Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Payback's a bitch unless you convert to Christianity. That's the message of our latest tract, Payback.

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Lita: Dammit! Who is that on the cover? Why don't I ever get around to making my Chick Tract chart?!

Lita: Janet's brother Ronnie. That's who he is.

wurwolf: Oh, you just wait, sister. There's a panel coming up that's a veritable who's who of Chick tracts.

Lita prepares for a brain explosion

wurwolf: It's a hoot.

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Lita: Poor Fang. He's just trying to do his morning stretching exercises and there Badcat is sneaking up on him ready to engage him in another battle.

wurwolf: He's not stretching, he's barking at the bird. It's the whole Badcat/Fang/bird threesome.

wurwolf: They're only missing the mouse and the screaming squirrel.

wurwolf: Fang is leaning up against the copyright bar.

Lita: I don't see any bird.

wurwolf: It's there in front of the bush, but it's got an aura around it so it doesn't blend in.

Lita: Oh. Why is it hanging off the side of the copyrighted lamppost instead of sitting on top of it like a normal bird?

Lita: Maybe Badcat stapled the bird's feet to the lamppost in order to entice Fang and open him up to attack.

wurwolf: Badcat would totally do that.

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wurwolf: Man, Alan's got a head like a gourd.

wurwolf: It's the whole thing with the car again. That drives (no pun intended) me nuts in these tracts. Why does everyone look like they're sitting in the bathtub when they're driving?

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Lita: Alan and Keli are going to run over Badcat!

Lita: Oh, wait, no. That's the back of the car. Where's Fang? Maybe they already got him.

wurwolf: He's probably still back there barking at the stapled bird.

wurwolf: The artist really has issues drawing people with dark hair. It always looks like they dumped a bucket of paint on their head.

Lita: Kelli has a padlock on her ear.

wurwolf: I don't know if I should say this, but I get a strong Jewish vibe from Kelli in looks. I don't like that feeling because this tract is about money and stealing, and I don't know what kind of comment Chick tracts is trying to make about Jewish people.

Lita: I've gotten strong ethnic vibes from several characters in previous tracts, but I didn't bring it up because the tract didn't explicitly SAY that the person was in that group.

Lita: So if you say the tract is bashing a certain group, how can you know? Defenders can always say its your stereotypical views that make you see that.

wurwolf: Exactly, that's why I hesitate to bring it up.

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Lita: If I had a relative I cared about, say my grandmother, and every time I called that person her caretaker, say my delinquent cousin, told me that she was, for one reason or another, indisposed, I'd look into those claims.

Lita: I don't live close enough that I could go there on a whim myself, but I have other relatives who do, and I would get them to go check on her or drop by unexpectedly.

wurwolf: In the first panel Mr. Banks told Kelli that she was his favorite nurse, leading me to believe that he's got a rotating staff of nurses looking after him. So why is the family calling when Kelli is there? Why not call when one of the other, more easy-going nurses is there?

Lita: She imitates different voices over the phone so they can't tell it's always her.

wurwolf: Or, did Kelli kill off those other nurses one by one, thereby ensuring her sole claim to Mr. Banks' fortune?

Lita: Nurse Kelli may be the old guy's favorite person, but I don't think his relatives know her well enough to have that same trust. How has she been able to put them off for three months?

wurwolf: If his relatives didn't trust Kelli, wouldn't that be all the more impetus for them to find out what the hell is going on?

Lita: And if he's really, really sick, wouldn't that make it more important to go visit him and check up on how he's feeling?

wurwolf: There's a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on in this tract. They want you to just go along with their dumb little set-up, but there are a lot of unanswered questions here.

wurwolf: Stop asking about your relatives, Uncle John! They don't love you!

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Lita: I can't help but wonder about that will. Did he know he was signing a will? Did she make changes he didn't see? Or has she successfully convinced him that his family hates him so he willingly signs everything over to her?

Lita: Because if he's not signing everything over to her right now, that's a waste of a perfectly good will-signing panel

wurwolf: "Sweetie"? "Luv"? "I'll do it for you"? Now they're just getting creepy.

Lita: She's trying to use her sexuality on him.

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wurwolf: Boy, nobody draws people dying like Chick tracts. They always look like they've been dead in a swamp for a week.

Lita: He looks like a California Raisin.

wurwolf: In striped pajamas.

Lita: I wonder if it's arsenic in that glass.

wurwolf: Either that or she's been withholding medicine. Which, duh, don't you think the doctors will find out?

