Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fallen

Dark times have fallen upon the once great City of Gaydonia. Gone are the days when a man could freely parade down Main Street in a pair of pumps, a jester's hat, and a leather bikini. In Malcolm's new police state a man fears even to lisp lest he feel the cold iron grip of the Law clamp down on his shoulder.

This tract has far less interesting fish to fry, though, in the form of a terrible lazy lout and the mother he drove to insanity. Honestly, she'd probably have been better off strangling him at birth. Come join us as we take a look at Chick Publications' stirring plea for the legalization of postpartum abortion in Fallen.






Lita: Are these the bikerhobos that Sweater Timmy was hanging out with in Happy Halloween?

wurwolf: I don't know about the bikerhobos, but it certainly is the usual assortment of Chick Publications bad guys.

Lita: You have to give them credit, though. It is the rare bikerhobo who will actually give you an old lady's purse.

wurwolf: It was extremely thoughtful of them to do that.

wurwolf: And it was nice of them to offer a going away present, even if they didn't actually buy anything. It's from the heart.

Lita: I wonder if Joey's called the cops on these guys yet.

wurwolf: As we speak.




wurwolf: That's the weirdest sunroof I've ever seen. It's right in the back of the car. Either that, or someone punched a hole in the roof and the guys friends are using it to wave a friendly goodbye.




Lita: Wearing a woman's handbag is now a get-checked-out-by-the-policeable offense.

Lita: Of course, considering some of the police we've seen in previous tracts, that could have a couple of meanings.

Lita: The passenger cop has a nice fauxhawk coming along.

wurwolf: He worked all morning on that fauxhawk, so it's nice of you to notice.

wurwolf: Fang and Badcat are, of course, on the scene.

Lita: And the mouse is hiding out in the trashcan.




wurwolf: The police are not buying the "she let me borrow it" defense, as evidenced by the handcuffs.

Lita: They handcuffed the guy just for having a woman's purse. Have these people never heard of probable cause? This town *is* quite close to the City of Gaydonia, after all.

wurwolf: Maybe now that Malcolm is running the place you really can get arrested for being too femmy.

Lita: All the flies buzzing around our bemulleted hero are wearing tiny handcuffs, too.

wurwolf: I like that the officer specifies that it's an alligator purse.



wurwolf: My kids are 13 and 14, and even I don't refer to them as adorable babies. I think it, but I'm not about to tell some cop on the phone that.

Lita: Mullet's mom is freaking crazy. Look at her eyes. Also she's grinning from ear to ear while talking about her precious boy who ran away from home and she doesn't know where she is. Finally, 26,000 DOLLARS??? She's carrying that around in her purse??

wurwolf: That's crazy. Who carries around $26,000? I could see $5,000, and even that's pushing it. But $26,000? Crazy.

Lita: I would only carry anything over 200 dollars if I have something in mind to spend it on in that very trip.

wurwolf: Exactly. Once again, Chick Publications are stretching the limits of realism.

Lita: They already stretched it all out when they arrested a guy for carrying a purse.

wurwolf: Officer Davis? Like Sammy Davis Jr.? Why not just name him Officer Jefferson?

Lita: At least he's not a drug dealer.




wurwolf: Oh sure. Doesn't everyone blame their mother for giving birth to them?

Lita: It sounds like Mullet had a really rough time at home, too. A guy can only stand being called "My sweet Broosey Woosey" so many times a day.

wurwolf: True dat.

Lita: So Mom is going to bail Brucey Woosey out? What for? What was his crime? We've only been told he got arrested for being in possession of a woman's purse. We were never told that he's being held on any other charges.

Lita: It was only after he was arrested that they discovered that the purse wasn't his to begin with. And the purse's owner isn't pressing charges. So why does he need to be bailed out?

wurwolf: We're in the Chick Publications fantasy world again, I guess.

Lita: Now that Malcolm's running Gaydonia are people routinely held for no reason at the police department with no way to get out until the family pays the bail/ransom?

wurwolf: It's really the only explanation.

wurwolf: It's weirding me out, but in jail there, Brucey Woosey looks like my first boyfriend.

Lita: My first boyfriend looks like Ken Jennings.




wurwolf: I like the disembodied fist shaking in the air. It's like Thing is in the jail cell, too.

