Wednesday, July 26, 2006


More shoehorning of the Bible stories you know and love into modern-day situations when Chick Tracts takes on the story of Joseph in FRAMED.

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wurwolf: FRAM'D!

wurwolf has stolen from Torrk two tracts in a row.

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Lita: Ok. There's a lot going on in that first panel. But for some reason the thing I'm most hung up on is the Mountie with the lollipop saying "Hey mister, have a nice day."

wurwolf: That does tend to draw your attention. I'm stumped as to why that's included in this little tableau of the lower class of society. Or, if not the lower class, at least as an attempt to portray city life.

Lita: At first I thought this was an airport lobby, so that kind of behavior would be normal, but now I see from the sign in the back that they are at a courthouse.

wurwolf: Yup, if anyone can turn a day of jury duty into a life lesson, it's Chick Tracts.

Lita: When I got called for jury duty there were plenty of stupid people in the jury pool. Maybe a few whackadoos. Nobody that out-and-out insane, though.

wurwolf: The older gentleman last in line is wearing his baseball cap backwards. Is that something older gentlemen in the city do?

Lita: I don't know. But Johnnie Cochran at the front of the line disapproves.

Lita: I wonder if he's on his way in to help Malcolm with his case.

wurwolf: Let's hope so, although with a open and shut case like Malcolm's even the guy in the backwards baseball cap could handle being his lawyer.

Lita: Hell. The Mountie could handle that case.

wurwolf: Back to the mountie, it just seems so incongruous with what a security officer in a courthouse would say and look like.

Lita: He's got a peace sign on his arm and a skull on his belt.

wurwolf: The mountie? Oh. So I guess the mountie isn't a security officer but just some random jerk wandering around in a mountie hat?

Lita: I think so.

wurwolf: WTF? What on earth does the author think that the younger generation wears? I can't imagine my kids walking around in a mountie hat.

Lita: I don't know. The guy looks at least 30 to me. Just short. I think he's just a crazy person. He looks kind of like Quentin Tarantino to me.

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wurwolf: We already know who our protagonist will be by the gun being slipped into his pocket.

Lita: He is being menaced by pimple-faced youth. Damn kids.

Lita: Yet we have the "damn kids" message put across to us... in comic book form.

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wurwolf: It's hard to tell if the guy in the glasses and the trench coat is where he is because the alarm is going off or if he's stuck in the doorway.

Lita: That gun has a tiny barrel. What kind of bullets does it shoot? And I bet they would sting like hell, but would they actually hurt anybody?

Lita: I fully admit that I don't know much about guns, though. So maybe that's actually a pretty heavy piece of artillery.

wurwolf: It does look like it would just sting. Maybe it just shoots bebes.

Lita: Or pencil leads.

Lita: Or unbent paperclips.

wurwolf: Or spit balls, for all we know. Evidently the author knows more about guns than we do.

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wurwolf: Somewhere, a little old lady is knocking up Bob.

wurwolf: Hey! That dog that Ronnie was doing the finger gun at in the last tract is in this one! Maybe it's based on the artist's real life dog.

Lita: That dog hates everybody!

Lita: Maybe he smells the stink of unsavedness on Mrs. Joey.

wurwolf: Why hasn't the dog catcher been by to pick it up?

wurwolf: "My baby, Joey"?!??! WTF? They're like the same age!

Lita: So does she mean it like he's her son, or like, "Hey, baby!"

wurwolf: Huh. That's a good question. It could really go either way.

wurwolf: I hate to say it, but she really looks like a guy in drag.

Lita: She does look a lot like him. Maybe she's his twin sister.

wurwolf: Or his twin brother.

Lita: Or maybe he broke out of jail disguised as a woman.

Lita: She's his sisterbrothermotherwife.

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wurwolf: This woman's face is really disturbing me. She's got too much happening on the bottom of her face.

Lita: "Joey's always helping them by turning in all the gang members in his neighborhood!"

wurwolf: That's the funniest line!

Lita: You know, not that I'm a big fan of gang activity or anything, but there is a such thing as courting trouble. I mean, asking for it much?

wurwolf: Doesn't Joey have a job?

wurwolf: Does he just go out, roaming the streets, looking for kids who most fit the gangsta profile?

Lita: "Let's see.... Bobby Smith, and Johnny Brown, and Mark Jones, and Jenny Thompson, and Bob Williams, and Ronnie Howard, and..."

wurwolf: He's the crazy old man in the neighborhood who, if you run across his lawn, turns you in as a gang member. "Hello, 911? I'd like to report Jeffy Johnson as a gang member." "But he's seven years old."

Lita: Sometimes he actually turns in a real gang member, and there his trouble begins.

wurwolf: Like when he goes to report for jury duty.

