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» October 17, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios

 
Hi There! (HITH)
Hi There. Tract #037. Art by Jack Chick - © 2002 Chick Publications

Hi There! - Tract #037 (HITH)
Art by Fred Carter- © 2002 Chick Publications


First Published: March 11th, 2011


"Hi There!" is an older tract and fairly well known on the internet due to an image macro derived from one of its panels. The tract itself is sort of a general audiences "if you don't believe me you're going to hell" message.


CommentatorsCommentators

  Jessica   Andrew  

Jessica

 

Andrew

 
 
Page Index
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

o Introduction

JessicaJessica This has actually always been one of my favorite tracts. I think it may have been the first one I every saw. It may be completely full of squirrel-shit nuttery, but it's a hoot none the less.
   
AndrewAndrew The copyright says 2002, but this tract is older than that. Based on the date given in the comic for when Charlie heard the gospel, April 7th, 1972, I'd gather this originally dates from the mid- to late seventies. I could be wrong, but this has the look and feel of Chick's older tracts.

 

o Cover / Page 1

Cover / Page 1
 
JessicaJessica Is he looking at us through a bus window or something? Is he catching the 310 to Yuma?
   
AndrewAndrew Death is so jolly, isn't he?

 

o Page 2

Page 2
 
JessicaJessica "You go to Hell, Charlie Conners." Oooohhh... burn. These guys have serious potty mouths on them, don't they?

Haw Haw, indeed.
   
AndrewAndrew I believe this is what professionals call "foreshadowing".
   
JessicaJessica It would seem this tract is hand lettered. It's probably due to the fact that it's so old but I have to admit I think it looks a lot better than machine lettering. Gives the impression some real work went into it, you know?

 

o Page 3

Page 3
 
AndrewAndrew Do construction workers really talk like this? It sounds more like my freshman Philosophy 101 class.
   
JessicaJessica Hell is only the grave? Is his sister a Jew? Does that mean he's a Jew as well? That would explain the completely ridiculous and un-PC nose Chick stuck on him.
   
AndrewAndrew It looks like someone smacked him in the face with a frying pan or something.

 

o Page 4

Page 4
 
JessicaJessica Who the hell talks like this? Seriously.
   
AndrewAndrew Like I've said before, I suspect Jack Chick hasn't talked to a person who wasn't in his direct employ for decades... still, this was written a long time ago. Even so, this comic is so old that it makes you wonder if Chick ever had an idea of how real human beings interacted.
   
JessicaJessica I know the guy next to Charlie is eating a chicken leg, but out of context it could just as easily appear as though he is yanking his tongue right out of his skull. We can only hope.
   
AndrewAndrew Also, here's a sort of drive-by shooting on evolution, just for the hell of it. It's like the sudden, unpremeditated assault on "Punk Rock" found in "Back From the Dead."

 

o Page 5

Page 5
 
JessicaJessica There it is. There's the image macro money shot.

Infamy, I tell you.
   
AndrewAndrew The really great thing about this panel is that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the comic. It just sort of happens. It's like they drew the sandwich and said, "Crap, now we need some dialog!"

 

o Page 6

Page 6
 
JessicaJessica The stubbly fellow does have a point. And what is his friend doing over there? Is this some new sort of obscene gesture I am unfamiliar with? If not, it should be.
   
AndrewAndrew Yeah, I think these strangely clean-mouthed workers have some pretty valid points. For every Jack Chick you'll can another person who will tell you (in all seriousness) that Jack Chick's approach to salvation and repentance will lead you straight to hell.
   
JessicaJessica A bunch of old Jews. Chick is surely a Renaissance Man when it comes to racial sensitivity.
   
AndrewAndrew Here's a case where the construction worker's sensibilities are more in line with Chick's. From Sinbusters (and I quote): "Poor Moses, stuck with 3 million complaining Jews for 40 years. They almost drove him nuts!"

 

o Page 7

Page 7
 
AndrewAndrew Yes, lets get back to work... Chick expects us to believe that a bunch of blue collar construction workers just sit around talking about religion. The occasional insertion of slang: "my old lady", "what a crock", "baby" doesn't do much to conceal the oddity of the situation.
   
JessicaJessica Charlie's got this "Eh, I dunno" kind of look to him there.
   
AndrewAndrew I love how this guy is basically ordering the other workers to accept his point of view- and they comply!

Also, this guy has a speech tic much like Bruth in Poor Little Witch, baby!

