The Walking Dead? – A Chick Tract Review

We love the bizarre art, confusing stories and strange messages found in Chick Tracts. Our favorites are the ones that try to use sci-fi and pop culture in a transparent attempt to hit the youth with their comic books. But this one is even more of a quickie attempt to catch the zeitgest than usual. It strains a metaphor in an attempt to piggyback on the success of The Walking Dead.

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So believe it or not, this is the first page. No establishing shot for either the main character or the setting. Some eyes in a bush staring at a foot. And of course the traditional Chick Tract habit of sticking little animals in the corners of the frame. This time we get a snail! In panel 2, the man-bush notes that “they” are gone. Because why show something walking away when you can have a tiny scribbled bush TELL you that a random pack of monsters has moved on. I don’t care about the guy in the bush. I want to know why a werewolf and Freddy Krueger are hanging out with some ugly McDonald’s customers.

Read on to see our thoughts on this story.

Here we go. More story!

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Is this the same guy that was in the bush? We’ll have to guess that it is. We never see his face or a guy move from a bush to a graveyard. I guess we’re just supposed to fill in the gaps on our own. OK. Guy who is scared of monsters is trying to get out of a graveyard. But even so, why is the first gravestone completely blank? When have you EVER seen that in ANY cemetary? At least the second panel has some scribbles and “Mama.” Also? A mouse.

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This guy is sweating up a storm and seems to have crawled up to a big pile of poop. Elsewhere, a hand emerges from a haystack.

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Oh, that hand was probably emerging under that guy? Because he now has a hand around his throat. Some giant monsters show up in the next panel, where he seems to now be able to stand so the hand must have disappeared. They can talk and they say they want him to walk with them. That’s… not so bad.

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OK, so it was all a dream so far. That doesn’t forgive the continuity issues or storytelling from before but it does make those pages completely irrelevant so let’s start over. Two monsters are in bed and tell us that the man we’ve seen before is Danny. We know that Danny has tattoos and nightmares.

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Danny is a grown man living with his Aunt. And she could not look any less thrilled to be taking care of this guy. His uncle must not like it either because instead of offering him any sympathy or even just changing the subject, he casually tells the man his worst fears are true and he is the walking dead.

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This is the traditional Chick Tract plot. A guy is scared of something and someone else says you SHOULD be scared because you’re going to hell for no reason other than existing. It appears that this is the first time Danny has ever talked religion with his uncle. That makes me curious about their backstory. I guess his uncle could be a recent convert. Oh, by the way, a crow and a racoon are hanging out by the window. I figure the artist is so bored with the story that he has to add random animals to keep from falling asleep.

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Aunt Emily is religious, too! And she looks really uncomfortable. Best guess? Massive hemorrhoid. The coolest part is that what she says has an asterisk letting us know she’s quoted the bible. This is fallacy known as appeal to authority. The problem is that none of these stories ever establish why we sould trust the authority of the bible. It’s a book. These tracts tell us all sorts of things that are said in the book, but never why we should trust this book over any other book.

Oh, and Danny used to be in prison.

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Danny admits that he can’t understand Christianity and asks his uncle to explain it to him. How has he never encountered this before? He literally acts like he knows NOTHING. Uncle John just goes into repeating the Genesis story, treating it as 100% literal. By the way, apparently god wore sleeves when he created man. That’s called class.

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This is the slowest part of the story. Where are the monsters? Instead we get Jesus looking like Kenny Loggins, God looking like a ghost, and a photo of a bird which is apparently how God decides to look like a ghost. I guess a ghost could look like a bird.

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So the story wraps up with God kicking Adam out for failing a test he could never have passed. Danny points out that at least he has a good heart. A heart good enough to get him into prison. Oh, but it doesn’t matter. His uncle says everyone’s heart is rotten. So even if you do nice things, you’re evil, according to Uncle John.

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According to Uncle John, your heart is a literal living entity with its own desires and an ability to control you. This is slightly more terrifying than zombies. I also wonder if everyone’s heart looks like Shrek? But Uncle John ain’t done with his schpiel (Aunt Emily must have cleared out once he got ranting). And Danny doesn’t know enough to walk away because he’s never heard the word soul. I think we can all agree that Danny is functionally retarded and completely incapable of making decisions for himself.

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An off-model Uncle John talks some more soul nonsense. Why nonsense? Because he basically makes some shit up about how a soul is a ghost that gets to sit on a throne. I don’t know about you but I have zero interest in sitting on a throne, especially not after I’m dead. John says this stuff with confidence. His evidence? His asterisks. It’s there in the bible. Which has nothing to corroborate it. Cue trombone sound: wah wah.

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Uncle John doesn’t seem to understand that every religion has a book that they think makes their version true. Also? Why would you ever want to exist forever? How much better is sitting on a throne than burning when it’s forever? Literally no end ever.

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Things get extra weird here. We’re all zombies thanks to Adam. No asterisk so maybe he doesn’t mean the biblical Adam. Maybe Uncle John has a personal philosophy against Adam, his barista where he gets his coffee? No way to know. Look at the zombies. The ones on the left are monsters but the ones on the right look like the artist was giving up. The one in the top right looks like a stoned guy, not a monster. By the way, did you know that heaven is a physical place in a cloud in space? That’s what they seem to be telling us.

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Danny has zero willpower and is convinced by a single conversation, which happens approximately never ever in real life.

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Yeah, Jesus sure is great. He put up with a beating so that he could sit in heaven judging everyone else forever. Not that much of a sacrifice, really.

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Remember, they make these comics to give to kids. Terrify them young, I guess.

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The artist has totally given up. Simple sillhouettes and a character forced allll the way into the edge of the panel with simple hash marks for a background. He has phoned this one in, folks. And if the creator isn’t too into it, should we be? Anyway, Uncle John seemingly will NOT shut up with his quotes so who could stay awake, really?

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Just look at that panel! It’s pretty much stick figures now. Now that John’s scared the shit out of Danny, he dangles the carrot. How about a mansion in heaven? How about a mansion here on Earth? That’s at least something you can be sure of! Help this guy out for real Uncle John! And cut your hair and shave your mustache, too. You look like a pedophile.

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So there’s the Walking Dead. At least they get to hang out together. I think the artist might have actually left before the comic was done because that last panel is in a completely different style. Wanna live in a blocky apartment building in the clouds? Then this is the religion for YOU!

Small Print: This tract is copyright is owned solely by Jack Chick Publications. Please visit their website and buy lots of their tracts, if you enjoy them. They appear on this site for review purposes only.
  • Lamar The Revenger

    I thought that was a cat with the crow..

  • progurt

    Back when I was a fundamentalist Christian (and also, no coincidence, a child), we really had this same sort of magical thinking. We believed we could go out and witness to somebody and then suddenly POOF they’d be saved and everybody would be happy and going to heaven. We also believed that there were simpering demons everywhere looking for souls to corrupt, and massive aryan angels coming to protect us. In my defense, I was a child, this didn’t last long past when I hit voting age (thankfully). What’s Jack Chick’s excuse?

    By the way, now I’m a pagan, I have the REAL power*, I go on missions from Satan*, and all kinds of other awesome things*!

    *not really

  • Santiago de la Torre

    Your article sounds like if it comes from CinemaSins.