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Jack Chick

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Jack Chick
Jake chick.jpg
One of the few extant photos of Jack Chick.
Born Jack Thomas Chick
(1924-04-13)April 13, 1924
Los Angeles, California
Died October 23, 2016(2016-10-23) (aged 92)
Alhambra, California
Nationality American
Occupation Publisher, comic book creator, writer, evangelist
Known for Chick tracts
Religion Independent Baptist
Spouse(s) Lola Lynn Priddle (1926–1998)
aka Lynn Chick (1948-her death)[1]
Children Carol (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 theological matters through sequential-art morality plays.

Many of Chick's views were controversial, as he accused Roman Catholics, Freemasons, Muslims, Jews, and many other groups of murder and conspiracies.[2] His comics have been described by Robert Ito, in the Los Angeles magazine, as "equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing."[3]

Chick's views have been spread worldwide, mostly through the tracts and now online. His company, Chick Publications, says it has sold over 750 million tracts,[4] comics tracts and comic books, videos, books, and posters designed to promote Evangelical Protestantism from a Christian fundamentalist perspective or point of view. They have been translated into more than 100 languages.[5] 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.[6]


Chick was born in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, California,[7] and later moved with his family to Alhambra, where Chick was active in the high school drama club.[8] According to Chick, he was not religious in high school.[9] After graduation, he continued his drama education at the Pasadena Playhouse School of Theater on a two-year scholarship.[8][9]

In February of 1943, Chick was drafted as a private into the U.S. Army.[10] He served for three years in the Pacific theater of World War II, serving in New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan.[9] 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."[9]

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."[9][11] 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.[9] Chick and Priddle married in 1948 and had one child, Carol, who died in 2001.[12] In February of 1998, Priddle died, and Chick remarried.[clarification needed][8][9][13] The name of his second wife was not known as of the time of his death.

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."[14]

Chick had limited personal contact with the public; he gave only one known professional interview after 1975.[15] The lack of available public information about him created some speculation that he was a pen name for unnamed authors.[8] He died on October 23, 2016 at the age of 92.[16]


From 1953 to 1955, Chick drew a single-panel cartoon, whose text was written by P. S. Clayton, titled "Times Have Changed?", which thematically predated both the B.C. comic strip and The Flintstones animated cartoon.[17] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[8]

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.[18] He decided to create more tracts and began "using his kitchen table as an office and art studio".[9] Christian bookstores were reluctant to accept the tracts, but they were popular among missionaries and churches.[9]

Chick Publications was officially established in 1970 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.[12] Initially, Chick wrote and illustrated all of the comics himself, but in 1972 he hired another artist to illustrate many of the tracts.[8] Fred Carter illustrated tracts anonymously until 1980, when he was identified in an issue of Chick's newsletter Battle Cry.[13] Carter also painted the oil paintings seen in The Light of the World, a film Chick produced that related the Christian gospel.[19] The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History included several Chick tracts in an exhibit on American pop culture.[better source needed][9]

Chick Publications

Main article: Chick tract
This Was Your Life! is a Chick tract that was translated in over 100 languages. Chick Publications described it as its most popular title.[20]

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.[21] Six comics present the testimony of anti-Catholic activist Alberto Rivera, who said that, as a Jesuit priest, he had become privy to many secrets about the Roman Catholic Church. Among Rivera's statements were that the Catholic Church created Islam,[22] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[23] as well as the Jehovah's Witnesses.[24] He also accused the Catholic Church of having been responsible for the Holocaust,[25][26][27] the founding of Communism, Nazism, and the Ku Klux Klan; starting the World Wars;[25] masterminding the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Great Depression and the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy.[25] There are also three independent comics. The first tells stories from the King James Version of the Bible. (As noted above, Chick was pro-King James Onlyism.) The second relays the statements of Charles Chiniquy regarding Catholicism. The third details Chick's opinions, which were generally negative,[according to whom?] on Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[21]

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,[5] and many other tracts are available in widely spoken languages such as Arabic,[28] German,[29] Spanish,[30] and Tagalog.[31] Several of Chick's tracts have been translated into more obscure languages as Blue Hmong,[32] Huichol,[33] Ngiemboon,[34] Tshiluba,[35] and the constructed language of Esperanto.[36]

Chick's tracts covered subjects such as abortion, homosexuality, non-Protestant Christianity, the occult, rock music, left-wing politics, popular culture, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, antisemitism and the theory of evolution, generally in a very negative and conspiratorial light.[37] Chick believed that many of the world's problems were deliberately caused by the Roman Catholic Church.[25]

Chick also said that Satan and demons promoted the occult through mystical and New Age beliefs,[38] rock music (including Christian rock),[39] Wicca,[40][41] and fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons[42][43] to deceive people and send them to Hell. Chick was opposed to abortion,[44][45] and he repeatedly inveighed against premarital sex.[45][46] He believed strongly that homosexuality was sinful,[47][48] and he made reference to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the tracts he published that pertained to homosexuality.[49] A Zionist, he said that the Catholic Church was Israel's worst enemy.[50] He also opposed any attempts to resolve the Israeli–Arab conflict until Israel grew significantly larger than its current size, and he blamed American support of those attempts for natural disasters that have struck America.[51]