 

o Page 8

Page 8
 
AndrewAndrew God wants you dead, Charlie Conners!
   
JessicaJessica

Death is extraordinarily congenial about all of this. You'd think he's be bored with his job by now. It's also kind of a shame he doesn't look like Brad Pitt. That might have eased Charlie's passing.

...or maybe not.

   
AndrewAndrew Chick seems to be embracing some kind of predestination thing here. Oh well, he never had a very strong commitment to the idea of free will. Basically, he believes that humans have freedom of will only when it is least convenient for them... otherwise we are vulnerable to Death (like here) demons (like in Uninvited) and an assortment of magical spells and ghosties.

 

o Page 9

Page 9
 
JessicaJessica "Yes, I'm just fine, you f#%^ing idiot."
   
AndrewAndrew They do have rather poor observational skills, don't they?

 

o Page 10

Page 10
 
JessicaJessica There wouldn't be an unbroken bone in his body. I doubt he'd be able to breathe let alone mumble some last words.
   
AndrewAndrew That looks like a pipe sticking through his chest, so we're looking at at least one collapsed lung, and... oh, screw it. We all know Chick doesn't care about realism.
   
JessicaJessica "Help me... I... Uh... I'm... starting to bur..... <BELCH> Ah, Ok. I'm fine now. Damn peanut butter."
   
AndrewAndrew "What do we tell his wife?"

"Uh, lets tell her he went to live on a farm."

"Really? That's where my old dog went. You think Charlie's there with Rex right now?"

"Uh, sure man, whatever."

 

o Page 11

Page 11
 
JessicaJessica "Ohh? Are they really?" It's like the narrator is gloating, like "You won't believe what we're going to do to this poor schmuck. Fasten your seat belts!"
   
AndrewAndrew Usually the narrator doesn't have much to do in these tracts other than set the scene. I guess this time the irony was too much for him to stay quiet.

 

o Page 12

Page 12
 
JessicaJessica Usually the narrator doesn't have much to do in these tracts other than set the scene. I guess this time the irony was too much for him to stay quiet.
   
AndrewAndrew

"You died in your sins, Charlie!" "I did?" "That's what I just said, isn't it!"

   
JessicaJessica I see Charlie has already traded up his construction worker's outfit for the garb of the damned. They must issue that at the door or something.

 

o Page 13

Page 13
 
JessicaJessica I never really understood this bullshit, the whole Lazarus parable aside. If Charlie had fallen off the building, landed on that spike and his insides end up on his outsides and the doctors declare him dead. Then he gets back up, shoves his various organs back into his abdominal cavity and starts talking about how Hell is real and everyone needs to get saved, like, yesterday, I think maybe one or two people might buy it.

But then that's just me.
   
AndrewAndrew Chick can't decide if hell is full of people crammed together like sardines or completely isolated from each other. It seems like one of his biggest buggaboos is the idea that someone might want to go to hell in order to see a lost loved one. Set aside that most people don't really believe in hell, who would be certain enough that a friend or relative was in hell to deliberately try to go there?
   
JessicaJessica This was written in the 70's. Charlie dies and "A few years later" World War III hits. I think we might have missed it you guys. Bummer.

 

o Page 14

Page 14
 
AndrewAndrew Why does the angel keep addressing him as Charlie Conners, like it's some sort of title?
   
JessicaJessica He does that to help him keep it straight in his head. You see, before getting to old Charlie Conners here he has to visit and rob the hope from Charlie DanielsCharlie ChaplinCharlie ChanCharlie Dog and whoever used to own the Charlie Skeleton.

It can get confusing when you're the one who always gets left in charge of demoralization rounds.

 

o Page 15

Page 15
 
JessicaJessica This whole thousand years thing seems poorly tacked on and arbitrary. So you die, but you don't go straight to Hell, you go to some other place that looks just like Hell to wait. Then Jesus comes back and reigns for a thousand years. Then you go to the Great White Throne Judgment, THEN you go to Hell. Who came up with that nonsense? Why not just flush the sinners from the get go?
   
AndrewJessica Boy howdy is this guy stubborn. You know, I would hope that if I was presented with absolute, incontrovertible proof that some religion or other was correct, I'd be able to adapt accordingly. Not this guy.

 

o Page 16

Page 16
 
AndrewAndrew Charlie is starting to bear a strong resemblance to the subtly-named Captain Planet villain Hoggish Greedly.
   
JessicaJessica Actually, he kind of looks like a fat Charles Bronson. Not all Charles's are created equal, though.
   
