Friday, September 05, 2008

For ER First, Then Anyone Else (UPDATE)

ER and I have traded our love - its a kitschy rather than groovy kind of love - for the tracts of the legendary Jack Chick. He's on the web, and he's archived all of them, including my favorite. Now, scienceblogs is featuring one that is so wonderful I want to go to rest area, truck stop, Denny's, anywhere and find it. I collect them, and have found them in as wildly divergent places as an endcap shelf in Wal-Mart; a restroom in a rest area on New York's Route 17/Interstate-86; a bathroom in a truck stop outside Columbia, MO; and I had one given to me by a friend as a birthday present.

Unlike many who get bent out of shape by Chick Tracts, I love them for the same reason that some people like ugly dogs, or Michael Jackson has the Elelphant Man's skeleton in a display case in his house - freaky stuff has a certain cachet, as it were. They are harmless, mindless, and clearly so over the top one could not imagine them meaning anything other than the way I feel about them - they are like a snowglobe that hold something precious. The person who put the little bit of platinum in the snowglobe knows the platinum is pretty, is heavy, and other people seem to think it is important, somehow. But it is surrounded by kitschy, awful, cheap water, bits of plastic, and the preciousness of the platinum inside is obscured by the cheapness of the surroundings.

Yet, my love for them is real. It is the same love I felt as a child for a cat we had that was not only cross-eyed - seriously cross-eyed; we called him Clarence, after a lion in a short-lived children' TV series - but borderline retarded. This cat could jump off the porch and still miss the ground. And I loved Clarence. And I love Chick Tracts. My hope is that someone sends me a copy of this one. In the meantime, you can see it by clicking on the link.

UPDATE: Alan mentioned a tract I had not heard of - "Doom Town", an anti-gay tract - and one of the panels in it is below:

Did Jack Chick draw that or Tom of Finland?

Virtual Tin Cup

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