the arrival of the children, or is she ready to meet children with little treats, but not ready to meet children with, say, big-ass treats, or no treats whatsoever? I know I’m splitting hairs, but I like to exploit things like this for my amusement.
J: When I first glanced at this panel, I read this as “Faith is getting ready to meet the little children with breasts.” Which, interpreted one way is kind of terrifying (breasted little children? Is there something in the water?) and interpreted the other way makes for one awesome Halloween treat.
Storot: “I want to win at least one soul for you tonight.” I want to win souls for myself. That’d be awesome. Walk outside, with a big bag of them, and just eat them like Cheetos or something.
J: I want to devote my life to winning soles for Jesus. Then, when I get up to heaven with my sack of shoes, God and I can share a big ol’ laugh about it.
Storot: “FUCK! WE HAVE NO POWER AGAINST WORDS ON A PAGE!” Also, I like the odd emphasis. “This could be a problem! I’ll have to roll a d% to see!” Also, given the anti-Semitic traditions of many eastern European countries (hell, European countries in general, though they’ve lasted longer in the east), why are these vampires following a man who just looks Jewier and Jewier every time he appears? I half-expect him to say “Oy!” the next time we see him.
J: “Be a mensch, Igor, and bite this girl in the neck, could you?”
nepphi: They take two months to follow around this super faithful girl, and they only just now see (in a picture they’ve had all along), that she routinely carries a bible? What a bunch of winners, these Satanist-Lodge-Jew-Wiccans are.
Storot: I like to think they spent those two months getting high, then just went, “Fuck, it’s been two months! Here, how about this chick? She looks like a good one. We’ll get to know her after Igor turns her undead.”
J: I love the demon’s explanation. “It’s just some old book that she constantly carries around for no reason and doesn’t read and barely even looks at or knows it exists. I doubt she’s even heard of it. I’m sure she just thinks it’s this weird invisible block that’s stuck to her hand.”
Storot: Um, “splat”? Where is that sound coming from? Rain “plink-plinks”. It doesn’t “splat”. Unless you chucked one of those kids into the path of an oncoming truck.
J: The owl just shat into his hand.
nepphi: At least she’s not one of those asshats who only give out the comics and a toothbrush or something.
J: Nah, she’s just one of those asshats who tries to manipulate impressionable children using gifts and niceness to try to get them to subscribe to her belief system long before they can even fully comprehend what’s going on. Which, you know, I think I’d rather get the toothbrush.
Storot: You’re an abhorrent undead hellspawn, and the most you can say is “Rats”?
J: “Well, gosh darn it all to heck, it’s raining out. My deeply evil demonic powers gained from genocide and murder and torture and hatred don’t operate properly when damp! Drat! Fiddlesticks! Jim-darnit coddlepop!”
Storot: Jack Bauer, on the TV, there, is suspicious of this next doorbell…
nepphi: More stilted dialog here. Is she -worried- Auntie is alseep, or just surprised in that ‘oh you’ kind of way?
J: “Oh well. Just one more… sleeping pill I’m going to put in your mouth and then rub your throat until it goes down.”
Storot: Vampires are usually either more subtle than this or attack IMMEDIATELY. Unless you’re talking real vampires, in which case you’re dealing with emo kids who are a lot more likely to open one of their OWN veins than they are to open yours.
J: Doesn’t she know one of the cardinal rules of dealing with vampires? Never invite them in!
J: He’s kind of bad at this, isn’t he? Guess “subtlety” and “subterfuge” weren’t lessons in those years of intense training by the Elders of Zion, the 12 Monkeys, the Director’s Guild of America, the 9/11 Commission, Pyramid Head and al Qaeda.
Storot: This guy’s less frightening than the average lolcat. “O HAI THERE! I CAN HAZ UR BLOOD NOW? NOE? AWWWW…” Again, vampires in most media don’t reveal themselves to be vampires until the last minute, when the bite is inevitable. That, or they’re completely feral and don’t waste time talking anyway (like in Morrowind). This is just fucking stupid.
