Jack Chick

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Jack Chick
Jake chick.jpg
One of the few extant photos of Jack Chick.
BornJack Thomas Chick
(1924-04-13)April 13, 1924
Los Angeles, California
DiedOctober 23, 2016(2016-10-23) (aged 92)
Alhambra, California
OccupationPublisher, comic book creator, writer, evangelist
Known forChick tracts
Spouse(s)Lola Lynn Priddle (1926–1998)
aka Lynn Chick (1948–her death)[1]
Susie aka Susy Chick[2]
ChildrenCarol (daughter, d. 2001)

Jack Thomas Chick (April 13, 1924 – October 23, 2016) was an American cartoonist and publisher, best known for his evangelical fundamentalist Christian "Chick tracts", which presented his perspective on a variety of issues through sequential-art morality plays.

Many of Chick's views were controversial, as he accused Roman Catholics, Freemasons, Muslims, and many other groups of murder and conspiracies.[3] His comics have been described by Robert Ito, in Los Angeles magazine, as "equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing".[4]

Chick's views have been spread mostly through the tracts and more recently, online. His company, Chick Publications, says it has sold over 750 million tracts,[5] comics tracts and comic books, videos, books, and posters designed to promote Evangelical Protestantism from a Christian fundamentalist perspective. They have been translated into more than 100 languages.[6] Chick was an Independent Baptist who followed a premillennial dispensationalist view of the End Times. He was a believer in the King James Only movement, which posits that every English translation of the Bible more recent than 1611 promotes heresy or immorality.[7]


Chick was born in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, California,[8] and later moved with his family to Alhambra, where Chick was active in the high school drama club.[9] According to Chick, he was not religious in high school.[10] After graduation, he continued his drama education at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theater on a two-year scholarship.[9][10]

In February 1943, Chick was drafted as a private into the U.S. Army.[11] He served for three years in the Pacific theater of World War II, serving in New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan.[10] Chick credited his time overseas for inspiring him to translate his tracts into many different languages and said that he had "a special burden for missions and missionaries."[10]

After the war, he returned to the Pasadena Playhouse and met his wife while working on a production there. Lola Lynn Priddle (1926–1998), a Canadian immigrant, came from a very religious family, and Chick called her "instrumental in his salvation".[10][12] Priddle and her parents introduced Chick to the Charles E. Fuller radio show, the Old-Fashioned Revival Hour, and Chick said that he was converted while listening to an episode of this show.[10] Chick and Priddle married in 1948 and had one child, Carol, who died in 2001.[13] In February 1998, Priddle died,[10] and Chick married an Asian woman, whose name has been variously reported as Susie and Susy.[9][14][2]

In a 2005 issue of his company's newsletter, Battle Cry, Chick reported that he had a life-threatening health emergency sometime between 2003 and 2005 and said, "My flu turned into pneumonia, my blood sugar dropped to 20 (I am diabetic)... I was going into a coma. My wife called 911 and while they were on the way, I had a heart attack. A day or so later I had to undergo a triple bypass."[15]

Chick had limited personal contact with the public; he gave only one known professional interview after 1975.[16] The lack of available public information about him created some speculation that he was a pen name for unnamed authors.[9] Chick died in his sleep at age 92, his body discovered on the evening of October 23, 2016 in his home at Alhambra, California. The interment was private.[17][18]


From 1953 to 1955, Chick drew a single-panel cartoon, whose text was written by P. S. Clayton, titled Times Have Changed?, which thematically resembled the B.C. comic strip and The Flintstones animated cartoon but predated both.[19] These were syndicated by the Mirror Enterprises Co. in Los Angeles area newspapers.

