The Last Generation


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» November 6, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios

The Last Generation (LSTG)
The Last Generation. Tract #031. Art by Fred Carter - © 1972 Chick Publications

The Last Generation (Revisited) - Tract #031 (LSTG)
Art by Fred Carter - © 1972 Chick Publications

First Published: August 23rd, 2023

"The Last Generation" is one of Chick's most insane, paranoid tracts, covering the ever popular subject of The Rapture.


  Jessica   Anna   Boudreaux  







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 We originally covered this tract way back in 2011. In the early days of the site, our familiarity with the complete breadth of Chick's catalog was still quite limited, as was our understanding of his historical tendency to change and reissue tracts when the arguments he put forward in them were either proven indisputably wrong, or had become so societally unacceptable to put forward that even he couldn't justify continuing to stand by them. The Last Generation is a prime example of this nasty little habit, and a truly staggering number of changes were made not only between the initial 1972 publication of the tract and it's 1992 reprint, but also in its second revision which glossed over a number of glaring formatting issues and typos. Several other individuals who have tackled this particular piece have covered both versions either as a single review, or in two separate endeavors, and we felt that we should certainly be no exception to this trend. Especially considering how batshit insane the original version was.
AnnaAnna Given the seeming popularity of this tract, I suspect it may represent the 'standard' level of misinformation and logical absurdities/fallacies across all Chick’s works, with a minimal semblance of rationality. Color me enthused for a chance to dissect and add what is considered the ‘base’ standard of Chick tracts to my ever growing dissection journal.


o Cover / Page 1

Cover / Page 1
AnnaAnna Probably a fairly obvious point, but the uniform doesn’t seem all too threatening.

If anything, I could visualize his back story as an anthropomorphised Traffic Safety Cone that takes traffic safety a bit too seriously and decided to dose ne'er-do-wells so he can lecture them about road rules. I am being charitable of course.
JessicaJessica They just took a bunch of vaguely fascist imagery, tossed it in a blender and then threw it at the wall hoping it would stick. This guy is about as threatening as a circus clown… and not the Pennywise sort of clown, the Ronald McDonald kind of clown.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Take away the scar, and he could be your kindly old uncle.


o Page 2

Page 2
JessicaJessica It appears to me that during the intervening 20 years between the publication of the different editions of this tract, Chick realized that not only did some of the rhetoric need to be toned down, but also that the background in Panel A was a completely unacceptable eyesore.
AnnaAnna Perhaps the revision in the second panel between prints was to avoid providing a specific legal reference, if only to reduce the chances of people saying “Actually, the Genocide Act, Article II, Section B says…”. An Act that has turned up quite often in my day-to-day dealings.


o Page 3

Page 3
JessicaJessica I get the impression that this austere panel of gentlemen is supposed to resemble the United States Supreme Court. However, given that court's recent, gradual slide towards overt religious fundamentalism, I personally think the imagery here has proven more ironic than prophetic.

Chick also seemed to want to increase the size of his blatant rip-off of the United Nations logo just to make certain he could bludgeon his audience over the head with the obvious symbolism.
AnnaAnna 1984 would like its invasions of privacy and thought crime mandate returned. Though I can't turn down delicious irony.

Also, to nitpick, but the new reprint is more absurd in its law and applications. What happens if it is a combination of things as a way into Heaven? Do they use an execution method that’s only 50% lethal? I must inquire if that is the case, I’d love to get my hands on such a method…
JessicaJessica Exactly. What's the deciding factor between "We're committing you to an asylum" and "We're straight up killing your ass"?
BoudreauxBoudreaux Chick was a bit prescient, as we have gone from his enemies of the state, to now enemies of the people.


o Page 4

Page 4
JessicaJessica While to them, "1970" was just two years ago, it is still absolutely hilarious thinking about Charles answering a religiously related question on a college application and subsequently ending up on some kind of government list for it.

"...that data was fed into your computerized file..." probably using some sort of punched card. Remember, Chick totally believed that the Vatican maintained a database containing information for every protestant on the planet.
AnnaAnna That’s ‘The Anti-Christ’ to you, insignificant whelp! I didn’t spend several billion years before humanity existed in Evil School for you to omit my title.

