Farewell, Jack Chick

Jack Chick, author of the awful but compelling badly-drawn fundamentalist tracts railing at Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Gays, Freemasons, Rock and Roll, Dungeons and Dragons, or anybody who didn’t share the specific doctrines of his particular Protestant sect has died, aged 92.

Many of his tracts were little more than crude hate-speech with no redeeming qualities, and while they deserved mockery, weren’t very funny to his targets.

One exception was his anti-Dungeons and Dragons: “Dark Dungeons”, which ended up being unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny. Anyone who has ever played D&D will recognise how ridiculous it is. Though his vision of an all-girl D&D group was way too ahead of it’s time, pre-dating Contessa or I Hit It With My Axe by a generation.

dark-dungeons

There is even a Lovecraftian parody of Chick Tract out there. It’s disturbing how close the style and tone is to Chick’s own tracts. But then, some of H. P. Lovecraft’s dark cults were Presbyterian sects that had gone off the rails, so maybe it fits after all?

who-will-be-eaten-first

I learned of Jack Chick’s death on Twitter while listening to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. This may or may not be evidence that God has a sense of humour. If Jack Chick does make to Heaven (who am I to put limits on God’s mercy?), he may well be in for a surprise with some of the people he meets there.

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6 Responses to Farewell, Jack Chick

  1. PaulE says:

    Of course! It makes perfect sense now. D&D is just a gateway to encourage witchcraft. Just like Chess encourages regicide or Civilization encourages genocidal meglomaniacs.
    I’ve played a lot of Civ, so I should be primed and ready for the call to join Spectre.

  2. There’s a school of thought which says “Don’t speak ill of the dead.” I think it’s more honest to continue speaking of them the way you did while they were alive. Jack Chick was an uninformed bigot (I realise that’s probably a redundancy).

  3. Tim Hall says:

    The whole D&D is a gateway to Satanism and witchcraft thing was common in evangelical circles in the 1980s, and it gained traction because too few people knew enough about D&D to recongise how silly the claims were.

    They tried the same against Harry Potter a generation later, and just got steamrollered, because too many people had actuallly read the books.

  4. I was always uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating Jack Chick’s work as religious kitsch, something a few people I knew did. I wondered if that was because I had slightly more first-hand experience with the kind of bigotry that informed his work and they had not. As someone else once said, “Sorry, I can’t get my lips to smile.”

  5. Tim Hall says:

    @Serdar

    I can see both sides here. On one hand, how much you were part of or identify with groups he targetted is going to colour the way you perceive his work. On the other hand, I don’t believe anyone has the right to police anyone else’s opinion of him. Not that you’re guilty of that, but I have seen that from other people.

  6. @Tim

    Right – it’s not that I want to tell other people they are wrong for enjoying his work as kitsch. It’s that I couldn’t make their fun into my fun.