Lita: Thing was arrested for having suspiciously nice fingernails.



Lita: I don't suppose it's probably surprising to anybody that this frame reminds me of my grandmother and a certain degenerate cousin of mine?

wurwolf: It's not surprising at all. Hell, I was waiting for it.



Lita: Bob's outside chopping wood like the manly man he is. No danger of HIM getting arrested!

wurwolf: He's doing what all men are supposed to be doing.



Lita: Broosey Woosey's dad looks like Fat Orville Redenbacher

wurwolf: At first I thought the dad was Joey.

wurwolf: Brucey Woosey's worst sin? He's totally evil and laughs at God. Not that he stole $26,000.



wurwolf: Man, it takes Bob three hours to pray over the phone? Remind me never to give him my number.

Lita: If you have to be reminded not to give Bob your number then you deserve what you get.

wurwolf: But really, just how much did Bob have to say in his prayer? Three hours is a long time, even just to have a conversation.

Lita: "Lord, before I begin, allow me to read you a passage from the Psalms. Chapter 1..."

wurwolf: My prayers are all hit and run. "God, please let me find a parking spot. Amen."

Lita: Looks like Brucey Woosey roughed Mom up a bit before he left her at the airport.

Lita: Did Mom ring the doorbell to get into her own house? I told you she was nutbunnies.

wurwolf: Maybe she gave Brucey the keys, too.

Lita: I bet Bob isn't even off the phone yet. The doorbell rang so Dad went to answer it and just let Bob keep going.

wurwolf: He just put the phone down and let Bob go.




Lita: Eww! Is some greasy old pervert listening in on Bob's phone prayer marathon??

wurwolf: It's a sick individual who would get kicks from Bob's prayer-a-thon.

Lita: I suppose it's easier when you know it's happening to somebody else.




Lita: Broosey Woosey sure gets beat up a lot.

wurwolf: See, this is why the mafia gets stuff done. Bob takes three hours to pray on the phone, and is probably still going. The mob? They're there in twenty minutes.




Lita: Frankenstein EMT Dude, nobody cares if you have a pulse! The guy's asking you if Brucey is alive!

wurwolf: His head says Frankenstein, but his clothes say Edward Scissorhands.



wurwolf: Thank goodness they took the opportunity to explain what quadriplegic means. Heaven forbid anyone take out a dictionary.

wurwolf: But why didn't they explain pneumonia? I MUST KNOW!

Lita: Oh, no. Bob's in the hospital. This can lead to no good.

Lita: Broosey Woosey is at least showing some survival instincts at last. "Hi, Bruce! Do you remember me--" "NO!"



wurwolf: Oh gross. "Back in those days, you were such a tender boy..." Bob is the perviest perv ever.

Lita: "You had such soft, supple skin back then. Not yet ravaged by the ravages of age... or puberty..."

Lita: And here Bob comes again with his stunning instinct for sensitivity to the situation. "I'm gonna tell you something that will save your neck!"

wurwolf: I'm surprised he didn't say, "I have news that will have you jumping for joy!"

wurwolf: Bruce's hair is stubbornly straight.




Lita: Bob calling the prodigal son's wishes to get his inheritance before his dad was dead "a bad move" bugs me for some reason.

wurwolf: I don't see why it would be a bad move. What if he wanted that money to invest in a house or something?

Lita: I think it's just the wrong thing to call it. In the culture of the times, asking for such a thing was the same as telling your father you wish he were dead. I don't know if I would call that "a bad move" An asshole move, sure.

wurwolf: Bob makes it sound like it's imprudent.

Lita: Yes. Maybe Bob means it's bad as in evil, which would be true. But that's an entirely different kind of "bad" than his phrasing makes it sound like. Maybe if Bob ever paid attention in his evil non-Sunday school he would have learned about connotations and how words and phrases can take on extra meaning in addition to their literal dictionary meaning.

wurwolf: Come on. You really think Bob cares about connotations? He's the most literal fundy ever.

wurwolf: I think it's funny that Jesus chose the youngest child as the one who didn't care about other people's feelings and ran off with his parent's money. As the youngest child in my family, that totally sounds like something I'd do.

Lita: Well, Jesus was the oldest child in His own family.

wurwolf: I guess Jesus' youngest brother was a pain in the ass.

