left biblioblography: JACK CHICK CAN KISS MY ASS...

Monday, March 12, 2007


I ran across this not long ago:

"This parody below comes to us from an artist named Howard Hallis, to whom all credit is due. I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it here because the design of his website leads me to suspect that this cartoon might be replaced by something else the next time he has a fit of artistic inspiration.

"This is a brilliant piece of art. While it helps to have a prior acquaintance with the ‘Cthulhu Mythos’ that H.P. Lovecraft developed in now-classic horror stories of the 1920s and ’30s, Hallis does a vivid and effective job of conveying the central themes and feel of the Mythos. But the truly subversive genius of this cartoon lies elsewhere…about which more after you have read it."

[click on photos to enlarge]

"This is, of course, a parody of a fundamentalist Christian evangelical tract. More specifically, it is a remarkably accurate take on the style of Jack T. Chick, a pamphleteer who has occupied the scrungy basement of Christian evangelism since the 1960s. Both the talking heads are recognizable, stock Chick characters — the sinful, scornful unbeliever and the saintly white-haired minister.

"Some cultural-studies type ought to do a book on the way that the Cthulhu mythos has oozed forth from its pulp origins to become Western pop culture’s generic Nightmare From Beyond. This parody could have been written thirty years ago — Chick goes back that far and has been remarkably, er, consistent in his output — but thirty years ago only a handful of SF and fantasy fans would have recognized "

I thought it was brilliant (seeing as I've been something of a fan of H.P Lovecraft since my painful teens).

Here's what happened:

Howard apparently got this email:
From: "Ron Rockney" <rockney@chick.com>
To: <support@smeinc.net>
Subject: Violation of acceptable use agreement
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 14:04:47 -0800
Dear Sirs,

I am writing to inform you of a copyright violation occurring on a website hosted by you. The offending website is www.howardhallis.com. The copyright violation exists at the following URL:http://www.howardhallis.com/bis/cthulhuchick/

The person preparing this material has stolen artwork from copyrighted publications created by Jack T. Chick, with the copyright being held in the name of the Jack T Chick LLC. I represent Chick Publications, Inc., the sole licensed publisher of this copyrighted material. Our contract with the Jack T Chick LLC requires us to defend this copyright, and we intend to do so. While more than one of Mr. Chick's copyrighted publications were used to prepare this web page, the majority of the material comes from one of his creations, currently offered for sale on our website. We display this title , "The Choice," on our website where prospective customers may view it before purchasing it in bulk. You may view it here to verify that the material on the offending web page does in fact come from this publication:


I hereby certify the following:

1. I am an officer of Chick Publications, Inc., the sole licensed publisher of Mr. Chick's work.

2. This artwork was created by Jack T. Chick and the copyright is held by Jack T Chick LLC.

3. The developer of the website www.howardhallis.com does not have permission to reproduce Mr. Chick's artwork.

In accordance with your responsibilities under copyright law, I am asking you to take immediate action to terminate this illegal activity which is occurring on your network. It has been our experience that most of the time when people steal copyrighted materials such as this, they do so without the knowledge or approval of their internet service provider, and that when made aware of the violation, most ISPs take the material down promptly. I trust that will be the case here.

Ronald L. Rockney, Treasurer
Chick Publications, Inc.


So let's see: I've acknowledged the original author, I've given the proper nod to Jack Chick (religious pornographer extraordinaire), so I think I've got all my bases covered.

So bite me, you drooling fanatical kallikak.

Oh, here's another Jack Chick parody site.

Here's a short story on Cthulhu by Neil Gaiman.

So, enjoy, and until the next post - Cthulhu Fhtagn!

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Chris Bradley said...

I, too, am an admirer of HPL since my teens, so I got a huge kick out of the parody.

Still, the horrible truth is that Jack Chick's tracts are, really, even more heavy handed and horrific than the parody! I like the parody. I appreciate the parody. I do this in part because I can laugh at the parody without a queasy feeling in my stomach that this is to be taken seriously. But it . . . isn't as extreme as a lot of the stuff Chick, himself, has written.

Krystalline Apostate said...

chris - the worst part is, Chickie-boy isn't kidding. He's as serious as a heart attack.

Chris Bradley said...

Yes! That's absolutely the worst part! That's what makes the queasy feeling in my stomach about Chick tracts.

Sadie Lou said...

So I don't get what you're angry about or why Chick should kiss your ass. Is it because this other artist was using the art and content of Chick's tracts without permission so Chick shut it down? Are you mad because Chick called him to the mat on Copyright infringement?
I'm not a fan of tracts or scare tactics but the guy is entitled to copyright his material, yes?

Krystalline Apostate said...

Sadie - yes, he is entitled to copyright his material. But parody isn't infringement.
You can't copyright a concept, as the big lawsuit between Quattro Pro & Microsoft established (in re: other companies creating their own spreadsheet programs). Besides which, it was barely even marginal.
Between fair-use & freedom of speech, I'd say that Hallis caved a little too easily.
For more on this:
Besides which, Chick tracts are distributed freely. This doesn't mean they're public domain, but there's a lack of profit margin which comes into play.

beepbeepitsme said...

Jack Chick's cartoons seem to be religious indoctrination for pre-pubescents.

I had never seen them before. Just the usual scare mongering. Pathetic.

Religion, the concept that creates the fear which only it can save you from. What a scam.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM - you should check out Chick's tricks.
He's anti-Catholic, pro-KJV - he's a real nutter, all right.