After converting to Christianity, Chick wanted to evangelize others, but he was too shy to talk to people directly about religion.[9] Chick heard from missionary Bob Hammond, who had broadcast in Asia on the Voice of America, that the Communist Party of China had gained significant influence among ordinary Chinese in the 1950s through the distribution of small comic books.[10] Chick also began working with a prison ministry and created a flip chart of illustrations to use with his presentation. He hit upon the idea of creating witnessing tracts, which could be given to people directly or indirectly.[9]

While working for the AstroScience Corporation (a maker of tape recorders and avionics for the U.S. government) in El Monte, California, he self-published his first tract, Why No Revival?, with a loan from his credit union in 1960. He published his second tract, A Demon's Nightmare, in 1962.[20] He decided to create more tracts and began "using his kitchen table as an office and art studio".[10] Christian bookstores were reluctant to accept the tracts, but they were popular among missionaries and churches.[10]

Chick Publications was officially established in 1970 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.[13] Initially, Chick wrote and illustrated all of the comics himself, but in 1972 he hired another artist to illustrate many of the tracts.[9] Fred Carter illustrated tracts anonymously until 1980, when he was identified in an issue of Chick's newsletter Battle Cry.[14] Carter also painted the oil paintings seen in The Light of the World, a film Chick produced that related the Christian gospel.[21]

Chick Publications[edit]

This Was Your Life! is a Chick tract that was translated in over 100 languages. Chick Publications described it as its most popular title.[22]

Chick Publications is known to have released over twenty-three full-color "Chick comics" since its founding. They are full-size comic books, and most were first published between 1974 and 1985. The first eleven form the Crusader comics series, which follows the stories of two fundamentalist Christians and addresses topics such as the occult, Bible prophecy, and the theory of evolution.[23]

Chick Publications also distributes "Chick tracts", small comic tracts with religious messages. Most of these can be viewed in their entirety on the company's website. The most popular Chick tract was "This Was Your Life!". It has been translated into around 100 languages,[6] and many other tracts are available in widely spoken languages such as Arabic,[24] German,[25] Spanish,[26] and Tagalog.[27] Several of Chick's tracts have been translated into more obscure languages as Blue Hmong,[28] Huichol,[29] Ngiemboon,[30] Tshiluba,[31] and the constructed language of Esperanto.[32]

Wiccan author Kerr Cuhulain has described Chick and his theories as being "anti-feminist" and "anti-Pagan", noted that a Chick Publications comic book was the source of a Rapid City, South Dakota police detective's presentation on the history of Satanism given in 1989, and describes him as "easily the least reputable source of reliable information on religious groups".[33]

Six of Jack Chick's comics feature Alberto Rivera specifically: Alberto, Double Cross, The Godfathers, The Force, Four Horsemen, and The Prophet. Rivera was an anti-Catholic religious activist who falsely claimed to have been a Jesuit priest before becoming a Fundamentalist Protestant. Rivera was the source of many of the conspiracy theories about the Vatican and the Jesuits espoused by Jack Chick. Many of the conspiracies found in these comic books have trickled into mainstream Christianity and have influenced beliefs that many hold today.

Catholic Answers has called Chick "savagely anti-Catholic",[34] describes Chick's statements about the Catholic Church as "bizarre"[35] and "often grotesque in their arguments",[36] and calls for the tracts to be pulled from the market and corrected.[35] In the early 1980s, Chick's stance on Catholicism led some Christian bookstores to stop stocking his tracts, and he withdrew from the Christian Booksellers Association after the association considered expelling him.[37] Christianity Today described Chick as an example of "the world of ordinary, nonlearned evangelicals", for whom "atavistic anti-Catholicism remains as colorful and unmistakable as ever".[38] Michael Ian Borer, a sociology professor of Furman University at the time, showed Chick's strong anti-Catholic themes in a 2007 American Sociological Association presentation[39] and in a peer-reviewed article the next year in Religion and American Culture.[35][40] Chick responded to these accusations by saying that he was opposed to the Roman Catholic Church as a sociopolitical organization, but not to its individual members. On his "Roman Catholicism FAQ", Chick said he began publishing his theories about the Roman Catholic Church because "he loves Catholics and wants them to be saved through faith in Jesus".[41]