Lita: Well, think about it. Your big brother is Jesus Christ. How are you ever going to measure up to that?

wurwolf: You might as well just take what you can and go.

Lita: By the way, notice that Bob hasn't mentioned to Brucey Woosey that this is just a story that Jesus told, and not an actual thing that we're supposed to believe really happened.

wurwolf: I'm finding it hard to believe that Bruce hasn't heard this story yet, what with being in Bob's Sunday School class as a tender young boy before the Lord.




Lita: This is Bob's view of complete evil. Having some random dude in a bar drunkenly proclaim his love for you.

wurwolf: Actually, I think that's a tranny proclaiming love.

Lita: I don't think they had that surgery back then. Maybe he's just a eunuch.

wurwolf: Hmmm... what kind of terrible job could the prodigal son have gotten?

wurwolf: Raking Bob's leaves? Listening to Bob preach?

Lita: Being Bob's wife?



Lita: Granted, feeding and living with pigs is a pretty rotten job for a Jewish boy.

wurwolf: Why would they even have pigs in Israel if they can't eat them? What else are pigs good for?

Lita: There were pigs around at the time. I believe some of the less reputable Jews raised them and sold them to non-Jews who lived in the area.

Lita: There's a story about Jesus casting some demons into a group of pigs and then the pigs (and some guy's livlihood) ran off a cliff. Something like that. I don't feel like looking it up.

Lita: He'd hit bottom... his life was rotten and he stunk as bad as the pigs. Even his perm grew out.

wurwolf: He still managed to keep his black eyeliner, though.

Lita: The guy is living in a pig pen.... that's not eyeliner.




Lita: Brucey Woosey doesn't know what repentance is?

wurwolf: Bruce, who was in Bob's Sunday School class, has no idea what repentance is. Oh sure.

Lita: Is that a word that I just thought everybody knew because I grew up in religious circles but actually people outside of Christianity don't know what it means?

Lita: Because I thought even total heathens knew about the concept of being sorry.

wurwolf: Everyone knows what repentance means.



wurwolf: Bob says that repentance means being sorry for all the rotten things you've done. Is Bruce 8 years old in this tract?

Lita: Bob wishes.

Lita: I find it interesting that Bob omits the part of the parable where the older brother bitches at Dad for throwing the younger brother a kickass party.

Lita: 28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

Lita: 31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

wurwolf: Oh. He omitted it? I was waiting for that part to come up. Way to leave out half the story, Bob.

Lita: The older brother represents those who never really fell away from God in the first place, right? Now, I'm just speculating here, but I think Bob's a great big glory hog.

Lita: He doesn't want Brucey Woosey to know that God would be even happier to get some mulleted asshat back in the fold than straight-and-narrow Blowhard Bob.

wurwolf: True, it does look like Bob left that part of the story out on purpose.

Lita: If Broosey Woosey does not come to Jesus it will be on Bob's head. That's what he gets for thinking he can tell a story better than Jesus did.




Lita: Dying young isn't God's love. It's God's justice. God is a firm believer in the "Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse" philosophy.

wurwolf: Jeez. Isn't it enough that Bruce is in traction and dying? No, Bob's gotta hit him with, "You're going down, Bruce!"

Lita: Also, thank you, Bob, for confirming what we all suspected. If you die young it's because God's mad at you. Justice will be served!

Lita: You probably shamed your parents or something.




wurwolf: What an asshole Bob is. Bruce sounds close to repentance, wondering about God's love and if God hates him, and then Bob tells him he's dead meat? WTF?

wurwolf: What kind of way is that to witness?

Lita: It's how you witness if you don't actually want to save the guy. He's just going through the motions. In his mind he's still thinking of the part of the story he skipped. The part where the father rejoiced even more for the return of the fallen son than for the good one.

Lita: He's thinking, "Take my fatted calf, will you? No way, buddy, you're going down!"

wurwolf: It's true. They can't stand the thought of God taking in people who have behaved horribly when they kill themselves to live on the straight and narrow.

Lita: Next thing you know God might save a h... a ho... a homosexual...

wurwolf: LITA!

