Sunday, January 11, 2009
Anybody remember those unintentionally funny, bizarre comic book religious tracts that you would find (and still do) in odd places that someone left laying around just for you? They would turn up in public restrooms, restaurants, and other places. They are called Chick Tracts. They began being published in 1961 by Jack T. Chick and are still being published today. I always get a kick out of reading these. I love the gruesome color art work on the covers. And the artwork inside! Most of it looks like the art in the old EC horror comics from the 1950's...somewhat cartoonish yet grotesque and horrific at the same time. Some of the artwork has a grim, photo-realistic quality, not as impressive to the eye, but equally effective. And the stories! Highly preachy, loaded with fear and paranoia, and grim, depressing plots....that is, until the end, when someone accepts Jesus as their saviour and all is well. Still, this doesn't come until the main character has hit rock bottom and has suffered enormously.
The ironic thing about these tracks is that they unintentionally glorify what they are preaching against by revelling in it's excess and making everything so laughably melodramatic. Also the beliefs and morals held in these tracks are so stilted that you cannot take them seriously.
I got a boxed assortment of a hundred of these several years ago for my birthday and I love it. You can order them here.
There is an incredible website that catalogs every Chick Tract ever made. You can click on and read just about every one, and it's free. Click here and kickback, enjoy, and have a few good laughs.