As an addendum to the punched card suggestion, you need to be on the cutting edge of data retention if you are going to keep databases that big, particularly with the technology of the 1970s. Presuming they did in fact keep one record for every Protestant, maybe they were in the process of upgrading to microform due to storage issues?
JessicaJessica That is a very good point to make. Not to unintentionally date myself, but the very first computer I owned weighed nearly 45 pounds and didn't even have a hard drive in it... and that was 15 years after this tract first came out. These days, I wear a computer on my wrist that can perform hundreds of thousands of times more calculations per second than were used to send astronauts to the moon.
BoudreauxBoudreaux I guess in the later version, Chick no longer identified environmentalism with the forces of evil?
JessicaJessica I think it was more that he figured there were far bigger fish to fry. Although it's not like he abandoned beating that dead horse entirely.


o Page 5

Page 5
JessicaJessica So, 1948 was 24 years ago from the perspective of the original print of this comic. When it was re-released in 1992, it would have been 44 years after. In this, the Year of Their Lord 2023, it has now been 75 years. Given that, feel free to take all of this with a heavy grain of salt.
AnnaAnna Cue the mist rolling in to give atmosphere to the indicator beacon that is the Title Drop, reminding the audience to pay attention to the conversation here.
BoudreauxBoudreaux At least they lost the cannibalism. Maybe that was a bit too icky even for Chick.


o Page 6

Page 6
JessicaJessica As I pointed out in the previous panel, it has now been well over one (or even nearly two) full generations since the establishment of Israel even by their own calculations… and I don't know about you but my government controlled television set is still just as unreliable as my lights.
AnnaAnna So that mist from before is smoke from the unreliable government-controlled TV sets? If only they chose to spend more money on quality control for the sets instead of giving their healers those uniforms. In either case, people should be fired for their incompetence.
JessicaJessica I wonder why they felt the need to mirror that first panel? Also, ditching that bit about how long a generation is supposed to be? You don't get to retcon your predictions or just gloss them over when they turn out to be completely false, Jack. I think your book has some pretty strong words to say on that particular topic, actually.
AnnaAnna Maybe the same reason they keep using candles in this page and in Page 12, despite the so-called electrical dilemma necessitating their use only being a relic in the old print of the tract. It’s a copy-paste job with a bit of variation to hide the artifice/laziness. And it’s failing terribly, like an external-facing screen door on a submarine.
BoudreauxBoudreaux What’s the deal with the giant house numbers on the roofs? So the Black Helicopters™ can more readily locate them?


o Page 7

Page 7
JessicaJessica Glad he was able to shoe-horn in the extra dig at gay people in the reprint there. Thanks, Chick.
AnnaAnna Doubt he’s going to love whatever you tell him more than putting up with that glare. As for me, I'm bemused you think that'll work on me, Bobby.
JessicaJessica That is indeed some pretty serious stink-eye he's tossing there.

Also, that's a rather awkward handshake they're having – Not really grasping each other's hands but just sort of… sliding palms together. Creepy.
AnnaAnna Maybe he’s practicing his pressure point techniques on his hand there? “Now Bobby, watch as me applying pressure here will turn you into a caricature of non-believers in the form of a small child living in a dystopian society.“
BoudreauxBoudreaux And here we see Bobby in a Hitler Jugend uniform. Cue the Christian Persecution Complex...


o Page 8

Page 8
AnnaAnna It’s a question your family ought to ask themselves regarding why they are fond of you. I mean, they claim to love you, which is a form of fondness. As for me, I’m inclined to go with the reprint and them being “jerks”. If only because by that rationale, you’d be reincarnated into something worse than a cat or a dog, based on your depiction so far.

Case in point, if you were reincarnated as an amorphous blob creature with no mouth, unable to harm yourself or others.. Kept alive forever, always near starvation, suffering eternal torture, your perception of time altered. Desperately wanting to scream out in pain, but unable to do so, begging for mercy and awaiting death. Yet such a kindness would never be granted to you. That would suit you just fine in my view.
JessicaJessica Is this "Great Hunger" still a concern? Because all of the domesticated pets are extinct and yet you seem fairly well fed. Maybe it's all the cannibalism?
BoudreauxBoudreaux So we are expected to simultaneously believe that the One World Government is New Age and/or Environmentalist, yet they have a hatred of animals? Not terribly consistent.


o Page 9

Page 9
AnnaAnna Between this and Bobby’s other faces in the comic, I’m wondering if we need to start cataloging every face he does that makes you think he’s trying to audition as a “horror film child”.
JessicaJessica Now that you mention it, this particular pose in the second panel does sort of remind me of something.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Looks like the boogeyman went from the ecumenical movement to paganism in the rewrite.


o Page 10

Page 10
AnnaAnna My, my, this is certainly unexpected. Dearest Talking Windows, I do so love these surprise visits from you, particularly in the older prints of these tracts.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Another example of Chick toning down the new version, losing the foreground violence.
AnnaAnna And for some curious reason, he decided to increase how much of a caricature Bobby is in exchange. I preferred the violence if I may be honest.