J: Yeah, he’s probably the worst vampire ever. What was all of that training he supposedly went through, anyway? “Okay, first thing you’re going to want to do is announce very loudly that you’re a vampire — a real, genuine vampire. Make sure you behave really childishly, wailing and gesturing like a moron. Become increasingly emphatic about the validity of your vampire claim, until you look completely ridiculous and have quite thoroughly either blown your cover or convinced them you’re psychotic. Then, be sure to not bite her neck, convert to Christianity, and die. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!”
nepphi: I think it’s Jack’s attempt to make the reader go ‘oh those wacky cultists, they don’t have a clue how things really work, do they? HAW HAW” /smug
Storot: “You’re silly.” Are you 19, or 9, bitch? This is like in “The Trial”, “Want some of my cookie?” Endearing, but completely inappropriate to the situation. Something more appropriate? “OHGODWHATTHEFUCKGETTHEHELLAWAYFROMMEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!”
J: Bahaha, “a sound mind”. That apparently entails “denying all inconvenient observable evidence in favor of a completely implausible set of fantasies that are either demonstrably untrue or logically ridiculous, and developing an immense scorn for rational thought or discourse.”
J: Well, now this is just getting silly.
Storot: “Wow! How did you do that?” “I played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed every day since it came out, and got The Real Power!”
nepphi: I dunno, I’m thinking less of Jedi and more Captain EO or Thriller. Yes, I loved those films, SHUT UP.
J: That would actually make more sense, considering the cameo by Michael Jackson about five pages back, in the Osama bin Laden panel.
J: So… believing in Jesus gives you telekinesis against the undead, huh? Welp, that’s a new one. What’s next, mind control over grizzly bears? The power to make snakes disappear? Just ask Jesus and he’ll do anything! It’s… it’s true! We can’t, like, prove it or anything, but it happens. What, you want a documented case and experiments with repeatable, consistent results? Well SCIENCE is EVIL and FUCK YOU!
Storot: “That’s madness!” “Madness? THIS! IS! JESUS!!!” ~Force Push~
J: Wait a second, demons use phones? Why? Isn’t there some kind of ethereal communications medium that would be far more efficient?
Storot: “I bet I know what he’s doing!” Now, normally, if I saw a teenage humanoid go into the house of a teenage humanoid of the opposite gender and they stayed in there for a long time, I’d assume that someone giving this line is supposing that they’re bumping uglies. Of course, in the Chickverse, sexual innuendo doesn’t exist, because, except for procreation, sex doesn’t/shouldn’t exist as anything other than an abomination.
J: Oh, come on, there’s no way Jack could have written the dialog for that panel and not seen how it could be read as an allusion to sex. Especially when you read just the topmost line of text in the first speech bubble.
J: What the hell is laughing here, anyway? The lightning bolt? …The speech bubble?
nepphi: such tiny tiny feet! Also, is he spitting at her, or is his acne leaking?
J: Spitting acne… :barf:
J: Faith prays for Igor and the devils leave. Including Igor. Who’s a devil.
Storot: He’s actually kind of right about the vampire bit. I’ve never seen a single fictional work in which vampirism was curable by anything but a stake in the heart. Well, the Elder Scrolls games also offered incredibly complex cures, but still, it’s usually gonna be a permanent thing.
J: Well, in Buffy, vampires could get souls, which would turn them into sensitive little crybaby good guys. Man, if only Spike had known it was as easy as saying “Jesus, I accept you as my lord and savior”, he wouldn’t have had to have fought the dude with the flame hands to get his soul.
Storot: Castle got remodeled as soon as they realized gravity hurts like a BITCH.
J: “What else can Jesus do?” “He can walk on water, and turn water into wine. Which I guess would mean he can walk on wine as well, if he happens to transform the water while he’s standing on it. Oh, and he bakes an awesome key lime pie… and… let’s see… oh, he can master Dragonforce songs on expert in Guitar Hero… and he can fart the national anthem of Turkey, that’s always impressive.”
J: Witches, vampires and satanists. Pop quiz: Which of these things actually exists in real life? (And no, Earth-children types who burn sage and daffodils and pray to polar directions aren’t witches, and goth kids who slap on clownface and sit around moping all day aren’t vampires.)
J: That’s a big fat lie! Why, your lie is so fat, you have to dislocate your jaw just to say it! Your lie is so fat, it’s fatter than your mama!
Storot: So, gays are stuck in hell because you “can’t be gay AND Christian”, but vampires just have to say “I accept Jesus” and they’re good? “I’m a direct son of the Devil, who crawled out from Hell to devour souls and do his work!” “Oh, really? We can fix you right up!” “I feel FABULOUS!” “OMG DIE EVIL HOMO!!!” Talk about a double standard.
nepphi: Oh GAH look at her arms! They’re mutating even as she speaks, she’s not a follower of Jesus, she’s a dark apostle of the Chaos Gods! Hail Tzeentch!
