Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dark Dungeons

I bring you sad news, everybody. This week marks the passing of a great American hero, Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons. It is because of this tragic event that wurwolf and I decided to take our fingers out of our noses and update the blog already. Join us as we find out why Gary Gygax is burning in hell in today's tract,

(By the way, you may be tempted to click on one of the bonus D&D articles listed on the tract page, but be warned; they're a snore and a half.)

Lita: Wow. I want to see a bigger version of that cover. What does Rocky Horror's Riff Raff have to do with Dungeons and Dragons?

wurwolf: I was hoping to see a bigger version, too. I thought it was General Grevious.

wurwolf: So is this a Bible study? The one girl there is praying.

wurwolf: Are they playing in the break room in their office?

Lita: These kids are all way too cool-looking to be playing tabletop D&D. Where's the realism, Chick Tracts?

Lita: Lets get some weight on these kids! And a few zits. Some glasses. Definitely a neckbeard or two.

wurwolf: Really.

Lita: I guess we can help the tract out a little if we imagine that everybody is talking in a high nasally voice.

wurwolf: They got the excessive soda cans right, anyway. Too bad there aren't bags of Cheeto's lying around, though.

Lita: At least D&D brings these jocks and nerds together.

wurwolf: Yeah. After this they're going to go out and throw a football arou.... oh, who am I kidding?

wurwolf: Are they playing this in the home of the Dungeon Master's mom? Because my mom has those same hanging plants in her dungeon.

Lita: I want to know what's in the cupboard behind them. Their fancy hi-fi maybe? Or is it a fridge?

wurwolf: That must be where they keep the souls of the righteous.

Lita: What's that on the corner of the table? Incense? Or did the DM spark up a J?

wurwolf: I was wondering that, too. It could really be either one of those things.

Lita: Marijuana is a gateway drug... to SATAN.

wurwolf: Jeez. The DM is SUCH a Mary Sue.

wurwolf: I don't think I could blame Black Leaf for being upset. This DM just totally God moded her.

Lita: That's what the DM is for. That's why she's the Dungeon Master.

Lita: That's the whole point of having a DM. They control the game.

Lita: If you can't handle getting killed in D&D you shouldn't play the game.

wurwolf: Oh shush, you nerd. Quit stepping on my lines.

Lita: It's the truth. And as Bob taught us, if you ever don't tell the truth, then you are a liar.

wurwolf casts a binding spell on Lita!

Lita: Oh no! I can't reach my Cheeto's!

wurwolf: Just as well Marcie is gone. Her shirt is ugly. And she's knocking the Fanta over.

wurwolf: Speaking of ugly shirts, where does Debbie get her clothes? At the Old Trading Post?

Lita: I never played an actual tabletop rpg, but I doubt most DMs would make you actually leave the building once you get killed.

wurwolf: GET OUT!

Lita: The worst I've heard is that they just make you wait until the current campaign is over before they let you create a new character.

Lita: Oh no... The DM really is evil. She's about to draw Debbie into the unholy horror that is... LARPing!!

wurwolf: How much longer until Debbie learns to speak elvish and paints her face?

Lita: Lucky Elfstar! Being a priestess and a witch sounds so cool!

wurwolf: Wow.... it's the rare pentagram that has a desk from Walmart as one of its points.

Lita: Oh dear. Debbie's only been a real live witch for five minutes and already the power's gone to her head. Look at her shake her tiny fist!

wurwolf: Frankly, I like Elfstar's Members Only jacket.

Lita: Check out Ms. Frost's hookah!

wurwolf: I like Ms. Frost's cool beanbag chair! She must not have cats. Cats can't help but pee on beanbag chairs.

Lita: Of course she has a cat. She's a witch.

Lita: She probably gets a new cat every week to replace all the cats she sacrifices to her lord Satan.

wurwolf: Ms. Frost: Fluffy, this is the last time you pee on my bean bag chair! It's sacrifice night for you!

Lita: I bet she uses magic to keep the fringe on that rug perfectly straight.

wurwolf: What dummy places vases in front of a sliding glass door? Those things must get kicked over every day.

Lita: Ewwww... Debbie's into bondage with her dad.

wurwolf: Is that why she looks like that....

Lita: Debbie's face looks like Chuckie from Child's Play.

wurwolf: Really. Did the artist look at that drawing and think, "Yeah, that's exactly how I want her face to look"?

Lita: I don't think D&D is her biggest problem anymore.

wurwolf: Maybe she's smelling cat piss.