Lita: I bet Bob never got over Father Ray getting saved. He's been phoning it in ever since. He doesn't even pray for God's help with the saving anymore.

wurwolf: He does seem to be really angry. And he literally did phone it in earlier in the tract.

wurwolf: He probably has a prayer taped. I'll bet just pushes the button and goes to rake the leaves or something.

Lita: He has a computer fill in the name of the person being prayed for. It's like, "Lord Jesus, I ask that you bless... Bruce's Mom.... He or she would really appreciate it."



wurwolf: Does Bob have a window where he can watch Satan laughing his head off? How does he know what Satan's doing right now?

wurwolf: For all he knows, Satan could be out raking his leaves or something.

Lita: Lots of people raking leaves this time of year.

wurwolf: It seems to be Bob's favorite thing to do.

Lita: Bob must be so embarrassed that Satan picked the same activity to blow off steam that Bob did.


wurwolf: At first I thought there was a mummy on the cross. It took me a minute to realize that this was just the artist's typical love of gore.



Lita: More evidence that Bob doesn't want Broosey Woosey saved. He doesn't even tell him that he has to accept the Gospel or Jesus or anything like that. He only says Bruce has to believe it. The Bible says that even demons believe in Jesus. That's the kind of thing Bob would normally be quick to point out.

Lita: He's clearly giving the bare minimum witness in the hopes that even if Bruce believes him it still won't be enough information to actually save him, but that Bob will still be able to claim he tried.

wurwolf: Bob is totally shaking the bed there.

Lita: Bob fully admits that tomorrow may be too late, but it doesn't take any convincing at all to get him to take that chance.

wurwolf: He's not even offering to talk to Bruce about it more or answer questions. He dropped his message on him and now he's going to leave. If he had a microphone he'd throw it on the floor.



Lita: And, as we can see, tomorrow really was too late. Brucey Woosey was sent screaming to Hell. Just as Bob had planned.

Lita: I bet when Bob got to the hospital and found out that Bruce was dead his first reaction was, "Shit! I wasted all that gas driving here for nothing!"

wurwolf: There's really nothing else to say.


(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 2002 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)

5 comments:

Tork_110 said...

Bad parenting is part of the problem. For one thing, Bruce's parents should have kicked him out of the house once he turned 30.

Bruce looks like Hannibal Lecter in the picture where he shouts, "NO!"

wurwolf said...

I was talking to Rimmi in the chat room today about why I found this tract particularly difficult. The message presented here really bothered me. I'm never really very comfortable with Chick tracts, but this one was especially wrong. It's just so against Christian teaching, and I wonder how they can possibly justify feeling that way.

I think it really has a lot to do with the typical fundamentalist viewpoint. I think it's a parable that they struggle with because they sit in judgment of people who don't measure up as Christians, and to know that God has a soft spot for people who act horribly and then repent must absolutely kill them. At first I was surprised that Chick addressed this parable, but now I think it was just to get in digs at what he would consider unworthy people. Like, he left out the part about the older son showing jealousy over the younger son being welcomed home and substituted his own, more dire, ending. Bruce, the parallel to the prodigal son, didn't get to enjoy the fatted calf -- he got to die and go to hell.

I know Chick doesn't have any sympathy for people who sin, but this particular tract was exceptionally bad. No sympathy, no kindness, no interest in helping out a fellow human being. Just, you're a horrible person and you're going to hell (oh, by the way, you have to believe in Jesus) and I couldn't be happier that you're going to die in your sins and get what's coming to you. I used to think that Jack Chick was of the older generation and had the same sensiblities as my father, but I know my dad has a better understanding of the saving grace of God than Jack Chick does. It's so sad, really. He's going to have to stand in front of God for turning people away from Him.

To me, the message was so disturbing that I wasn't able to find much humor in it. Yeah, that's it. Not that I was having an off day or anything!

Tork_110 said...

Someone should tell Bob/Chick that wrath is one of the seven deadly sins.



lokfp

no springs said...

Officer Davis makes a great "D'oh!" face.

When they put Bruce in jail, he looks like Kurt Russell.

That poor father of the prodigal son - when he hugs the kid, he still has stink lines rising from his body.

Nice job as always, ladies.

eocsi

wurwolf said...

That's funny you say Bruce looks like Kurt Russell in jail, Springy, because my first boyfriend also looked like Kurt Russell.