Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Humbug!

Christmas is coming! We thought it only appropriate that we celebrate with Humbug, the second of only two Christmas tracts on Chick.com. That's right. There were multitudes of anti-Halloween tracts, so many we couldn't get to them all, but only two tracts for what most Christians consider the most important holy day in Christianity.

That should tell you most of what you need to know about Chick Publications brand of Christianity right there.




wurwolf: If the cover is any indication, we're in for a festive Christmas tale about Scrooge turning into a zombie.

wurwolf: By the way, the caption for this tract on the main page says, "Adapted from the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, but with a twist. Scrooge gets saved!"

wurwolf: Cue Charles Dickens turning in his grave.

Lita: Arguably Scrooge got saved in the original too.

wurwolf: Scrooge's lumpy butt was in the air in the classic?

Lita: Nah. He just started being nice to people and giving to the poor and stuff. What was I thinking? If these tracts have taught me anything it's that Christians aren't nice.

wurwolf: Christianity certainly has nothing to do with taking care of the poor and disenfranchised.

Lita: That was Christ's gig. And if there's anything Christ hates, it's when you steal His bit and try to act like He did.



Lita: Scrooge makes a good point. Why would the family be waiting for that sop?

wurwolf: I don't blame Scrooge. If there's something I can't stand it's a sop. Someone who lets everyone walk all over him and won't stand up to anyone.

Lita: This is another example where you almost hate to say it, but the villain of the tract looks a bit... ethnic.



wurwolf: Inspector Clouseau and Kato stop by to see how Scrooge is doing these days.

wurwolf: And speaking of mangers, do you know how often I go to type "manager" and type "manger" instead, and lousy spellcheck never catches it because manger is an actual word?

wurwolf: It happens a lot, I'm saying.

Lita: Scrooge's world is all about finance. Because you can't have the kind of Jewish-looking guy caring about anything but money.

wurwolf: Bob Cratchit looks a lot like Steve Coogan.

Lita: What a coincidence! Scrooge looks like Jackie Coogan!

wurwolf: It's a Coogan-off!

wurwolf: Scrooge Coogan will always wave his finger in Cratchit Coogan's face.

Lita: I wonder if Scroogan will claim to never have heard of Jesus at the end. Because I'd have a hard time believing that of a guy in Victorian times.

wurwolf: Well, he's already said that he doesn't know what Crootchit is talking about.



Lita: Scroogan is calling Crootchit DAFT because that's how English people talk.

Lita: Also he totally looks like an undertaker now.

wurwolf: Yeah, an undertaker with a nose you could press elevator buttons with.



wurwolf: Yikes, Crootchit totally tied his scarf to the hat rack. Gag!

Lita: The hat rack looked a little chilly. Crootchit is a giving type.



wurwolf: Wow. Scroogan yells in a variety of TYPEFACES and fonts, so you know he really means it. And I love that the explanation point is in boldface.

Lita: Huh. So Scroogan is quoting scripture now. That's rare in a Chick Tract villain.

wurwolf: I'm assuming he's not aware he's quoting scripture. And frankly, I can't really disagree with what he's saying.

Lita: Also his face in that second panel makes me think of a mini-golf course and you have to hit the ball up the ramp that goes into his mouth.

wurwolf: Roll it up his tongue and you win a free game!

Lita: His eyeballs light up and steam comes out of his ears!

wurwolf: Imagine the mini golf course you could create out of Chick tracts.



Lita: Who wrote this tripe? Just a panel ago Scroogan was foaming at the mouth about how much people suck but when he hears verses to that effect in the bible suddenly he's all tender-hearted and sympathetic to the plight of man?

Lita: The real Scrooge wouldn't roll over that easily.

wurwolf: I was just about to point that out! I call bullshit on this. Evidently the author doesn't know the real story.

Lita: Well, no. The real story involves ghosts and the occult. That's a horrible thing to read to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.