Lita: She'll just tell the doctors that the corpse is sleeping right now and must not be disturbed.

wurwolf: That lamppost has some balls.

Lita: Kelli actually said, "Sob, sob!" That should be the family's first clue that something is up.

wurwolf: She could barely stop herself from saying "Ho hum."

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Lita: This lawyer must be new. All wills are contestable. Why do you think they get contested all the time?

wurwolf: Mr. Banks must have loads of money. He had Perry Mason on retainer to read his will!

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Lita: They made sure to make the family look like a bunch of evil little trolls. Who am I supposed to sympathize with?

Lita: Oh, wait. Bob. Of course.

wurwolf: I like the person in the back with the sunglasses and the flop of hair.

Lita: It must be fun to have 80's Boy George in the family.

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Lita: The angry aunt in the front is bleeding from her forehead!

wurwolf: She just got out of a pro wrestling match and is bloody from a cheese grater.

Lita: She must have gotten into a fight in the parking lot with that portly sparkly gentleman next to her over how the inheritence would be divided.

wurwolf: Perry Mason is giving them the finger.

Lita: Super Mario in the back row is indignant.

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Lita: Harry Potter's friend Hermione is not at all concerned that her neigbor has cancer. Figures! That little witch!

wurwolf: "My big sister had cancer!" I'll bet her sister just had a mole removed.

Lita: At least Hermione believes in faith healing.

wurwolf: Is that Badcat in the garden with little Bonnie? Seven years later and Fang still hasn't gotten rid of him?

Maybe Badcat finally vanquished Fang.

wurwolf: Oh no! Take me out of this future without Fang!

Lita: I heard Jesus raised a guy from the dead once. Maybe if Hermione prays, Fang will rise from the dead.

wurwolf: Here's the person you're supposed to sympathize with: little Bonnie. Know how I can tell? She's beautiful.

Lita: Witches can magic themselves pretty, wurwolf. Inside she's ugly, and Jesus hates ugly witches!

wurwolf: I stand by Chick Publication's assertion that sinners are hideously ugly and Christians are beautiful people.

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wurwolf: And now, here we are at the Who's Who of Chick Tracts Panel!

Lita: Wow! Look at who all goes to church with Bob! There's Janet, and Ronnie, and the judge, and the gay priest!

wurwolf: And look who's preaching! Malcom X!

Lita: I was going to say it was reverand Jesse Jackson, but when I looked at some pictures of him I saw that he doesn't look that much like him.

Lita: I guess Bob's other converts all backslid.

wurwolf: Maggie, Samantha and Jason have got to be there, too.

wurwolf: I think that's Frank, behind Bob.

wurwolf: Roger's not there because he dropped dead and went to hell.

Lita: Presumably Bob had to set Samantha on fire for her witchery.

wurwolf: Oh right, probably. I'm guessing he pushed her into the bonfire after the tract closed.

Lita: As she went up in flames tears rolled down Bob's face as he cried out, "Stop screaming! I'm doing this for you!! Can't you see I'm doing this for you??!!"

Lita: Wow. Too dark?

wurwolf: No way. Bob's soul is as black as night.

Lita: Wow! Somebody other than Bob gets to tell the bible story this time!

wurwolf: I wonder if we'll get the biblical version rather than Bob's version.

Lita: I hope Bob can restrain himself from jumping up in the middle of the sermon to elaborate on Malcolm's story.

"Old Naboth"? Does the Bible say he's old?

Lita: I think the tract is trying to make Malcolm sound black.

wurwolf: You might be right. If you go back and try to read it thinking that Bob's saying it, it doesn't really sound like him.

Lita: I should probably look up this story since I don't think I'm familiar with it.

Lita: This is taking a while to read. And it turnes out it's the story of Jezebel, so prepare for some woman hating!

wurwolf: Yup, Jezebel figures big in this story.

Lita: Though, in fairness to the tract (though I haven't read the rest of it yet), what she did was pretty bad and the Bible is fairly unforgiving to her so it would be understandable for the tract to focus blame on her.

wurwolf: Yeah, I wouldn't say that it's uncalled-for woman hating. She's famous for being a big huge bitch.

Lita: I believe that a lot of Malcolm's dialogue is written to sound more "folksey," but he's right. The king really was pouting around the palace like a spoiled brat.

Lita: I like the way the New Living Translation puts it, "So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth's answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!"

wurwolf: Yeah, that is pretty pouty.

