Jack Chick

From Academic Kids

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Portrait of Jack Chick, by Jimmy Akin

Jack Thomas Chick (born April 13, 1924) of Chick Publications is the creator of comic-style tracts and larger comic books for the purpose of Christian evangelism in a fundamentalist theology. Jack Chick is an Independent Baptist, a dispensationalist, and an avid anti-Catholic.

Contents

History

Chick was born in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, California, USA, and experienced several health problems as a child. The family later moved to Alhambra where Chick was active in the high school drama club. After his graduation he continued his education in this area at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theater on a two-year scholarship.

During World War II Chick was enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific theater. After the war he returned to the Pasadena Playhouse, and met his wife while working on a production there.

His wife, the former Lola Lynn, came from a family that held highly fundamental Christian beliefs, and Chick's current religious beliefs can probably be traced to their influence. It was Lola's mother who converted Chick to Christianity. Chick also counts Rev. Charles E. Fuller as a major influence. In the 1950s, previous to Chick's publication of comic tracts, the producers of the Christian radio drama series "Unshackled" put out comic book versions of some episodes. Chick is said to have drawn much influence from these as well.

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A frame from the Chick tract "Doom Town"

After marrying, he began working at the AstroScience Corporation in El Monte, California, and began an evangelical hobby, self-publishing his first tract, "Why No Revival?". Chick founded his own company (originally based in his kitchen) soon afterward.

Between the 1970s and 1980s, he published 20 comics [1] (http://www.chick.com/catalog/comiclist.asp). The first 17 comics are known as the Crusader Comics and star a white man named Timothy Emerson Clark and an African-American man named James Carter. These two men are fundamentalist, born-again Christians. They travel around winning converts and rescuing Christians that have gone astray. The two men also fight Satanists and other servants of the Devil. The last six comics of the Crusader Comics star Dr. Alberto Rivera as the main character. In each of the six comics, Dr. Alberto Rivera's character claims that the Vatican is behind many of evil acts throughout history such as World War I and World War II. In the first comic Rivera claims that he was a Catholic priest and he tells how he left the Catholic Church. In the second comic "Double Cross," Rivera tells how he went to London and rescued his sister from a nunnery. In that comic, he also claims that the Vatican is trying to kill him. In "The Godfathers," Rivera claims that the Catholic Church founded Communism and Nazism and tried to destroy the Jews. In "The Force," Rivera's character claims that the Catholic Church is using Occult power to destroy the souls of Her followers. In "The Four Horsemen", Rivera claims that the Vatican persecuted Christians and is using organisations to do its work. In "The Prophet," Rivera claims that the Catholic Church helped start Islam to destroy the Jews so that the Vatican could move its headquarters to Jerusalem.

In 2000, he started the Bible series [2] (http://www.chick.com/catalog/bibleseries.asp) of his tracts, which starred one of his more famous creations, a Fundamentalist Christian man named Bob Williams. Bob, a rather smug character, would always appear to lead people down the correct path, though he was not always successful (see Gladys (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/5017/5017_01.asp)), and the Bible Series has served as a collection of many of Chick's core beliefs, such as evolution, witchcraft, and the Catholic Church.

Jack Chick has been heavily criticised for his views. His anti-Catholicism was not immediately evident in his earliest cartoons, and seems to have evolved during the mid to late 1960s. Several earlier comics were re-edited in the 1970s to reflect Chick's changing views on the Vatican. Example: a portrayal of the Antichrist, originally drawn as a man wearing a business suit, was changed to show the Pope in later editions of the same tract. The early 20th century pamphlet The Two Babylons was influential in popularizing a view -- held by Chick -- that the Roman Catholic Church is really a continuation of Babylonian religious practices.

Chick lives a more or less reclusive life; he last granted an interview in 1975. His reclusiveness created speculation for a time that he never even existed except as a nom-de-plume for an unnamed author(s). Several audio cassettes of his preaching distributed to his subscribers purport to contain his voice. His wife Lola died in 1998 and he has since remarried. His new wife is considerably younger than he is, and Asian. Not much is known of her otherwise.

In the 1970s, Chick also hired much-lauded African-American artist Fred Carter to help him with his work, and Carter has drawn many of Chick's tracts. Carter originally worked anonymously for Chick, creating much speculation among Chick's fans as to the identity of his "good artist." Chick revealed Carter's involvement in a 1980 issue of his newsletter "Battle Cry". He collaborated again with Carter on the recently-finished film, The Light of the World, presenting the Bible in oil paintings by Carter.

Jack Chick currently publishes his own newspaper called Battle Cry. Little is known about Jack Chick and there is no present portrait of him available, although Jimmy Akin's Blog (http://members.cox.net/jimmyakin/x-archives-040313.htm) has a drawing of him and a high school photograph. He has currently started the Children's Series of the tracts, which stars a girl named Suzie and also features her battling against a teacher named Miss Henn, who represents schools as a corrupting force against God. Lessons in these tracts have included Chick's view that evolution is false, and that homosexuality and celebrating Halloween are immoral, and they are presented in a more simplified format with the intent of being read to children. For more publications see Chick Publications.

Recently, at the screening of Jack Chick's new film, "Light of the World" (which premiered in Ontario, California) Catholic Answers apologist Jimmy Akin met Jack Chick, and exchanged a brief dialogue with him. It was from this meeting that Jimmy Akin produced his sketch. Jimmy Akin reported that Jack Chick seemed polite and charming, though Chick did refer to them as "Being in the war," mentioned that the Vatican had "All my stuff," and questioned Akin as to whether he was a Jesuit spy.

The interview can be found here (http://members.cox.net/jimmyakin/x-meet-jack-chick.htm).

See Chick Publications and claims by Chick Publications for information about Jack Chick and his views. Three objective books have been published about Chick Tracts. They are "The World According To Jack Chick" by Bob Folwer, "The Imp #2" by Dan Raeburn, and "The Unofficial Guide to The Art of Jack Chick" by Kurt Kuersteiner (which includes a candid meeting with the reclusive Mr. Chick).

External links

Official Website

Pro-Chick Websites

Relatively Neutral Websites

Anti-Chick Websites

Others

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