Lita: It must be cool to be a witch, though. Debbie just got into the cult last night and already she knows how to do all kinds of spells and mind control and stuff. I guess Satan just shows up and dumps all that info right into your head the first night.

wurwolf: When does she get her Quidditch broom?

wurwolf: I like that the band on the hanging plant pot and the macrame rope combine to form a cross right next to Debbie's head.

Lita: An upside down cross. Because she's Satanic.

wurwolf: It's not upside down.

Lita: Yeah it is

wurwolf: No, it's not.

wurwolf punches Lita right in her face!

Lita:Don't hit! Don't hit!

wurwolf: How is it upside down? The cross bar is closer to the top than the bottom.

Lita: No, it's closer to the bottom than to the top.

Lita: The middle bar goes all the way up to her speech balloon.

wurwolf: Oh, I see what you're saying now. I meant the cross is only in the part with the black background.

Lita: I was looking at the big picture and taking the thing as a whole.

wurwolf: Well, congratulations.

Lita: Thank you.

wurwolf hits Lita with a confusion spell!

Lita: ?rehtom ym uoy era ,nibboB si eman ym,olleH

Lita: Wow. that's an impressive crop of pot Ms. Frost is growing.

wurwolf: So that must have been a joint in the first panel.

Lita: Oh man! Debbie got her dad to buy her all that crap?? I want to be a witch now!!

Lita: This tract is making witchcraft look like the awesomest thing ever! I gotta get on Amazon right now and buy some DnD books and find some local nerds!

wurwolf: Really! There is NO downside to witchcraft and Dungeons & Dragons!

Lita: Except I guess I'd have to buy some really tight jeans that go up to my ribcage and tuck my shirt into it.

wurwolf: That's part of the binding spell.

Lita: "May my victim be as tightly constricted as my torso is in these jeans."

wurwolf: Nothing says style like high-waisted jeans, a Members Only jacket, and Cindy Brady ponytails.

Lita: I can totally rock the ponytails. It's the jeans and the jacket that are holding me back. But I guess it could be worth it if I can use my badass magic spells to make people buy me some cool clothes later.

wurwolf: Oh wow. If "I'm fighting the Zombie" isn't a euphemism for sex, I don't know what is.

Lita: Wow, wurwolf. The more I hear about your husband the more I think he may need the healing power of Christ. Or maybe some caffeine.

wurwolf: Is she playing D&D all by herself?

Lita: I guess now she can conjure a DM with her mind.

Lita: I gotta say, though I'm not in love with all the macrame, I do like the art in Ms. Frost's house.

Lita: It's all abstract and stuff. Which I guess is evil.

wurwolf: It sure is.

wurwolf: I guess if you're a Dungeon Master you get to wear all sorts of awesome rings.

Lita: Oh geez! That tree in Marcie's front yard is terrifying!

wurwolf: It's like that tree in Poltergeist.

Lita: At first I thought it was some monsterous bird of prey swooping down to snatch Debbie away to Hell!

wurwolf: It looks like the Berenstein Bears "Spooky Old Tree."

Lita: I'd lock myself in my room for weeks, too, if there were a tree like that stalking me outside.

wurwolf: Hazel the maid answers the door. With her shirt on backwards.

wurwolf: "Maybe you could talk some sense into her." Sure. Your daughter is despondent because she was too caught up in an rp game. But you go ahead and let someone from that game in to talk to her.

Lita: If you're still mourning your D&D character weeks after he got killed then you really are getting too personal about it. You gotta go into the game knowing that most DMs are horrible people on power trips who will use their in-game omnipotence to kill your character as much as possible.

wurwolf: Lita, come on. This is a Chick tract. They never do any research for these things.

Lita: The function of the DM is to move the story along and make it interesting, but a lot of the time that translates to trying to kill everybody.

Lita: Marcie! Stop jumping on the bed! You'll ruin the springs!

wurwolf: And the dragon bows his head in sorrow.

wurwolf: She should have bludgeoned herself with her her pointy dragon figurine.

Lita: Or slit her wrists with that little dude's sword. Be symbolic when killing yourself.

Lita: That's an awesome dragon doll. You don't need to kill yourself if you have a rockin' dragon doll like that.

Lita: I'd look at it and be like, "Yeah, Glorflforf the Troll got killed in D&D last night, but that dragon doll rules."

wurwolf: I have to say that I like Marcie's artwork in her room more than Ms. Frost's.

