The Broken Cross


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


The Broken Cross - Comic #02 (C02)
Art by Fred Carter - © 1974 Chick Publications

The Broken Cross

...with special Guest Commentators: Kelly, Sean and Kristin.

"The Broken Cross" is another of Chick's full sized comic books. Like "Spellbound?" it is heavily based on material from John Todd. In this story, Crusaders Jim and Tim investigate a Satanic conspiracy that has seemingly enveloped an entire town.

First Published: March 3rd, 2012

Part 1


Andrew   Jessica   Kelly   Kristin   Sean
Andrew   Jessica   Kelly   Kristin   Sean

Page Index
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Commentators Jessica Andrew Sean Kelly Kristin

oPage 1

Page 1
JessicaJessica Oh, John Todd. Where would we be without you? He has filled out hearts with such joy and given us countless hours of laughter. Shame he's dead though.

I want to have, like, ten thousand of his babies.
AndrewAndrew There's that "came out of witchcraft" phrase again, perhaps most familiar from Dark Dungeons. The formulation makes it sound like these people were somehow formed ex nihilio by means of an evil spell. Though in the case of John Todd, that might as well be true, given his... extracurricular interests.
KellyKelly I wonder if coming out of witchcraft is anything like coming out of the closet….

Why the heck is the speech bubble coming out of her back?  This can mean one of two things: witchcraft or permission for butt-rape.

As a side note: I wonder if John Todd ever played Diablo 2 with the Druid as his character.  Or would he have chosen a Necromancer?  Damn, now I will never know.
SeanSean I doubt he'd even be able to tell those two apart. Something tells me that anything that sounds remotely unchristian just ends up becoming "Satanist" when it reaches his brain. Even the Barbarian.

Wait a minute, where is she? It looks like the middle of the mountains. Is she expecting to be able to get a ride here? She might get 1 car passing by every few hours, and even then they might not pick her up. Good thing she brought a sleeping bag, she's in for the long haul.
KristinKristin Kelly, It definitely refers to the Butt Rape, I think that is the excitement she has been looking to find… at least we all hope!


o Page 2

Page 2
KellyKelly Hey those bastards stole and repainted The Mystery Machine! And what the hell happened to Velma?
JessicaJessica They seem to be reenacting that hitchhiker kidnapping scene from Pink Flamingos. I find it really odd that Chick would have been familiar with that particular work... though I can't quite say what gave me that particular impression.
SeanSean These people are driving up a mostly deserted mountain road expecting to find hitch-hiking girls. They have got to be the least efficient kidnappers ever. Maybe that explains the excitement: they're surprised they actually got results.
KellyKelly Seriously, though, I’m totally confused with the way Chick goes about bolding and italicizing random phrases and adding unnecessary words to fill in his empty plot.  It’s as if he is trying to make up for the horrid dialogue.  “Look! Up the road… there’s a girl!” Yes… and she’s looking for some excitement!
KristinKristin I think they are looking for the same kind of excitement as our hitchhiking friend.


o Page 3

Page 3
JessicaJessica This displays a rather severe bit of naivety on the part of our poor hitchhiker here. Clearly she's never heard of Karla Homolka.
KellyKelly Ooh there’s a girl with him, there is no possible chance she could ever be a lesbian rapist or a crazed jealous lunatic who murders younger, more virginal, women…. Kind of like Countess Elizabeth Bathory who bathed in the blood of virgins.  But no woman could ever be dangerous.  We are perfect little flowers.
SeanSean Maybe she's thinking that the man wouldn't dare do anything as long as his girlfriend is nearby. I mean, it's not like couples ever paired up for their crime sprees.
KristinKristin Never mind the creeper van. A random woman is a sure bet everything will be all right.


o Page 4

Page 4
KellyKelly “Like bitch, I totes had to run and split away from the pad because my like parents were so cruel try to get me to show up to church.  Not because my mother like beat me, my father raped me, or my brothers molested me.  But church.  That’s why I split that joint, yo.”
JessicaJessica Her folks are trying to cram church down her. Down her what? Her throat? Her shirt? Her pants?

AndrewAndrew Donna (our hitch-hiker) actually looks a little bit like Bobby "the Monster" from "The Last Generation".
SeanSean Well you can't expect Carter to draw a new face for every single panel. He's gotta cut corners somehow if he wants to put a new comic out every few months.

Well you can't expect Carter to draw a new face for every single panel. He's gotta cut corners somehow if he wants to put a new comic out every few months. I will give him some credit though: This is the first time our villain doesn't look like some deformed creature. She actually looks like a normal human being, or at least as close as his art ever gets to one. Subtlety in a Jack Chick work, I guess anything is possible.
KristinKristin Just lay back and relax. Pay no mind to the shadows behind the curtain.


o Page 5

Page 5
JessicaJessica Fourteen and hitchhiking to L.A. What does she think is in L.A. anyway?
AndrewAndrew 14? They say girls develop more quickly these days, but this was 1974. Either our illustrator doesn't know what a 14 year old girl looks like, or her age in the text was lowered for dramatic impact.
KellyKelly @Andrew... of course you'd notice that...
SeanSean How could he not? The artist has been going to great lengths to make her look sexy. Small top, exposed midriff, and tight jeans. Perhaps we're getting a good look into some repressed urges of our old friend Jack Chick.
JessicaJessica I'm guessing this is meant to show all the kiddies that hitchhiking is bad and if you do, Satanist will kidnap and murder you. That sounds like sound advice, but the justification is just a tad flimsy if you ask me.

These two look like the kind of shifty guys you'd see hanging outside the all-male cinema at 2:30 in the morning. Bleh.
SeanSean Looks like I spoke too soon. Now we've got Charles Manson with a skin condition and a retired 70's porn star in the backseat.