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Lita: "Naboth answered I will not give thee my vineyard"? Is Ahab saying he's not giving his own vineyard to Jezebel? Because otherwise there should be some more quotation marks in that quotation.

wurwolf: It's Naboth's vineyard. Chick tracts got sloppy with their puncuation.

wurwolf: Just like "Remember Samantha!"

Lita: "Naboth was about to face the fury of one of the most vicious women who ever lived." (emphasis mine) Because we know all women are vicious. She was just unusually so.

Lita: I do like that cow lamp in the back. Very kitch. I should get the number of Jezebel's decorator.

wurwolf: Where does the light shine from, I wonder?

Lita: That lightbulb on the cow's head, of course. It's a very smart cow, always having bright ideas.

wurwolf: It's better than solar lighting, anyway.

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wurwolf: You know, Malcolm doesn't need to tell us that the signet ring is for stamping the royal documents. I think we can figure out that Jezebel made it look all official.

Lita: I like Ahab's signature. Even back then when you wrote letters the body was all blocky and regular and then you signed with big loopy script.

wurwolf: I think that says John Hancock, not King Ahab.

Lita: I think it says "Jaba"

Lita: Poor Jezebel forgot the other b.

wurwolf: Malcolm's so loud that you can hear him preaching if you're standing out in the street.

Lita: He's just so outraged at the deception.

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wurwolf: "Naboth blasphemed God and King Ahab!" Uh.... could you be more specific?

Lita: Is that blood from Naboth's crushed bloody skull that that dog is licking up? I think I see hair growing off it.

wurwolf: It's hard to tell. They went overboard with the shading.

Lita: Actually, the more I look at it the more I can see where the face is and the beard and the nose and the eyes. His head is all snapped sideways unnaturally to his shoulders and I think his hand is severed. I know the artists really groove on gore, but this panel is really disgusting, even for a Chick Tract.

wurwolf: You know how the artist loves to amp up the gore.

wurwolf: Fang was wasted in the first panel. They should have put him in here.

wurwolf: His ears and tail would be sticking straight up while he's licking up the blood.

Lita: I can't stop looking at it. It's really sick. Talk about rushing the Halloween season.

wurwolf: Even the people in the next panel can't stop looking at it.

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Lita: I don't remember the Bible calling Ahab "henpecked" or anything like it.

Lita: Ok, I'm not defending Jezebel. I'm defending women. Ahab was pouting, so Jezebel said she'd fix the problem that was making him grumpy. How does that make Ahab henpecked?

Lita: Because she overstepped her bounds as the quiet wife who just sits in the palace and weaves tapestries or whatever it is that good queens are allowed to do?

wurwolf: Yes. Just like Hillary Clinton.

Lita: There are a lot of bad things you could legitimately say about Jezebel. I don't like that they're piling extra sins on that the Bible, as far as I can see, doesn't really give a base to. They don't need to in Jezebel's case, and they do this a lot.

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wurwolf: "Watch how all this came to pass". How are the people in the pews supposed to do that, Malcolm?

Lita: Malcolm skipped the part of the story where Ahab got so scared by Elijah's prophesy that he fasted and wore sackcloth and stuff so God agreed to delay his death for a little while.

wurwolf: It wasn't relevant as far as Malcolm was concerned.

Lita: Actually, the way I read it, in both the NLT Bible and the King James, is that God said, "Ok, he's behaving. I won't do all that stuff in his lifetime." And then God totally did anyway.

Lita: Though I guess you could say Ahab was already dead when the dogs started licking up his blood.

Lita: He was definitely already dead when the dogs got Jezebel.

wurwolf: God had a loophole.

Evidently, dogs were really handy clean-up crews in biblical times.

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wurwolf: "Years later that murderous old witch, Jezebel, finally went to the dogs." Can't miss an opportunity to malign witches.

Lita: Watch out, Hermione. You're next. I bet Bob was totally looking pointedly at her during this part of the sermon. But she didn't notice because she's sitting a row ahead of him.

wurwolf: She couldn't feel his hypno stare.

wurwolf: So I guess wild dogs were just roaming the city, looking for people to devour? Weren't people frightened for their lives?

Lita: Actually, from what I've heard about dogs back then, pretty much.

Lita: By the way, the passage about Jezebel's death is really something, and for once the tract doesn't do the gore justice.

Lita: From the New Living (so you can understand the thing,):

Lita: Jehu looked up and saw her at the window and shouted, "Who is on my side?" And two or three eunuchs looked out at him. "Throw her down!" Jehu yelled. So they threw her out the window, and some of her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses' hooves.