Speaking of the reprint, might I inquire who Larry is and why he’s mentioned as an example in-universe? To my knowledge, Larry is effectively an off-screen character who seems slightly less of a candidate for blobification than Bobby.
JessicaJessica I like to think he's that nebbish little twit in the coke-bottle glasses sitting behind Bobby down in Panel #14A who was unceremoniously yeeted right out of the re-release.


o Page 11

Page 11
JessicaJessica I have to assume that, had this tract not predated The Last Temptation of Christ by more than a decade, they surely would have opted for that as an example instead.
AnnaAnna I thought the whole point of Jesus Christ Superstar was to try and humanize Jesus in order to provide some relatability. I’m tempted to bet that its narrative is more acceptable and in-line with Christian teaching than some of the tracts Chick has written. Which is kind of humorous and ironic in a way.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Cue the Rapture, which is mostly an artifact of modern American evangelicalism. Also, Blessed Hope is referenced in Titus 2:13-14. Why not use that as a Bible reference instead of Thessalonians?


o Page 12

Page 12
AnnaAnna Why the sudden interruption telling them to stop their talk? Is it because she’s in denial, or are they holding onto hope that their healer-in-training (Bobby) won’t report them to the authorities? It’s pretty much confirmed he’s going to report you all first thing tomorrow morning.
BoudreauxBoudreaux I wonder if the old version is consciously a reference to the Nazi reworking of the Bible. I would have guessed it was the old Chick anti-Catholicism, but Alberto was still years in the future when the original tract was written.
JessicaJessica I find the irony of that thought palpable. Given that the Jesus written of in the Bible was basically described as an ascetic, socialist, revolutionary SJW and many people these days have done everything in their power to re-brand him as something more akin to GOP Jesus or Supply Side Jesus.
AnnaAnna As for Jesus never speaking a word against Rome, when He was on earth, that could be true. But I would like to present a question to you to think about. We’ve established in another dissection that Revelation is more than likely written to be a reference to Rome owing to the persecution of Christians at the time. You are also on record saying that the Bible is the Word of God and that God and Jesus are the same person. So taking that, can we infer that in fact, Jesus did in fact speak a word against Rome, wanting their downfall? And yes, it’s a build-up to me essentially calling Connie’s father a liar. Which means that I can offer him residency in the Eighth Circle of Hell.


o Page 13

Page 13
AnnaAnna Both prints have the healer looking idiotic because of the uniform, but the old print makes it even more so with the peace sign. Maybe he’s realized that his look has been stolen by someone, and he’s trying to suppress his anger in front of the children.
BoudreauxBoudreaux And they had the Healer lose the peace sign. And we see that Chick definitely pivoted towards the whole Alberto anti-Catholic bit with the rewrite.
JessicaJessica Hippies just aren't nearly as scary as they were in 1972.
AnnaAnna I’m guessing there is a reason he chose to use the Queen of Heaven title in the new print. Assuming his intention is to try and target Catholics, they do believe God created the universe, and since they also believe in the “Three-in-one” Trinity (God, Jesus and Holy Spirit) by extension, it can be said that Jesus made the Universe, so that’s a miss for Chick in that aspect of targeting Catholics.

If he’s targeting the antiquity assigning of that title, then it might explain why the healers are all muscle-bound and want to be famous. They are hoping their “Queen of Heaven” will pick them as her consort. As long as they don’t reject her like Gilgamesh did to Ishtar/Inanna. Then it is a case of Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned.


o Page 14

Page 14
JessicaJessica "To whom should we report?" Little Bobby there has quite the command of the King's English, wouldn't you say?
AnnaAnna Indeed. But I’d replace violator with malefactor. Sounds much more fitting in the context of King’s English.
JessicaJessica Violator, you say?
AnnaAnna And I see another two candidates trying to audition for “horror film children”. My money is on the girl on the right.

