After leaving work recently I found a curious object tucked under the windshield wiper of my car. A smallish mini-comic entitled ‘Back from the dead?’ featured an intriguing cover displaying a ragged silhouette of a man shuffling, zombie-like, through a big moon, blue-fog evening. I looked around the parking lot. Every car was similarly gifted with a Jack T. Chick special.
If you’re not familiar with any of this you might want to check Chick’s wiki page. Los Angeles magazine describes his books as “equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing.” Chick drops these rags at bus stops, in restaurants and, yes, on innocent windshields.
When I was a wee lad and comics were my passion, I tried to get a very religious friend of mine (who incidentally became a pastor) to trade some of his Christian comics for my DC and Marvel fare. Putting the subject matter to the side, I was always impressed by the draftsmanship of the illustrators but wondered if they were true believers or, like many creatives, just cashing a paycheck to support their real work. In Chick’s case his website suggests someone of a steroidal evangelical constitution.
BFTD (copyright 1982) concerns itself with a return-from-death experience which leaves its victim haunted by a view of a decidedly nightmarish afterlife. The poor slob is advised by “The Preacher” to get right with God or live for eternity like the walking dead dude on the cover. Was this a cameo by Jack T. Chick himself? JTC hasn’t given an interview since 1975.