Lita: Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, "Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king." But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands.

wurwolf: "It was pretty gross."

Lita: So Jehu not only had her thrown out a window, he got on his horse and backed over her a few times. And then he went out drinking.

Lita: I want to see that tract.

wurwolf: I'm surprised they didn't draw a couple of severed hands in that picture.

Lita: "It was pretty gross," as evidenced by a happily belching dog and a woman nearby saying, "Yuk!" That is a scene that my dog and I reinact weekly.

Lita: Though my dog is much cuter than the dog in the tract. The artist did at least think to draw the dog's belly bulging with human flesh.

Lita: I am not, by the way, saying that my dog's belly bulges with human flesh.

wurwolf: Listen, I don't wanna know what you do out there in California.

Lita: Good. You don't need to know.

wurwolf: Those dogs came in as handy as Wu's pigs.

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Lita: Kelli has only just now realized that what she did was very, very wrong.

wurwolf: She didn't know before, evidently.

Lita: Apparently she already believes in God and Heaven and Hell, since she has no trouble accepting that God sends people there. But she is shocked, shocked, that murdering a kindly old man so that she could forge his will and steal the inheritence is something that could qualify you for the Hell list.

wurwolf: What did she think would send you there?

Lita: Catholicism?

Lita: I'd object to Malcolm assuming that God sent Jezebel and Ahab both to Hell, but I have to admit it's probably a fair assumption in this case.

wurwolf: It's nice, though, that he tells us that we shouldn't look down on Jezebel and Ahab, because we've all done bad stuff.

Lita: I do think it's interesting that in every one of these tracts we get a roster of who went to Hell.

wurwolf: I think we're meant to be keeping track.

wurwolf: Well, she's not completely bent over, but you do get a look at her lumpy butt in the conversion panel.

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Lita: Bob looks on smugly at Kelli's pain and fear.

wurwolf: So evidently you can confess to a murder and embezzling and still get off scott free?

Lita: You can't see Joey in that panel because he's already out in the church lobby calling the police.

Pastor Malcolm has pronounced it settled. So it is written, so it shall be.

Joey didn't hear that though. He left before Malcolm said that because of his obsessive compulsive cop calling.

They should have had the judge there making the decision.

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Lita: Cancer kills you a week after you are diagnosed in this world. I guess Kelli waited a really long time before telling her doctor about her symptoms.

wurwolf: Can you imagine if God healed her cancer and she had to face all of Mr. Bank's relatives in court?

Lita: I wonder. If God had cured her cancer, would she have given the money back?

wurwolf: Of course not. She didn't need to, because Pastor Malcolm pronounced the matter settled.

wurwolf: I wonder if Malcolm's having flashbacks in her hospital room to when he was beaten senseless by those sodomites.

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Lita: Mr. Banks' family are still sitting in that same room after all these years.

wurwolf: And they still all look exactly the same. They're caught in a time warp.

Lita: I wonder about Mr. James. I guess Kelli left her husband nothing?

wurwolf: Oh yeah, Gourd-Head Alan? She left him penniless.

Lita: Although Alan never really said he approved of Kelli's plan, he never explicitly disapproved either. So he gets NOTHING.

wurwolf: Frank the Frowner will never forgive her!

Lita: He's the flashy guy who took a brick to the Aunt's head at the beginning of the tract.

Lita: He's still wearing his sparkley sequined blazer.

wurwolf: And a turtle neck!

Lita: Poor Frank's going to hell, but he's going in style.

Lita: I'm glad this tract is closing on a happy note.


Tork_110 said...

So the family has to be bribed into forgiving Kelli? That's an odd final message. I know that the tract is about Kelli and what she does, but the final frame is an odd way to end this.

no springs said...

This was a fun one.

That "who's who" panel was awesome! I think that Tommy from "The Loser" was there too, though it's hard to be sure. Being the loser that he is, his face is obscured by Bonnie's word balloon. But the fact that he's shorter than Kelli points to him being a kid, and the greasy hair points to that kid being Tommy.

I also thought it was a neat dynamic when Wurwolf said "It's the whole thing with the car again. That drives (no pun intended) me nuts in these tracts. Why does everyone look like they're sitting in the bathtub when they're driving?", and it was immediately followed up by a panel with Kelli saying "That bothers you?". I thought she was talking to Wulfie!

great job!
ns (bw bw)

ps - and Wulfie, your Opie & Anthony reference did not escape me . . . :)