Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jack Chick, RIP

You probably remember where you were when you read your first Jack Chick pamphlet.
Pfft - EC comics are for babies!
I was in Madge Lake, Saskatchewan, at an extended family gathering/camporee. I would have been nine or ten years old. My younger cousin was reading them. She'd brought a few over from our grandfather's church. This Was Your Life! was one; Somebody Loves Me was another.

I remember because reading those pamphlets was like leafing through that magazine the neighbourhood boys had found in a ditch -- it attacked the brain-stem and sent electrical jolts that ran right down to the ends of my fingers and toes.

Many years later when I gave myself permission to watch The Exorcist and The Omen the biggest shock was discovering just how ho-hum I found it all. Chick and his nuclear redundancy tactics had got to me first, and reduced my capacity for emotional response to that of an insensate cockroach.*

Purgatory was one of many Catholic peculiarities that threw him into a frothing fit. Musing over the hot, writhing horror that grips the heart of Chick's message I have to wonder if this wasn't because Purgatory suggested a happier environment than the one Chick surveyed while trapped within his mortal coil.

Here's a terrific animation of Chick's Somebody Goofed. Trigger warnings galore apply to the content, as its fidelity to the source material is absolute.

*Not so, Rosemary's Baby. Jack Chick and Roman Polanski were on the exact same page.

No comments: