God's Cartoonist: The Comic Crusade of Jack Chick
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(May 01, 2008)
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For nearly forty years, Chick Publications under the leadership of Jack T Chick has published over three quarters of a billion religious tracts that have been distributed in over 100 languages around the world. In the process, Jack Chick's name has become revered in the world of fundamentalist teachings, reviled among dozens of major religions and banned as hate literature in several countries. Outside the world of religion, the tracts have become highly valued pop culture collectibles with presentations in galleries from NY to LA and a permanent collection in the Smithsonian. Notoriously reclusive, Chick Publications for the first time let camera crews in to meet the creators of the infamous works as well as noted authors, artists and collectors who have covered the history of all things Chick including the art, artists, writers, controversies, death threats, witch spells, Illuminati, Catholic assassins and more!
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Top Customer Reviews
We move from an artist whose work is so ambivalent that thirty years after his death people are arguing over his motivations in drawing it (cf. In the Realms of the Unreal, above) to a guy who has spent the last thirty years and more creating work whose lack of ambivalence has turned him into, depending on your point of view, either a champion or a demon. This is Jack T. Chick, the man responsible for the hundreds of little, free, Christian comic books that you find lying around everywhere. (Actually, twenty years ago I used to find them lying around everywhere; I saw one a few weeks ago in a public restroom and couldn't remember the last time I'd seen one previously.) If you've read through any of them, you know the hardline fundamentalist approach they take and the urban legends they perpetuate (or, possibly, created). Thus the dichotomy, and the fact that few who know who Jack Chick is don't have a strong opinion of him.
Chick is a notoriously reclusive individual, which has prevented documentaries from being made bout him; this is the first, and true to form, Chick does not appear. (Even the most recent photo the filmmaker was able to come up with is almost half a century old.) Instead, Kuersteiner (Church of the Subgenius: Sect, Satire, or Satanism?) traces the history of Chick tracts, scoring interviews with some of Chick's friends and Chick Publications' employees, as well as Chick tract collectors and, of course, a few detractors. The director goes for a balanced view, and (kind of surprisingly in my view, given that no one seems to have a neutral opinion on the man) seems to achieve it.
Very interesting if you know who the guy is. If not, maybe not as much, but he's worth knowing about, either as hero or as demon. Check it out. *** ½
Watching this documentary, you'll come to appreciate the colorful history of these comic books, the conspiracy theorists that fuel the many theories present in the tracts (and the full color comics) and, agree with him or not, come to understand a bit of the mindset behind the "crusade" of its primary writer and artist, the man himself (who declines to appear in the documentary).
These comic books target a variety of groups (including Jews, Catholics, "liberal" Protestants, pagans, witches, homosexuals, Mormons, Masons, Hindus, Muslims, etc).
Chick Comics are a part of pop culture, as much as they are of American religious culture.
Check out this documentary!
Chick believes in virtually every conspiracy theory ever conceived, with the possible exception of the "authenticity" of the Protocols of Zion. He's nuts and he needs therapy.
I'm glad I got this DVD. I will be sharing it with my friends, too.