Lita: A real Christian would know better than to let the original story in their home.

wurwolf: Funny, Chick tracts has no problem talking about it any other time.

wurwolf: And you never hear anyone say "Hummm" any more. It's a lost art.



wurwolf: When it's time to watch my life in review, I'm going to pass out 3D glasses and make sure everyone has soda and popcorn.

Lita: "Hey, guys, check it out! I'm totally picking my nose!"

wurwolf: "Everybody shut it! Here's where I fall off my bike!"

Lita:
I hope God fast forwards past all the parts where we're sleeping or just sipping a soda or whatever. Skip to the good parts, Lord!

wurwolf:
Really. I'm requesting a highlight reel.

Lita: "Here comes a naughty part! Are the kids out of the room?"

wurwolf: I hope the Lord provides black bars. I don't think too many people want to see my saggy boobs and lumpy butt.

Lita: I hope we don't have to watch everybody go to the bathroom. I don't need to watch every poo in humanity.

wurwolf: On the plus side, we get to see everyone's orgasm face. That's always good for a laugh.



Lita: Hey! They even had Chick Tracts back in Victorian times!

wurwolf: Are you surprised? Jack Chick is like a hundred years old.

Lita: I knew Jack Chick was an old guy, but wow!

wurwolf: And in Victorian times, as in modern times, an offer of a Chick tract is met with the threat of being beaten with a cane.



Lita: Crootchit is looking forward to getting his beautiful goose. Is that sarcasm?

wurwolf: Or possibly a euphemism?

wurwolf: At first I thought the guy behind the counter was Scroogan and he was talking about himself in the third person.

Lita: I know. They could have made the main character of the strip look at least marginally different than the extras.

wurwolf: I'm just thankful they didn't go any further with the guy's chest hair. I get that he's fat, but I don't need it to be too detailed.



wurwolf: I hope Tiny Tim is wearing fashionable bike gloves, because if he went and cut all the tips of the fingers off of his gloves, that's just irresponsible.

Lita: Aww. Lupita wants a dolly for Christmas, but is too poor to get one.

wurwolf: No, Lupita!

Lita: The devil will probably tempt her to steal one, but she's a good girl and will resist.

Lita: And then she will be rewarded with a dolly bigger than she is!

wurwolf: You're getting your stories mixed up again, Lita.

wurwolf: So Tiny Tim calls his dad "father", but his sister calls him "Father"? Is she his parishioner?

Lita: Girls have to show the menfolk more respect. The man is the head of the household, you know.

wurwolf: Oh right. I forgot.



wurwolf: Suddenly they're in the Chronicles of Narnia and they're heading for Lantern Waste. Talk about getting your stories mixed up.

Lita: "HAW HAW HAW"? Wow. It's Tiny Tork in there.

wurwolf: Uh, Chick Tracts? Remember Scrooge?

wurwolf: Seriously, we're halfway through the tract and we're still on Bob Cratchit.

Lita: Well, you don't want to put too much focus on the ghosts, you know.



Lita: That bitch woman won't cheer for Scroogan. The little boy has to remind her to pray for people you don't like.

Lita: Women suck so much.

wurwolf: Lousy women.

Lita: If I wrote Christian tracts I'd avoid ever showing women in a good light too.

wurwolf: It only makes sense.

Lita: It's the Christian thing to do.



wurwolf: Also, a snow scene? Total laziness on the part of the artist.

wurwolf: Mrs. Cooper.... awfully close to.... Coogan.

Lita: Ah, the great Christian tradition of shaking your fist and threatening your enemies. It's what Jesus would have done.

wurwolf: Well, she is quoting scripture.

Lita: "Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished."

Lita: I don't know that Scroogan is really mocking her. That shouted threat though implies that she would rejoice in his misfortune.

wurwolf: Scroogan doesn't seem particularly gleeful that he's denying her an additional ten days on her loan.

wurwolf: Once again, being a good businessman = unsaved.



wurwolf wonders why (OOPS!) is in parentheses.

Lita: Pitch the Devil is levitating Scroogan's hat.

wurwolf: It shot right off his head.

Lita: He's going right to bed... by going through the devil door. I think in his place I'd just turn around and stay at a hotel. Or maybe with the Crootchits.