Lita: Is that a barbarian fighting a robot?

wurwolf: Or possibly a backhoe?

Lita: I wonder if that horrible tree outside poked a branch through that window for Marcie to hang herself from.

Lita: It seems like the kind of a tree you'd find somebody hanging from.

wurwolf: We'll never know. The artist was too lazy to show us exactly how she did it.

Lita: Marcie's legs are still wiggling. Cut her down, Debbie!

wurwolf: You know that if it was the same artist that does the Bob tracts, we'd see the whole thing. Including Marcie's head at a sickening angle, blood dripping from her mouth and throat, her one eye hanging out of its socket and down on her cheek....

Lita: At least with this guy we get that rad dragon. Seriously. I want that dragon.

Lita: I gotta say, as suicide notes go, this one is pretty lame.

wurwolf: She wrote her note in Brush Script, size 48.

wurwolf: Boy, that background behind the note is all psychadelic. It's like that optical illusion with the bus tires.

Lita: I guess with all the weed paraphenalia we've seen in this tract so far we shouldn't be too surprised that Debbie got lit before she read the note.

wurwolf: It's all breaking my mind, man!

Lita: Wow! It broke Debbie's mind, too!

wurwolf: At first I thought there was an explosion behind Ms. Frost's words. I was like, Wow, she's really angry! And then I realized it was just one of her plants.

wurwolf: I was so bummed out.

Lita: I'm kind of conflicted about what Ms. Frost is saying. On the one hand, yeah, Marcie was a huge loser. On the other hand, look who's talking. Spiritual growth through the game? Seriously?

wurwolf: No need to be conflicted, Lita. They're all losers.

Lita: Big fat neckbeardy losers.

Lita: Nice sleeves, Ms. Frost.

wurwolf: Ooo! She looks like Vampira in Plan 9!

Lita: If she tries to raise her arms any higher than they are right now, her shirt will come untucked.

wurwolf: She's rocking the shoulder pads correct.

Lita: I want to see more of that art on the wall. Looks like Marcie isn't the only one with a battling barbarian poster.

wurwolf: Maybe their group got a discount on artwork if they bought in bulk.

wurwolf: Debbie's started wearing eye make-up -- a step in the right direction, to be sure, but she's still got those pony tails.

Lita: There must be some bright spotlights in Ms. Frost's room to project that heavy of a shadow behind Debbie.

wurwolf: Ha! You're right. She looks like she's in a play.

Lita: Gotta say, they didn't harm Marcie. Marcie harmed herself.

Lita: How is it Debbie's fault that Marcie went all psycho over a dumb game?

wurwolf: Really. I think Ms. Frost is on the right track.

wurwolf: Damn. I'd like to let Elfstar take care of things once in a while.

wurwolf: Elfstar, my laundry needs to be done!

Lita: Elfstar, get going on dinner, willya?

wurwolf: Dammit, Elfstar, I asked you to clean out the catbox this morning.

wurwolf: No wonder Debbie doesn't want to be Elfstar any more. It's too much work!

wurwolf: I mean, sure, you can mind trick your parents into buying cool shit for you, but you gotta pay the piper somehow.

Lita: And then if Elfstar gets killed in the game you have to kill yourself from shame. That's a drawback.

wurwolf: But still.... the thought of having Elfstar take care of everything for me is extremely tempting.

Lita: And the free loot, too. I do love loot.

wurwolf: Huh? Where did Debbie go? Is she having a dream?

Lita: Debbie grew up quite a bit between panels

wurwolf: Still wearing those high-waisted jeans, though.

wurwolf: And pony tails.

Lita: And hanging out with freaky trees.

wurwolf: I think it's the same tree. It's stalking her.

Lita: No wonder Mike is concerned.

wurwolf: She's walking down the street and she thinks something's following her. And the tree stands stock still and Debbie's like, Huh. And then she starts walking again and the tree follows her some more.

Lita: Sometimes the tree will hide behind a bush or a telephone pole and snicker

wurwolf: The tree wears a different hat and sunglasses every day, too.

Lita: The exact same filthy trenchcoat, though.

wurwolf: Why would Mike fast and pray for you, Debbie? Maybe he wants to get in your high-waisted pants.

Lita: Wowee! Look at Mike! Rowr! He can fast and pray for me anytime!

wurwolf: Mike flew in from the 50s to tell Debbie about Jesus.