Storot: I just noticed that myself. “I’m so glad I had surgery to blend my elbows and wrists into one convenient joint!” I guess Chick DOES Fail Biology Forever.
Storot: “Blood has to be shed? I’m a friggin vampire! I’ll be shedding blood ALL THE TIME! So, what’s the problem?”
J: Yeah, seems like a pretty goofy thing to say to a vampire. “Well, shit, I can just do that myself!”
Storot: Why would a “loving” God require the blood of the innocent? Why does he have to be such a dick? Is he trying to appease some higher deities? If so, why don’t we skip over him, and appeal directly to them? If not, why can’t he just make it simple and, y’know, good? Why all the complications?
J: Well, why would he require blood anyway? To an omnipotent being, any such decision would be entirely arbitrary. He could have just as easily said “in order for sins to be forgiven, mayonnaise must be eaten!” or “in order for sins to be forgiven, urinate onto a duckling.” It could have been anything. So why blood, specifically? Why not something a little less, y’know, cruel and brutal? Something less destructive to life?
nepphi: Because, the real test of morality is that he wants us to reject him. He’s trying to get the whole world enlightened, so he made himself as HIDEOUS a choice as he possibly could, and instead of making the right call and going “jog on you fucking bastard!” a bunch of people started worshipping him. He’s sitting up there insanely disappointed that something as simple as “a cosmic sky man who burns people FOREVER and sends his son into the ancient equivilant of death by cop is BAD” doesn’t catch on.
J:Someone’s built a candy castle / For my 3:16 / Someone’s built a candy brain / And filled it in.
J: Okay, I’m calling a penalty on this Tract for superfluous use of the word “come” in all of its tenses.
Storot: I don’t think Igor, or anyone, for that matter, would ever really “trust” Satan. It’s typically more of an “enemy of my enemy” kind of arrangement, even for the most devout Satanists.
nepphi: Some Satanists don’t even actively believe in the existance of either. LaVey’s tradition in particular self-describes as Objectivism with some mystical rituals thrown in.
Storot: Yes, good point, I was mainly referring to Traditional Satanists, who are pre-LaVey and do believe in a Great Evil One.
J: Actually, my own interpretation of the Bible, specifically the Genesis story, is that the Tree of Knowledge provided a gift to mankind, allowing us to identify God — who has repeatedly demonstrated himself throughout the text to be rather reprehensible, untrustworthy, cruel, and inconsistent, not to mention the way his followers behave — for the sadistic monster he is. Since the snake is supposed to be Satan — whose greatest crime, by the way, in comparison, was to covet the throne of God — then Satan was the one who directed us to this gift, and thus a servant of the real hero of the text, the Tree of Knowledge. So he could be considered a protagonist. I guess if I had to actually subscribe to the Bible instead of just analyzing it as a literary and historical work, I could be considered a Satanist, but in a more Gnostic way than anything.
Storot: “My fangs are gone! I’ve found Jesus! And if you call 1-800-DENTIST, they’ll help you find him too! One small caveat: you will no longer be able to smile without appearing smug. But he’s still really good!”
J: You’d think they’d have sort of trained him to resist the whole “conversion” thing. Like, if he was actually vulnerable to it, and it was apparently one of the only things that could have ruined their whole plan, they’d have at least told him “if she starts talking about Jesus, just run! It’s a trap!” Again, Chick resorts to painting his antagonists as bumbling shitpotatoes so that his whole plot works out as planned.
Storot: Sadly, young Igor can no longer open his eyes. When Jesus came into his heart, Igor forgot to cover his face, and the semen dried over eyes, effectively welding them shut.
nepphi: Well, we resisted the semen jokes for what, three panels? How’s that, Jabber?
J: And, if history is any indication, his mouth will be wrenched into a smarmy-assed smile for the rest of his life. Or… unlife? Wait, is he still a vampire, or did accepting Jesus make him no longer a bloodthirsty corpse? Or… I… wait, what? So, hold on, can Jesus make werewolves no longer werewolves? What if they were already Christian werewolves? What about zombies? If a zombie accepts Jesus, does it come back to life? If so, why don’t we all just become zombies after we die so that we’ll get a second chance at living for a while? How does this work, exactly?
nepphi: I refer you to our earlier points about Jack and consistency, Jabber. Though I think this can actually be a case for Chick Tracts causing mental breakdown through prolonged exposure. Fuck the great old ones and the necronomicon, roll a Sanity check for encountering Hyper-Fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible!