AndrewAndrew Either that or a Gamorrean guard.

 

o Page 17

Page 17
 
AndrewAndrew Didn't who make what? Chick seems to think he's disassembling an argument, but I'm not sure what it is.
   
JessicaJessica I think he's means to ask if all of those other generic saviors made it to Heaven. But you see, only Jesus did because HE rose from the dead. We know this because his grave is empty. And as I am sure you are aware, there is absolutely no way someone's grave could be empty UNLESS they resurrected. So, natch.

 

o Page 18

Page 18
 
JessicaJessica This poor schmuck just tools around in this Not-Hell for a millennium and then they come and get him and are all like, time to stand trial. It's amazing he remembers anything of his mortal life, or is even still sane at this point. After 1,000 years of suffering you'd think some piss-ant things you did for thirty odd years on Earth would take on an extra "So the f&@k what?!?!" quality to them.
   
AndrewAndrew "I don't believe it!"

Is it just me or is this guy really stubborn?

 

o Page 19

Page 19
 
JessicaJessica "I loved you so much."

"Then why did you leave me in a furnace for 33 times my human life span?"

"Because you didn't accept me as your Lord and Savior."

"...over the course of thirty-some odd years?"

"Yes, child."

"That was ten YOU-DAMN centuries ago you frigging maniac?!?! You can't honestly be the one running this place! Get me the guy in charge!"
   
AndrewAndrew "See, some random person told you something about this, or gave you a tract or something. Didn't you realize that, even though there's no other evidence of my existence, you were supposed to immediately convert? No? Funny, I get that a lot. Ok, off to the pit with you."

 

o Page 20

Page 20
 
JessicaJessica "It breaks my heart." I'm sensing we're about to see some satellite sized crocodile tears here in a minute.
   
AndrewAndrew "Every possible way... except giving you real evidence other than the sayso of an old book. I mean, what do you expect from us, sheesh!"
   
JessicaJessica "But you wouldn't allow it." No, YOU won't allow it. Charlie knows the truth now. So what's the deal with giving him a mulligan on it? He's already paid far more than any of his supposed crimes could have ever deserved.

"Where is your God now?" vs. "Where are your buddies now?" It sounds an awful lot like God is gloating here. "I fried their asses too. They can't help you. You're f$#ked, sucker!"

 

o Page 21

Page 21
 
JessicaJessica LOVE GIFT!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!
   
AndrewAndrew Now Jesus is referring to God's love gift. Isn't Jesus God? Or does he just like to refer to himself in the third person, like Bob Dole?
   
JessicaJessica Charlie is letting out so much flatulence here he's about to take off like the space shuttle Challenger.

...what? Too soon?

 

o Page 22

Page 22
 
JessicaJessica The majority of people who read this story will end up like Charlie Conners. We don't really understand this because clearly Christianity is just so easy to adhere to.
   
AndrewAndrew Remember, folks, being Christian in America is all about bucking trends and not going along with the crowd.

Also, see those atheists down at the bottom of the list, weighing in at an incredible, cyclopean, mammoth 1.6 percent? They control everything. Fear them!
   
JessicaJessica Death is such a cheeky fellow. I bet he'd be a fun guy to get together and have a beer with. He's probably full of stories about long dead dictators and various celebrities who choked to death on their own vomit.

 

o Conclusion

AndrewAndrew Snadwich Chef Meme
...made by yours truly.

Once that's out of the way, this is kind of an odd tract. Chick seems to imagine that he's dealing with real life arguments, and while there are a few things that you could imagine real people saying, the rest is just kind of silly. I especially like how a guy who has been in the afterlife "waiting room" for 1000 years is still in denial about the whole thing. This is probably because it's a lot more palatable to the audience to see unrepentant sinners go to hell than it is to see some poor schmuck dragged to the pit by a merciless Jesus. Yeah, you read that right.

Somehow things have gotten changed around in Christian theology that one has to go on faith and only faith- if you had actual proof, that doesn't count for some reason. I wonder how this was supposed to work for all the Bible characters who believe in God because he appears to them as burning bushes, or columns of fire, or something else that's a little harder to ignore than Jesus on a tortilla. But for someone like Charlie, once he dies, is presented with the only incontravertable evidence he's ever going to get, but he doesn't get a chance to say, "hey, I was wrong." Instead he sits there for a freaking millenium for no good reason. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would look at that situation and say, "now there's a just and loving God"

 

o Further Reading

o Other Reviews & Commentaries