Lita: Sure, Mike. I'll come to your "prayer meeting" tonight. *wink*

wurwolf: Meanwhile, the tree listens in. "Holy shit! Prayer meeting?! How will I blend in there?"

wurwolf: The tree pretends to be a ficus in the lobby

Lita: Oh man! They invited Burt Reynolds to their prayer meeting! Awesome!

Lita: And he's talking about bondage, too!

wurwolf: No way, that's not Burt Reynolds. It's Norm MacDonald doing his Burt Reynolds impression.

Lita: Even better. That's the only form of Norm MacDonald I can stand.

wurwolf: Wow. Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds can take me to his dungeon of bondage any day.

Lita: Me too, but only if Mike comes along.

wurwolf: So this guy was involved in witchcraft, huh? What powers do you think he had?

wurwolf: I'll bet he was banging all of the witches in his coven and telling his wife it was part of their sabbath ritual.

Lita: The power to grow a rad mustache.

wurwolf: He got that spell down pretty well.

Lita: Oh good! We get to have another book burning! It'll be so romantic, cuddling with Mike by the firelight.

wurwolf: Great, a book burning. Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds, go back to chomping your gum and spouting one-liners. Stop with the censorship.

wurwolf: If that's the tree in the back in the panel where Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds is raising his arms, it looks like it brought a friend.

wurwolf: I guess this is the kind of presentation where there are costume changes, since Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds changed his jacket. Either that or he totally pitted out his first jacket.

Lita: Maybe he found out his first jacket was in league with dark forces.

wurwolf: You'd think that his second jacket would be more in league with dark forces, since it's darker.

Lita: "My life's a mess!" Your blouse is a mess.

wurwolf: Why is she suddenly dressing like a junior executive?

wurwolf: At least she ditched the pony tails.

Lita: They're still there. But you can only see one because she's in profile.

Lita: That guy behind her is a robot from the future sent to protect the past.

wurwolf: I thought they littered the audience with mannequins to make it seem like there were more people there.

wurwolf: I see in the next panel that you're right about the pony tails. You're pathetic, Debbie.

wurwolf: I like that they refer you to scripture for their big warning. If it was so damn important, don't you think they should post the warning right then and there?

Lita: WARNING: This panel may not be suitable for less mature viewers

wurwolf: Oh, like us? Who feel the need to point out that Debbie is thrusting her boobs out at Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds?

Lita: And then Debbie lifts up her shirt.

Lita: I guess we're supposed to think those are demons being cast out of Debbie, but I know it's really just that tree sneaking up on her again.

wurwolf: The demon may have left, but Debbie's got that tree for life.

Lita: Nuh uh. Look at that next panel.

Lita: They're burning the tree!

wurwolf: Oh yeah! And it's thanking the Lord for setting it free!

wurwolf: Oh noes! Lita, brace yourself. I think that sweet dragon figure is at the top of the to-be-burned pile.

Lita: Oh hell no!

wurwolf: Goddammit, Debbie, fix your pony tails. They're all over the place.

wurwolf: Look at those humorless assholes behind Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds as he's casting out Satan. They look so bored, like they go to these things every weekend.

Lita: Hey, look! They're burning a black man, too!

Lita: I hope they at least bothered to find out whether the black man was a witch before they threw him on the burn pile.

wurwolf: Do you think that would make a difference?

Lita: Maybe they figure it's the dark arts that made his skin like that.

wurwolf: Looking at that crowd, I can believe they would think that.

Lita: They will not rest until the world is as pasty white as they are.

Lita: Which at least means they have something in common with the D&D nerds they're so intent on saving.

wurwolf: And the tract comes full circle.

Lita: "So. Mike. Now that I'm not D&Ding anymore I have most evenings free. How on earth will I fill that time?"

wurwolf: "Mike, you know, I've got a dungeon of bondage, just like the speaker was talking about. Interested?"

Lita: "Maybe we can try a different kind of roleplay. I'll be the dirty nerd girl and you can be the witchfinder general!"

(All the comic panels are copyright Chick Publications 1984 and the images were used according to Fair Use laws in the US.)

Thanks Rimmi!


no springs said...

Debbie can make her dad buy her anything in the world . . . so she gets more D&D stuff. Way to aim high, Debbie.

More fun with improper emphasis, when Debbie finds Marcie: “No, Marcie! You didn’t HAVE to do that!”, which seems like it should be followed by “It was just a SUGGESTION!”

So happy to have you guys back, even if it’s a one shot deal. This was fun. It was fun, and it was funny. Encore!

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