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".[52]

Catholic Answers has called Chick "savagely anti-Catholic",[53] describes Chick's statements about the Catholic Church as "bizarre"[54] and "often grotesque in their arguments",[55] and calls for the tracts to be pulled from the market and corrected.[54] 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.[56] Christianity Today described Jack Chick as an example of "the world of ordinary, nonlearned evangelicals", for whom "atavistic anti-Catholicism remains as colorful and unmistakable as ever".[57] 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[58] and in a peer-reviewed article the next year in Religion and American Culture.[54][59] 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".[60]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Raeburn, Daniel (1998). "The Holy Book of Chick" (PDF). The Imp. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Chick publications website header.
  5. ^ a b "Tract Languages". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Christian Comics International
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Ito, Robert (July 6, 2003). "To Hell With You". The Independent on Sunday. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Biography of Jack Chick". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^, Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905–1957 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.
  12. ^ a b Baber, La Rue V. (2003). "Spreading the "Light"". The Daily Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Chick, Jack (September–October 2005). "A Message from Jack Chick". Battle Cry. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  15. ^ Davis, Scoobie (October 31, 2006). "The Jack T. Chick Documentary". Scoobie Davis Online. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  16. ^ Jones, Sarah (2016-10-24). "Jack Chick, soul-winner and Catholic-hater, is dead.". New Republic. Retrieved 2016-10-24. 
  17. ^ McGurk, Caitlin. "Found in the Collection: Jack T. Chick’s “Times Have Changed?”, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, Ohio State University
  18. ^ Lund, Martin. "“Who Cares?” Jack T. Chick on 9/11", The Gotham Center for New York City History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, December 1, 2015
  19. ^ "The Light of the World: A Film by Jack T Chick". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  20. ^ "English Tract Assortment Pack". Chick Tracts. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Crusader Comics". Comics List. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  22. ^ Chick, Jack (1985). The Storyteller. Chick Publications. p. 8. 
  23. ^ Chick, Jack (1984). The Visitors. Chick Publications. p. 17. 
  24. ^ Chick, Jack (1985). The Crisis. Chick Publications. pp. 11–12. 
  25. ^ a b c d Chick, Jack (1982). The Godfathers. Chick Publications. 
  26. ^ Chick, Jack (2003). "Man in Black". Chick Publications, 2003. Retrieved on 2011-11-04 from[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ Chick, Jack (1984). Holocaust. Chick Publications. pp. 5–10. 
  28. ^ "Stock Arabic Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  29. ^ "Stock German Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  30. ^ "Stock Spanish Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  31. ^ "Stock Tagalog Titles". Non English Tract Look Up. Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  32. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  33. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  34. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  35. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  36. ^ "Complete list of Chick cartoon gospel tracts". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  37. ^ "English Tract List". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  38. ^ Chick, Jack (2000). Bewitched. Chick Publications. pp. 5–7. 
  39. ^ Chick, Jack (1989). Angels?. Chick Publications. pp. 5–7. 
  40. ^ Chick, Jack (2002). The Nervous Witch. Chick Publications. pp. 9–13. 
  41. ^ Chick, Jack (1987). The Poor Little Witch. Chick Publications. 
  42. ^ Chick, Jack (1984). Dark Dungeons. Chick Publications. 
  43. ^ Chick, Jack (2004). The Devil's Night. Chick Publications. pp. 5–13. 
  44. ^ Chick, Jack (2000). Who Murdered Clarice?. Chick Publications. 
  45. ^ a b Chick, Jack (1995). Baby Talk. Chick Publications. 
  46. ^ Chick, Jack (1992). That Crazy Guy!. Chick Publications. 
  47. ^ Chick, Jack (1985). The Gay Blade. Chick Publications. 
  48. ^ Chick, Jack (2004). Birds and the Bees. Chick Publications. 
  49. ^ Chick, Jack (1991). Doom Town. Chick Publications. 
  50. ^ Chick, Jack (1998). Love the Jewish People. Chick Publications. 
  51. ^ Chick, Jack (2008). Somebody Angry?. Chick Publications. 
  52. ^ Cuhulain, Kerr (August 26, 2002). "Jack Chick: Tracts for Every Occasion". Pagan Protection Center. p. 4. 
  53. ^ Newkirk, Terrye. "Who's @fr@id of the Big Bad Web?: A Guide for Catholic Newbies". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  54. ^ a b c "The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  55. ^ Keating, Karl. "Burden of History". Up Front. Catholic Answers. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  56. ^ "Booksellers' Group May Expel Chick". Christianity Today. October 23, 1981. p. 62. 
  57. ^ Mark, Noll; Carolyn Nystrom (July 1, 2005). "Is the Reformation Over? (Registration and payment required for online access)". Christianity Today. 
  58. ^ 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
  59. ^ 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. 
  60. ^ Chick, Jack. "Roman Catholicism FAQ". Chick Publications. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 


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