The World According to Chick

I hadn’t looked at Jack Chick’s website in a long time, but my wife reminded me of it tonight, so I took a look at the new tract “Let’s Fly Away.” Honestly, I have a hard time believing old Jack is still alive. I have to suspect that he’s been dead for years and new comics are just being made in his name. Anyway, this tract opens with a guy named Greg Archer being fired from his job. It turns out the whole company has been closed down, apparently due to “new regulations.” You can tell a Republican wrote this. We then learn that Greg’s wife Delores is an alcoholic, and their neighbor Herb (apparently a good name for next-door neighbors, as Dagwood Bumstead and Darkwing Duck also live next door to Herbs) commits suicide. Greg struggles to make ends meet, and apparently has plans to “try the soup kitchen.” Isn’t that usually for people a little more destitute than this family? New neighbors move in, and it turns out they have a little girl with freakish eyes. She kind of looks like a cartoon lamb that somehow took human form. Julie, the daughter of Greg and Delores, also has incredibly wide eyes. Are these people or novelty figurines?

The conversation between Julie and Karen, the lamb-girl, gives us the standard “Who’s Jesus? What’s sin?” bullcrap that’s so common in these tracts. How many people do you know who haven’t even heard of Jesus? And somehow these people are generally really receptive to this incredibly common religion that they’ve only just heard about, even though the evangelist in question explains it very badly. “Well, you see, God arbitrarily decided there was some reason you had to go to Hell, but then created a loophole by sacrificing himself to himself.” Julie eats it up, and becomes obsessed with singing “I’ll Fly Away,” which I personally know from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Julie’s parents decide they hate the neighbors, which I can understand to a certain degree, as they seem to be so artificially happy all the time, which is even worse when you’re depressed. Toward the end, the dad threatens to beat his daughter. Whoa, where did THAT come from? If you’re going to present this guy as abusive, shouldn’t Jack have told us that earlier on? Was he always like that, or did it result from his being out of a job? For that matter, when did Delores start taking drugs? It makes no sense until you realize that, to Chick, everyone is a good Christian, a naive soul who can be converted, or a total ogre. There are rarely in-betweens. Really, though, what kind of story is this? Why was it even necessary to tell us about how Greg lost his job and his neighbor killed himself? These details aren’t relevant to the evangelism plot at all! Anyway, at the end of the comic, Julie is apparently raptured, taking her pajamas with her but leaving her shoes behind, because I guess it was sinful footwear. Beth said she expected Julie to die by falling off the bed and breaking her skull. Regardless, she’s dead, but for a Chick Tract that’s a happy ending.

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