Lita: Oh, cripes. I knew it. We can't have ghosts in a Christian story, so he's just dreaming about Marley.

wurwolf: We can tell Marley was his business partner, because he's got the nose for it.

Lita: And note, of course, that it's the little boy praying and NOT that awful woman or either of her wretched daughters.

wurwolf: Of course.



Lita: Scroogan is going to be worse off than Marley? It gets worse than being condemned by God forever?

Lita: Is Chick Publications telling us that some parts of Hell are less hellish than others?

wurwolf: Evidently so. I'm wondering what the difference would be, though.

Lita: Then again, I guess Scroogan does get saved in this tract. Really, does eternity with Bob sound fun to you?

Lita: So many questions...

wurwolf: I can only hope that Bob's house is clear on the other side of Heaven.

Lita: Well, Bob's saved so many people. He'll probably be in the rockin' side of Heaven. We're saved, but we're kind of grumpy and don't spend every waking hour witnessing. We'll be in the slums of Heaven.

wurwolf: I don't mind being in the slums of Heaven. I have simple tastes.



Lita: Lumpy butt!

wurwolf: More like a watermelon than a lumpy butt.

Lita: There have been lumpier butts.



Lita: "MAKE RESTITUTION!" That's Crootchit outside with a megaphone.

wurwolf: They didn't show the panel where Crootchit says, "NOW DANCE THE MACARENA!"



Lita: Wow! The butcher is vomiting in surprise!

wurwolf: Well, really. It's enough to make anyone throw up.



Lita: That little kid back there is wizzing in the snow. What a thing to put in a religious tract.

wurwolf: I think that's the wagon handle.

Lita: You interpret the tract your way, I'll interpret it mine.

wurwolf: It's been snowing non-stop since the beginning of the tract, and it's not even ankle deep yet?

Lita: Truly it is a miracle of God.



wurwolf: Buying fancy presents, canceling debts, doubling salaries.... being saved is running Scroogan's business into the ground.

wurwolf: Mrs. Crootchit and her daughter are wearing matching dresses.

Lita: Damn woman won't believe that the man has changed! Will nothing ever satisfy that harpy?!

wurwolf: She looks like she's in one of those romance comics from the 50s and 60s.

Lita: Lupita got a giant doll of her own after all!



wurwolf: As did Scroogan, the way he's holding Tiny Tim.

Lita: Scroogan is paying Tiny Tim's medical bills too. He's going to die in a poorhouse.

wurwolf: Dummy.

Lita: As is Tiny Tim, the way Scroogan is holding him

wurwolf: Now Scroogan's going to be driving the Crootchit family nuts. He's going to invite himself over for every holiday and birthday party.



Lita: Scroogan is going to heaven. How about US???

Lita: Butt out, Chick Tracts!

wurwolf: They don't know the meaning of "Mind your own business."



Lita: You know, this really is the worst reimagining of A Christmas Carol I have ever seen, and there have been many terrible ones. They cut out all the ghosty action, which is really the meat of the story! We both expected that, seeing as how Chick Publications are so against ghosts and things, but come on! If you don't want to write a tract with ghosts in it, then don't do A Christmas Carol! Write your own Christmas story!

wurwolf: It's almost as bad as the one with Henry Winkler.

wurwolf: But Chick tracts has no problem with showing ghosts in other tracts.

Lita: Only biblical ghosts.

Lita: Demons are ok, of course, which is why it was fine for Scroogan to have his knocker turn into a devil head. But ghosts are BAD!

wurwolf: Tell me what sense that makes.

Lita: Demons are minions sent by the devil and ghosts are satanic monsters the belief in which can suck your soul into hell. How simple can it be?

Lita: I think the real sticking point was that the writers didn't want it to look like Scroogan was saved by the ghosts.

wurwolf: Then pick a different story! Sheesh!

Lita: That's what I'm saying!

wurwolf: Thanks for the lump of coal, Chick tracts.




(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 1975 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)


4 comments:

wurwolf said...

