I get catalogs from an outfit in Washington State called Fantagraphics. I ordered, and received, a book it advertised titled The World of Jack Chick. It included five tracts: The classic “This Was Your Life!” is included in English and Zulu.
The general tenor of the book is that Chick is a hard-shell Southern Baptist determined to label all religions but his own wrong. That’s not so bad until you note that Chick’s basic message is, If you don’t believe as my tracts and books tell you to, you’ll burn in hell forever! (I must point out, however, that it is quite proper for the adherents of any religion to regard their own as the only true one: It would be hypocritical to hold otherwise. Chick’s intolerance, in contrast, is scarcely different from that of the marauders who participated in the September 11 attacks. )
The book, interestingly enough, did not mention something I consider outright plagiarism: The tract “Somebody Loves Me,” with the pitiful waif forced to beg for money for his drunkard father. The story is almost the same as that of The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. According to The Book of Lists, Andersen was homosexual or bisexual; this invites the irresistible extrapolation that Chick, who rants against gays in his works, feels no compunction against stealing the work of an author purported to be homosexual, as if such writers/artists have no right to anything they create. Would he thus plagiarize Mona Lisa next? :eek:
Chick and his other artists will base their drawings on Hollywood movies and actors. Take a look at “Doom Town,” for example. The TV cameraman looks like either Clark Gable or Timothy Dalton. The young Abraham looks like a young Richard Harris. The elderly Abraham vaguely resembles a bearded Marlon Brando. A statue of a pagan god resembles the one used in The Exorcist. Most blatant is the picture of Moses: It’s a dead ringer for Charlton Heston!
IANAL, so I can’t say if this constitutes fair use or not. However, I doubt that any Hollywood celebrity or studio would sue because of the negative publicity that could result. You know Chick would exploit it and claim it as proof of how corrupt Hollywood is.
Right on, Jab1.
I’ve seen some Chick comic books; in one he claims that the Illuminati is all powerful (cf. Cecil’s appraisal in the first Straight Dope book) and that there are only two entities in the world: Chick and his associates, and the Illuminati, which controls everything else. In one Chick story a “Christian” rock musician is murdered; Chick must not have had much foresight to realize that several months later, John Lennon, whom some regarded as an “Antichrist,” would be gunned down by some case of arrested development. (A cousin of mine adhered to the Lennon-Antichrist notion; I pointed out to him that when Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ he was probably right–not that that makes it just, or demeans Christianity in any way. It’s more like a sad-but-true commentary that popular pursuits have pushed Christianity into the background.)
In the “Illuminati” story, it’s claimed that a newswoman, preparing a commentary on Chick Christians burning rock tapes and records, got a call from some Illuminatus who growled, “I’ll have your job if you don’t make that @#&%??$!! look like Adolf Hitler!” and the intimidated newswoman complies. In fact I saw a segment of Two on the Town, a news-feature magazine-style program with such a segment; the newswoman here did not show any intimidation, but rather incredulousness, that John Denver was among the artists whose works the evangelicals were burning!
Well, John Denver was the devil. I thought everyone knew that.