Larry, art thouest here in this panel?
JessicaJessica "Signs point to 'Yes'."
BoudreauxBoudreaux I am trying to figure out whether that is a Nazi salute in the old version.


o Page 15

Page 15
AnnaJessica I’m fairly certain it's my business if my answer to your question results in a bunch of muscle-bound thugs trying to abduct and murder me under the guise of ‘healing’. Brings back memories of the witch hunts and trials in ages past…*frowns slightly before being composed and returning to my work*
BoudreauxBoudreaux So if Joseph isn’t Jesus’s father, why are his (two different) genealogies through Joseph?
AnnaAnna I’m inclined to think it’s a case where Chick forgot those genealogy verses were present in the Bible, but remembered the one about calling no man Father except God. Particularly since he favors a literal translation of the Bible, and having Jesus call Joseph his father would be against the argument he wanted to make in Macho, which I questioned there as well.
JessicaJessica Why is Bobby digging his death claw into Grandpa's shoulder there? That isn't a very friendly gesture if you're trying to convince him to implicate himself.


o Page 16

Page 16
AnnaAnna Something about his finger pointing reminds me of a certain scene... and to be fair, his screeching sounded like that in my head when I read it.
JessicaJessica When we meet Paul in another couple of panels, he actually looks quite similar to Donald Sutherland’s character in that very movie. If it hadn’t come out six years after this tract, I’d wonder if it was intentional.
BoudreauxBoudreaux In the same vein, isn’t finding refuge in a remote cabin kind of a zombie apocalypse vibe?
AnnaAnna I think it is. Or it’s the part in a drama where the protagonists start talking about how they think the other has become more distant lately and then they sit and talk about their issues, etc. Like why no one ever calls Connie’s father by his name.
JessicaJessica That just demonstrates the true genius of Chick's writing. "Dad" is one of the primary characters in this tract, and arguably the main catalyst for it's plot.... but yet despite all of this he isn't even given a proper name.


o Page 17

Page 17
AnnaAnna I guess despite the torture and potential damage you caused with the electroshock chamber and chemicals/microchip embedding, you have to get your weekly servings of red meat from somewhere. But if I may, he doesn’t seem like he’d make good quality cuts, unless your mind programming or microchips somehow improve the quality.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Soylent Green is people!
AnnaAnna Cannibalism as an in-universe issue is only mentioned in the old print (as pointed out by Boudreaux on Page 5), so why this singular reference to it was left in the new print without an earlier in-universe reference addles my mind.
JessicaJessica Yep. That cannibalism plot thread is as orphaned as Bobby's gonna be once the New World Order cooks up his entire religious family like a Sunday bar-b-que.


o Page 18

Page 18
AnnaAnna That cabin seems to be quite well stocked, and even if it’s not, wouldn’t you have brought supplies with you? Also, I do see the effort to make Paul’s motivation for betrayal a bit more relatable between prints. Shame it’s essentially one of the most common storytelling justifications for betrayal of family. And if that’s the reason, why did you join them on their journey to the cabin at all? Plausible deniability would have helped you in dealing with the New Age One World people. What stops the Healers making an argument that because you heard Connie and Charles talking about Jesus (which is heretical to them), you may be corrupted and must be tortured to cleanse your corruption?
JessicaJessica In the old print, Paul's betrayal seems to be driven by disbelief and greed, whereas 20 years later it seems to be more out of fear. In my estimation, he came off as a much shittier person in the old edition because of it.


o Page 19

Page 19
JessicaJessica They certainly played up this use of the term "sicko" in the 1992 edition as an alternative to the less loaded "violator". I have to wonder if Chick got called that one too many times because of his beliefs and decided to try to reclaim the term.
AnnaAnna Aside from the word change from “violator” to “sicko”, the rest of the melody plays out the same for this section.

“Your reward is to be subjected to days of torture because we suspect you may have been corrupted by spending time with the people you just reported. We have to make sure you are free of corruption.”

“But what about the free drugs?”

