by Andrew Cohen
Perhaps for you it first happened in a public restroom, maybe in a empty bus terminal or a laundromat late at night, but who can forget that exciting rush of guilt, that dangerously dirty feeling that comes from one's first experience with Satan!
Of course I don't mean the real Satan (you do believe Satan is real, don't you?), I mean the Satan that lives in each of the crudely drawn, palm-sized, comic-book religious tracts credited to Jack T. Chick, the driving force behind the Chino, California-based Chick Publications.
But Jack Chick is just the front man. Satan is the real Prime Mover behind Chick comics. Without Satan, there'd be nothing to be scared of.
If you've never encountered a Chick comic, particularly at an impressionable age, then you don't know the real meaning of fear: eternal judgment, lake of fire (i.e. Hell), ubiquitous satanic conspiracies=scary stuff!
There are more than 75 different Chick titles in as many languages Spanish and Chinese, for sure, but also Papiamentu, Tiv, and Chichewa. The Chicksters (not to be confused with Chicklets) say that more than 390 million copies have been distributed worldwide 60 million of those are just of the first classic tract, "This Was Your Life."
The central tenet of most Chick comics is that Satan, in his many disguises, wants to subvert "true Christianity" through rock music (especially "Christian rock"), homosexuality, Halloween, and "false religions," particularly the Roman Catholic Church.
In the Chick Version, with which many disagree, the practices of the Catholic Church are actually a disguised form of occult worship of the Babylonian sun god Baal. Cool, huh?
But wait, there's more!
Here are some other bits and pieces I learned from reading other Chick comics: