Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chick Magnet: Seeing is Believing

I recently stumbled upon one of those "tracts" from Chick Publications. Basically, they're little mini-Christian stories done in black & white comic book format, detailing a story that always ends with a "message" on how Jesus saves. Even today, I sometime see one of these laid out somewhere at random at places like barbershops and even the gym for people to find. Being a PK, I read a LOT of these growing up, which my mother was real big on encouraging. Of course, being the geek that I was/am, I did it more for the fact that they were comics I could actually read in church and not have some nosy ass Deacon's wife go running to my parents about their son reading on Jesus' time. This was before I perfected my method of hiding paperbacks behind the church bulletin, giving everyone the impression that I was keeping up with the "church schedule" instead of the characters in Salem's Lot by Stephen King. What's funny is that many of these have some of the oddest subjects for a kid to be reading:


Murder:



Domestic Violence:




Drugs:




Demonic Possession:



STDS:



Abortion (oh, really FUN one there!):




One of the  chicks really caught my eye. It details the sad last day of an abused kid, who, after being sent out into the pouring rain (which I'm shocked didn't have an ark cruising past in the background from the massive tons depicted), is beaten nearly to death by his boozing father (who is drawn to look like a cross between Ernest Borgnine and Edward G. Robinson)with a bat. The kid stumbles into a cardboard box on the street, a paper with the words "Somebody Loves You" conveinantly flying through the air and landing in front of him. A missionary walks by and, rather than cease "ministering" long enough to rush the kid to the E/R asap, informs him that Jesus loves him. Only after convincing the brutally beaten kid that he's loved by Christ does she go off to get help. I guess she had to get that quota in before her lunch break or something. The kid shortly dies while waiting for help to arrive, the artist being sure to make it obvious by having his frail arm go tense as if he'd been sticking a fork in an electrical outlet. An angel turns up and wisks the deceased boy to heaven. Peep this:



And, not wanting to exclude their readers who are people of color, they also have the story retitled "Hard Times"and is "adapted for Black audiences":




The editions about homosexuality were definitely one I recall from my childhood, which just have to be seen to be seen to be believed:

I especially love how they make every last one of us in the book look like they just got back from the Charles Manson Family reunion picnic. The gay men either look like Bea Arthur with a beard or Paul Lynde, the lesbians all resembling cast members from Valley of the Dolls. I'd love to meet the person responsible for the whole schtick with the gay dentist couple in the 2nd book, doing the puppet show at the elementary school (because we all know how homosexuality, dentistry, and puppetry are related in the end, don't we?). Freud could have a field day with all that symbolism. And just WHAT is up with that silhouette on the LAVENDAR cover of the 1st book? Oh, the subtlety.




Of course, they had to squeeze Sodom & Gammorah in there while they were at it







COREY SCALES
Male Media Mind