“We didn’t forget about those - they contain microchips to enhance the pain and help us program your mind if you survive, plus improve the quality of the cuts of meat we will harvest from you if you die. Healers! Come take this vermin away from my sight.”
BoudreauxBoudreaux Note the peace symbol on top of the church in the picture. As we have seen in a few other panels, the peace movement somehow seems ominous to poor Mr. Chick…
AnnaAnna How truly terrible a thing to want in the world. Maybe he thinks if peace got a foothold in the world, it’d be a disaster of biblical proportions and equivalent to the Wrath of God. It’ll rain fire, the oceans will boil, forty years of darkness, and so on. And if that happens because of peace, then I welcome it.


o Page 20

Page 20
AnnaAnna In those uniforms, shoulder charging a door is going to hurt a whole lot and accomplish very little. There’s a reason law enforcement use sledge hammers and battering rams to open doors, aside from wanting to minimize workplace injuries.
JessicaJessica Naw... those healers are completely 'roided out on free drugs. Probably broke every bone in his shoulder, wouldn't feel it for hours.
BoudreauxBoudreaux The Rapture is controversial within Christianity. Here is a good background on its history and arguments against.
AnnaAnna *sigh* So essentially, a Deus Ex Machina (or Divine Intervention for flavor) happens by way of God deciding at that specific moment in the narrative to start the events of Revelation? If I'd have known threatening Connie and her family would have triggered that, I'd have threatened them myself and much earlier in their lifetime.

What can I say? I'm a lover of doom, in more ways than one...


o Page 21

Page 21
BoudreauxBoudreaux I wonder why they lost the World War III reference in the new version, considering that it is a staple of the Left Behind novels?
AnnaAnna I might be wrong on my history, but by the time of the reprint, The Cold War had stopped and the USSR had collapsed. But I do find it odd - World War 3 could happen anyway, so I agree it’s a needless revision. But then, we wouldn’t get the next panel in the reprint if they left it as is, so I suppose there is that.
JessicaJessica Given the current state of both the world in general, and the relationship between the USA and Russia at the moment, I wouldn't completely rule out WWIII as a possibility. Though why they'd give a shit about Israel in particular, I couldn't begin to imagine.


o Page 22

Page 22
AnnaAnna Alas poor Bobby! I knew him, Chick: a caricature of little substance, of significant annoyance: he hath made creepy faces hundreds of times and now, how absent in my memory he is!
JessicaJessica Don't quote Shakespeare in a place like this. Chick's work doesn't even begin to deserve it.
AnnaAnna You are correct - I’ll use something else then.

Only one-third of the planet gets burnt by nuclear weapons in World War 3? I like those odds of survival. Disregard the principle of Mutual Assured Destruction and just nuke each other within a single day. I’m sure the planet and the world’s population will be completely fine.
BoudreauxBoudreaux They had to stop at only one third to keep in line with Revelation 9:18. I don’t see much resemblance between horses and nuclear weapons though.


o Conclusion

JessicaJessica So what did we learn from this, my little Chick-a-dees? That Chick was just as shitty a fortune teller back in the early 70's as he was throughout the rest of his career? That despite all of his artistic talents, not even Fred Carter could keep this particular turd entirely afloat? That if you use vague, disjointed imagery pieced together from multiple ancient, Hebrew texts and try to use it as a road-map of what you think the world is going to look like in the next couple of decades you end up looking like a complete idiot and may end up doing more harm than good?

I think the most important thing to take away from this... is that free drugs are awesome.
AnnaAnna I find a most curious feeling after the dissection is said and done. Dare I say that I find some excitement in having what is arguably the most well-known of Chick’s work as a baseline on which to assess other specimens, given the relative notoriety and infamy of this tract as one of his most recognisable.

As for the tract itself, it lived up to the expectations of unmotivated persecution, supposed One World initiatives, cannibalism and animal sacrifices, with the involvement of muscle-bound men wearing idiotic outfits and random horror film children. But it feels like it’s missing something, despite how all these varied topics sound in theory and the general absurdism of them. Such is life, I suppose.

Until next time, beloved readers, I bid thee well and may your journeys in life be ever favorable. *you hear soft humming filled with anguish and grief, mourning for those who were lost to long past events as I leave*
BoudreauxBoudreaux The new version was largely in line with the old one, with some of the hot topic items of the like environmentalism being replaced with New Age content. Though Chick seems to not be aware that environmental concerns never went away. He did tone the new one down a bit, getting rid of (most) of the references to cannibalism and also the explicit violence. Bobby is just as creepy though, thank goodness!


o Further Reading

o Other Reviews & Commentaries


o Parodies