Lita: Even Bob gets that Joey's insane. He's like, "Oops..."

wurwolf: The "Joey really stepped in it this time" remains unspoken by Bob.

wurwolf: Joey and his sisterbrothermotherwife have matching glasses.

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wurwolf: Apparently Bob just has all kinds of crazy money lying around so he can go bail people out at a moment's notice.

Lita: Look at Joey's shirt. I wonder what happened to him while he was in that cell.

wurwolf: I think the cover of the tract says it all.

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Lita: "The same thing happened to another guy named Joe!" Yeah. This is exactly like what happened to Joseph.

wurwolf: The real-life stories meant to reflect Bible stories in these tracts are usually pretty lame, but this one is the worst so far.

wurwolf: Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit and left him to die. Joey's mother went to Bob to help get him out of jail. The parallels are startling.

Lita: "Joseph was a big stinky snitch just like you, Joey!"

wurwolf: Is Bob saying that the gun is like Joseph's coat of many colors?

Lita: Joseph was betrayed and sold for 20 pieces of silver... just like Jesus. And Joey.

Lita: Or something.

wurwolf: Not so much Joey.

Lita: I think Jesus was sold out for more silver. Inflation and all.

wurwolf: Maybe 30 pieces? I can't remember.

Lita: 30 sounds right. I guess I *could* look it up.

Lita: It was 30

Lita: It was gonna drive me nuts if I didn't look it up.

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wurwolf: The next panel shows Joey and Bob leaving the courthouse. You don't see Joey's thought bubble, which says, "So my dad has 12 sons, and my brothers hate me.......? Wha?"

Lita: He does look a bit confused there.

Lita: I guess he loves all his neighborhood gang members just like brothers.

wurwolf: Sure, why not? Because he's always telling on them, just like Joseph did. Because this is the same story, after all.

Lita: They should have named this tract "TATTLETALES THROUGH HISTORY"

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wurwolf: I never got why the artist shades in people in the background. Are they in the dark? What's wrong with leaving them unshaded?

wurwolf: Bob's seat in the car is so far forward it looks like he's sitting in the bathtub.

Lita: Did The Lord make a decree about car seat positioning that I missed?

wurwolf: How on earth does he get in his car?

Lita: If that airbag deploys it'll take Bob's head off.

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wurwolf: Here we go, Lita! Let's fasten our seatbelts, because it's time for the "It's All the Woman's Fault" portion of the tract.

Lita: Oh boy!

Lita: First thing? Joseph is not all that handsome.

Lita: He looks kind of like Dinosaur Man.

wurwolf: Either that or David Naughton.

wurwolf: The evil wife with the long fingernails is PEEKing around the corner.

Lita: So did the gang members all try to get with Joey and rip his clothes off and that's why they framed him? Or did Joseph totally tell on Potiphar's wife and that's why she got pissed?

wurwolf: And was Joey being seduced by his employer's wife, so that's how he wound up in jail?

Lita: Bob said this is the same thing, and damn it all, I want to believe him!

Lita: Maybe his sisterbrothermotherwife is also his boss.

wurwolf: And she's trying to seduce him? Are they addressing incest in this tract?

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wurwolf: Yes, because as we all know, when a woman says she's been raped, she's trying to frame the innocent.

wurwolf: Unless the innocent in question happens to be a minority, in which case he definitely did it.

Lita: Of course, we can't really blame Bob here. This is how the story goes. He's not extra woman-hating it up like he did with Sarah.

Lita: Look at Joey's face as he tells Bob to continue his story.

Lita: He just looks so beaten down. Like life can't get any worse. So he may as well let Bob keep talking.

wurwolf: What else has he got to do?

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wurwolf: The butler is giving Bob the narrator a dirty look, like, "Yeah, a big 'no-no'? I'm in jail here!"

Lita: The other is giving the more commonly recognized cross-eyed "Duuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh....."

wurwolf: Also known as the Tor Johnson.

Lita: I have no trouble believing that Tor didn't know what his dream meant.

wurwolf: Tor barely knew what waking life was all about, let alone his dreams.

wurwolf: Man, Joseph's brothers are a rough bunch.

wurwolf: The artist made the Sodom & Gomorrah guys look really tough, but everyone seems to be that way. Maybe that's just how everyone looked in those times?

Lita: It's not an easy life to live in the desert.

Lita: Poor Tor got hanged!

Lita: "Tor not understand Tor dream. Please tell Tor." "Ok, Tor. According to your dream, you will be put to death!" "Joseph ruin Tor's last days."

wurwolf: Poor Tor nothing. Look at poor Joey! Bob's got his back against a wall.

wurwolf: He's had a horrible couple of days. All he wants to do is sit on his couch and watch some tv. But no, Bob has to make him stand.