Lita and I continued our conversation about our lives in review after we finished the tract.

Lita: I really do wonder how that "This Was Your Life" thing would go. How detailed would it be? Because there would be lots of people to go through and that would be boring.

Lita: I fully admit that I do stuff I shouldn't, but I haven't done anything that millions of other people haven't done many, many times. By the time they get to my worst sins everybody will be like, "Seen it."

wurwolf: I've always wondered that, too. Maybe it's the kind of thing where you would suddenly know everything that everyone in the history of the world did.

Lita: That would be better, I think.

wurwolf: Because I know we have an eternity, but really, watching an endless loop of everyone's lives would be beyond boring.

Lita: Totally. I can't see God being too jazzed about it either. He already saw it all the first time.

wurwolf: Maybe there's going to be a movie house where we can go watch movies of people's lives.

wurwolf: I'm gonna call you up and say, "Hey Lita, PM's life is playing down at the megaplex. Wanna catch it?"

Lita: Hee!

wurwolf: And then we'd fall asleep because his voice is so soothing and his life is so boring. :o)

Lita: We'll be like, "I thought he said he was a pulp villain....zzz...." and fall asleep in each other's popcorn.

wurwolf: It'll be endless shots of PM drawing stuff and scanning it into his computer.

Lita: I'll be like, "Hey! What gives! When I read this thing he wore a pharaoh hat! How come he's not wearing one in the movie! They always change stuff!"

wurwolf: "I liked the book better!"

Lita: "They changed his kid's name for the movie! It's supposed to be Honkey Magoo! Why would they change that?!"

wurwolf: "Who the hell is Gabrielle?"

wurwolf: Oh wait, can we say "hell" in heaven?

Lita: It's not possible to want wrong things in Heaven.

Lita: So yes, if the mood strikes us.

wurwolf: Whoohoo!

wurwolf: I better get going. See you tomorrow, maybe!

Lita: See you!

wurwolf: \\movie of Torrk's life

Lita: \\movie of Mickeyr's life

wurwolf: It would be funny if they misspelled Mickety in the movie title.

wurwolf: Bye!

wurwolf from x.x.x.33 left the chat 11 hours ago

Lita said...

As we pointed out at the beginning of the tract, this is one of only two Christmas tracts.

It occurred to me after posting that this isn't even a Christmas tract about Jesus. You would think if Chick Publications were only going to make two Christmas tracts that at least one of them would properly cover the Nativity. You know. The manger? The virgin birth?

Ok, ok. We know how Bob gets when he talks about virgins, but still.

Christians spend so much time trying to remind everybody about "The real reason for the season" and so forth, I'd expect a Chick Tract about it. It really is a beautiful story of love and redemption. Of how God was willing to lower Himself, to be born in a filthy barn with a bunch of animals, in order to save the people He loves. Far nicer than delving into the many sins of a greedy old man and the punishment that he has coming.

But no.

As usual, Chick Publications is far more concerned with dwelling on the filth and depravity of Hell than on contemplating the beauty and divinity of Heaven.

ebsesghq (obsessing HQ)

no springs said...

More fun with grammer: "I think you're daft - Cratchit!". Why the dash in that sentence, when a simple comma will do? It puts a whole other emphasis on how you read the it. Stop getting so fancy, ChickTract.

Notice how even in Victorian times, the preachy dude is named Bob.

Calling the boy Tiny Tim to his face is as cruel as calling that heavy dude Fat Albert.

"God will get you for that!". Is Scrooge forclosing on Bea Arthur's mortgage?

Scrooge gets aweful repetitive at the end: "So am I child, so am I" "He has Tiny Tim, he has".



So happy to get another Tract riff session before Christmas! Thanks, great job, and both of you have a healthy and happy Christmas!

PM said...

Yeah, the movie of my life would be pretty boring. Plus, if wurwolf would need black bars I would totally need them to cover my lumpy butt (for those rare times I'm not drawing things and scanning them into the computer!! :oD

Nice work as always on the tract, you two!!! :o)