Storot: Is that a skull, or a disguised metroid?
Storot: Count Jewcula’s nose is trying to split off and form a new head via mitosis. Also, to finally establish some continuity with the cameos, McGonagall’s back.
J: Yeah, you know your Jewish caricatures are getting extremely out of hand when the noses are entirely their own entities.
Storot: Again, even Satan’s most devoted followers don’t fully trust Satan, or really anything or anyone. Points for the canned ending conversation style, though. Makes this feel like the end of a saturday morning cartoon.
Storot: If Satan is the father of lies, and then says so, but everything he says is a lie, does that make him the father of truths?
J: This sentence is a lie. Did I just totally blow your mind right there?
Storot: Get over it!
nepphi: This is almost a different satan from Party Girl; in that one he personally tries to kill someone with poison, so eager is he for one more soul amid an entire debauched FESTIVAL. Here he’s just a pooka gleefully writing off an entire cult for a laugh.
J: “But sir! You promised!” “Yeah, well, my bad, or whatever. I don’t care. Here, have a cloud of fart, and I’m out of here! Fuck it, bro!” *PLLLLLLT*
Storot: Notice that we never saw “Hagrid with a hat” again after the name announcement. I like to think he said the name during the gestation period, nothing happened, and he quit, completely disillusioned.
J: By the way, I never knew that a group of vampires and terrorists and random other sinister entities was referred to as “a coven”.
nepphi: The same coven that disbanded earlier in the tract is now never recovering. Very on-again off-again, aren’t these heathens?
Storot: Jesus can’t lie? I remember seeing a passage in I-can’t-remember-which-book-but-it’s-in-there in which a Levite manages to bring all of Israel down on the tribe of Benjamin in war, and God tells them “Send all your men, and you’ll win,” and they go out against the Benjaminites, and get their asses handed to them. This happens again, and then the third time they’re like “Come on, God, help us out,” for the third time, and he goes, “Okay, this time for real, send all your men, and you’ll win.” This third time, they pull it off, but it looks to me like God CAN and DOES lie.
Storot: Given how this smug bitch has been form-shifting throughout the tract, I’m WAY more frightened of her than I am of vampires now.
nepphi: And she apparently sort of ends at the word bubble. Is she like clippy or that fucking dog from MS Office Bob? ‘I see you want to make an irrational religious decision, can I help with that?’
J: It looks like you’re trying to write a Chick Tract. Would you like help?
* Create a template for an unconvincing, bumbling antagonist with which to associate the viewpoint opposing your own.
* Turn any potentially convincing dialog into stilted wordpuke.
* Search Google for lame urban legends for you to take completely seriously.
* Obligatory 3:16 panel clipart.
* Open a tutorial on how to work in MS Paint using only your elbows.
* Search Google for pictures of demons emerging from fart clouds to use as reference material.
J: Wait, I don’t get it… so is the Antichrist supposed to be a vampire or something?
Storot: Worst Animorphs book EVER.
nepphi: Given how much jack goes on about how christianity isn’t about magic words and spells, it’s curious that he’s so focused on the exect word that ‘turning from sin’ (repenting!) means. Also, no Christian bookstore that I’ve ever been to actually sells the Next Step, and I grew up in those places.
Storot: What dumbass got Chick a copy of Dracula for his birthday?
nepphi: Whoever it was got him the abridged version, evidently.
Storot: Confess with my mouth? So, I can confess with other organs/orifices? Can I confess with my gallbladder instead? This just isn’t a good time for my mouth right now, since it’s starting to puke in response to these godawful tracts.
J: I’m about to confess with my ass right now.
J: Happy Halloween, everyone. I get the feeling Jack has, at this point, completely flipped his fucking lid. Is he even trying to make sense anymore? Bah, whatever, long-term exposure to Jack Chick has been known to break brains.
Storot: Gant is watching!
nepphi: Are you sure that’s Gant, and not George Lucas run through a rotoscope?
J: That was my first thought, too. I guess hell with this God would involve having your childhood ruined with a bunch of shitty CG, followed up with a hearty helping of JarJar Binks. And the worst part of it would be, you’d know that he had no idea he was doing such terrible things.
Storot: I have to lie down now. For the rest of eternity.
nepphi: Same here, who’s up for drinks at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?
J: As long as the talking meal-to-be animal will pretend to be Jack Chick.