Lita: He's thinking, "That night in the jail cell... I'd hoped to get past it. But no! It's happening again!"

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The butler promised to tell Pharaoh about Joseph, but he forgot. Just like Sisterbrothermotherwife forgot to tell Bob about Joey.


wurwolf: Bob has him trapped in his hypnotic snake stare again.

wurwolf: Is the guy standing next to phaoahoraoh's bed with the staff asking for a tip?

Lita: "Dude. I totally carried all your luggage all the way up here."

wurwolf: He's even got the snooty "pay me" look on his face.

Lita: The poor Pharaoh looks all sickly and mangled.

wurwolf: It's like the artist is struggling not to make him look like Yul Brynner, since that's what everyone will expect the Phaoruaour to look like.

Lita: Look at the wording at the bottom there. How flip can you get? "Yeah, Joseph. I just brought you over here to tell me about my dreams about some cattle and some stalks corn being destroyed. No big."

Lita: Like it would have freaked him out so much if it were just some cattle and some corn.

wurwolf: "And then let me tell you about the dream where I was flying!"

Lita: And looking at my Bible I can see that there is a lot more to it than that. Those cows freaking ate each other.

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wurwolf: Evidently the artist in these tracts is a big Celine Dion fan. When he gets tired of drawing men he makes them look like her.

Lita: Just think. The one who was framed and rotting in prison was lifted up in one hour to be a saviour in Egypt.

Lita: Joey: So... You're saying you want me to go to Egypt?

wurwolf: I know hands are hard to draw, but Pharahooaoa's hand is really freaking me out.

Lita: I think the Pharaoh had some kind of disease growing up that disfigured him. He's looked a little odd in all the panels we've seen his hands in.

wurwolf: I guess so. How else to explain it?

Lita: Wow. Potiphar and his wife were having sex when they went before Joseph. I heard those ancient Egyptians were permissive about that kind of thing, but wow!

wurwolf: At least they're in the back of the room.

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Lita: And now is Bob's cue to begin the conversion sequence.

wurwolf: Once he's seen that his prey has dropped 50-100 pounds, he can begin the process of unhinging his lower jaw and swallowing him whole.

wurwolf: How funny would it be if those Pharisees were based on actual men at Chick Tracts?

Lita: Religious crowd going crazy and making life tough for people? Never!

wurwolf: We're so lucky something like that couldn't happen in our times!

Lita: I guess I needn't have looked up how much silver Jesus was betrayed for earlier. They tell you how much down here.

wurwolf: It still helps to get your information from the Bible, rather than a tract. Which is what everyone should be doing.

wurwolf: "The Illegal Trial of Jesus" by Wingo? That is not a real book.

Lita: Now they're just making fun of us.

wurwolf: "Let's put a wacky name down here and see if anyone questions it."

wurwolf: The lamp leads me to believe that they're still inside Joey's apartment, but does he really have brick walls? I think that was unnecessary. Plain white walls would have been fine.

Lita: At least Joey never claims to have never heard of Jesus.

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wurwolf: Joey is down on the floor repenting like he's believed in evolution, or run scams, or taken college courses, or is a homosexual. What has he done that he's got to feel so horrible for?

Lita: AHHHH!!!! Joey's Sisterbrothermotherwife!!!!

wurwolf: AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She just came out of the bathroom!

Lita: She looks kind of like...

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wurwolf: Joey's silently celebrating, not because the cops found out the truth about the gun, but because Bob has finally left.

Lita: At death all our lives will be replayed. What does that have to do with anything that happened in this tract?

Lita: Also, I know God's got eternity and all, but that will take forever. And be so boring.

wurwolf: Vacation slides are bad enough.

Lita: I hope God just plays a highlight reel.

(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 2000 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)


Anonymous said...

This is great. I see I missed two tracts while I was away. Can't wait to read the next one (previous one?).

The out and out LOL moments for me in this one came from your discussion on Bob's driver seat, Joey's "Go on Bob, I'm listening" face, and the Butler's reaction to Bob saying "no-no". Great stuff.

Funny you should post that photo of Mrs Doubtfire. My first impression was that in that panel he/she/it resembled a different 'comic-in-drag' - Martin Lawrence in 'Big Mama's House'.

Keep up the great work!

ns (bw bw)

Rimmi said...

The title frame is great! That dude in the picture looks like he's totally in line for a Chick style anal raping.

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, Mrs. Joey looks like Ed Koch in drag. Follow the link and see what I mean:

wurwolf said...

Oh my. She sure does look like Ed Koch. Creepy! :o)