In the wake of Jack T. Chick's death, a biography, You Don't Know Jack: The Authorized Biography of Christian Cartoonist Jack T. Chick by David W. Daniels, was published by Chick Publications in 2017. The book contains a number of previously unpublished photographs of Chick.[42]



  1. ^ "Biography of Jack Chick". Chick.com. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Jablon, Robert (October 25, 2016). "Jack T. Chick, cartoonist of conspiracy-minded attacks, dies at 92" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  3. ^ Raeburn, Daniel (1998). "The Holy Book of Chick" (PDF). The Imp.
  4. ^ Ito, Robert (May 2003). "Fear Factor: Jack Chick is the world's most published author – and one of the strangest". Los Angeles: 56, 58. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
  5. ^ Chick publications website header.
  6. ^ a b "Tract Languages". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  7. ^ "What's Right with KJV-Onlyism?". www.chick.com.
  8. ^ "Jack Chick - Christian Comics Pioneer". www.christiancomicsinternational.org.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Ito, Robert (July 6, 2003). "To Hell With You". The Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Biography of Jack Chick". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  11. ^ "Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 – 1946 (Enlistment Records)". World War II Army Enlistment Records. National Archives and Records Administration. September 30, 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  12. ^ Ancestry.com, Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905–1957 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.
  13. ^ a b Baber, La Rue V. (2003). "Spreading the "Light"". The Daily Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  14. ^ a b Akin, Jimmy (March 2004). "Meet Jack Chick". This Rock. Catholic Answers. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  15. ^ Chick, Jack (September–October 2005). "A Message from Jack Chick". Battle Cry. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  16. ^ Davis, Scoobie (October 31, 2006). "The Jack T. Chick Documentary". Scoobie Davis Online. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  17. ^ Gates, Anita (October 26, 2016). "Jack T. Chick, Cartoonist Whose Tracts Preached Salvation, Dies at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (October 25, 2016). "Jack Chick, controversial evangelical cartoonist, dies aged 92". The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "Found in the Collection: Jack T. Chick's "Times Have Changed?"". May 16, 2013.
  20. ^ ""Who Cares?" Jack T. Chick on 9/11". THE GOTHAM CENTER FOR NEW YORK CITY HISTORY.
  21. ^ "The Light of the World: A Film by Jack T Chick". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  22. ^ "English Tract Assortment Pack". Chick Tracts. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Crusader Comics". Comics List. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  24. ^ "Stock Arabic Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  25. ^ "Stock German Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  26. ^ "Stock Spanish Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  27. ^ "Stock Tagalog Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  28. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Chick.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  29. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Chick.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  30. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Chick.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  31. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Chick.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  32. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Chick.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  33. ^ Cuhulain, Kerr (August 26, 2002). "Jack Chick: Tracts for Every Occasion". Pagan Protection Center. p. 4.
  34. ^ Newkirk, Terrye. "Who's @fr@id of the Big Bad Web?: A Guide for Catholic Newbies". Catholic Answers. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  35. ^ a b c "The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick". Catholic Answers. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  36. ^ Keating, Karl. "Burden of History". Up Front. Catholic Answers. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  37. ^ "Booksellers' Group May Expel Chick". Christianity Today. October 23, 1981. p. 62.
  38. ^ Mark, Noll; Carolyn Nystrom (July 1, 2005). "Is the Reformation Over? (Registration and payment required for online access)". Christianity Today.
  39. ^ Borer, Michael (2007). "Drawing Religious Battle Lines: The "Culture Wars Work" of Jack Chick’s Anti-Catholic Cartoons" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, New York City City, August 11, 2007
  40. ^ Borer, Michael Ian; Murphree, Adam (Winter 2008). "Framing Catholicism: Jack Chick's Anti-Catholic Cartoons and the Flexible Boundaries of the Culture Wars". Religion and American Culture. 18 (1): 95–112. doi:10.1525/rac.2008.18.1.95.
  41. ^ Chick, Jack. "Roman Catholicism FAQ". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  42. ^ "You Don't Know Jack". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2017-04-27.


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