Spoiler Alert: They're supposed to be the bad guys.
KellyKelly Blond [thing 1] in the backseat: "Get your AIDS injection here, no intercourse necessary!"

Brown [thing 2] in the back: "But, why not?"
KristinKristin No! I just heard girls can make mad cash selling their bodies in LA!


o Page 6

Page 6
JessicaJessica "This is really living!" She's been on the road for about 90 seconds. Maybe she should withhold judgment for just a little bit.
KellyKelly "Ohhh yeeeaaa right behind my ears... that's the spot!!! Yea!!! This is really living!"
SeanSean Donna's getting this excited over a VW mini bus? What did she go to school in, a riding mower? I think she'd orgasm if she ever rode in a Toyota. Then again, she already looks pretty um... happy.
AndrewAndrew Serious ape-hands on the guy in the back. He could give Frank Miller of "The Marriage Mess" a run for his money.
JessicaJessica And here's yet another Bruth copycat. What the hell???
KristinKristin This IS living! My parents didn’t have massage hands built in to their van!


o Page 7

Page 7
JessicaJessica Dirty hippie isn't even wearing any shoes. Or did they yank her clean out of them or something?
KellyKelly Learn to wear a seatbelt, woman! Seatbelts save lives!!!
AndrewAndrew Well, it sure is convenient for the guys in the back. Imagine their embarrassment if she had been buckled in.
SeanSean Based on the angle of the buckle beneath her, it would have been one hell of a wedgie.
KellyKelly It feels better when you're strapped down anyway.
KristinKristin Only 6 o’clock?  Wow that’s a new personal record! Grabbed and dead in less than ten minutes!


o Page 8

Page 8
JessicaJessica I understand this girl is in on it with them, but considering they don't seem hesitant to kidnap and murder women for their rituals you'd think she'd be just a bit more reserved with bumming around with these people.
AndrewAndrew I know, right? First time they hit a dry spell for hitchhikers, and who do you think is going to end up on that table?
SeanSean Wait, they're actually getting a lot of victims this way? Again, they were driving up a mountain dirt road! They'd be lucky to find anyone, let alone a hitch-hiker! Then again, I'm trying to look for logic in a Jack Chick comic.
KellyKelly "Girls thumbing" puts a nice little image in my mind.
KristinKristin But were still the last ones to the party! Good thing WE brought the entertainment!


o Page 9

Page 9
SeanSean I like the inverted cross over the pentagram, over the bowl of incense with the runes on it. It's like they didn't think we'd know they were Satanists from the robes and sacrifice, so they shoved them all in there to make sure we knew that they were evil.
KellyKelly These guys are much more fashionable than the KKK. Much more color in their wardrobe. Not everything is black and white... you know?
KristinKristin Cool décor! Looks like my bedroom when I was in high school!


o Page 10

Page 10
JessicaJessica Lucifer as a god of peace and love. Classic.
AndrewAndrew Yeah, I'm pretty sure even Satanists don't believe that.
SeanSean "We sacrifice a girl and drain her blood in the name of peace and love!"
JessicaJessica This takes place 8 times a year. Chick has also claimed in the original runs of Poor Little Witch that each year at least 40,000 are murdered by witches. Which is somehow about twice the reported homicide rate in America. Who'd a thunk it?
SeanSean Also, he's claiming that these are made 8 times a year on Black Sabbaths, which only come once a year. Not even in his own logic is Jack Chick consistent
KellyKelly @ Jess... It's because witches are magic.
JessicaJessica Actually, guys, the upside-down cross is know as St. Peter's Cross and even though a lot of people who didn't do the research assume it's satanic, it's actually considered holy in a number of denominations, including the Lutherans and the Catholics.
KellyKelly 1 Corinthians 10:22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

I don't think Chick is saying what he wants by citing this verse. Satanists or paganists really couldn't care about God's jealousy.
AndrewAndrew In context, it's clear that 1 Corinthians 10:20-22 is about sacrifice: animal sacrifice. Later on, Corinthians says you shouldn't eat meats that were sacrificed to a pagan deity. Which I guess makes sense for Christians, but has little to do with the lurid scene here... or about Lucifer being the "god of peace and love".
KristinKristin Peace, Love and little girls…


o Page 11

Page 11
JessicaJessica These two guys just come across a crime scene and decide to stick their noses in. No wonder everyone gets all pissed off at them.
AndrewAndrew "That sounds like the occult!" I am honestly surprised they didn't say vampires. Remember Chick thinks vampires are real.
KellyKelly Edward Cullen could not have done something so tragic!!! And remember, vampires sparkle and there was none of their sparkle dust found with the body! Werewolves, though... are a different story. Maybe it was a vampwolf mulatto...
SeanSean Those two really have the 70's White cop/Black cop look going for them. No wonder the guy's giving them all the crime details. Only they're both bible-thumpers, so I doubt either of them is going to be the rough streetwise guy who plays by his own rules
KristinKristin Did anyone call Dexter?


o Page 12

Page 12
JessicaJessica Boss Hogg keeps referring to Jim as "boy." Is this a B-L-A-C-K thing or something?
SeanSean Gee, I wonder if the cop is in on the whole thing. Nah... couldn't be.
AndrewAndrew What, are witches not as American as those other things listed? Certainly fear of witches is as old as this country.
KellyKelly "The VFW, The Grateful Dead, Van Halen, and the Sex Pistols..."
KristinKristin This was a great neighborhood… until the witches moved in, then it all went to Hell!


o Page 13

Page 13
AndrewAndrew Jim: "Someone's got a problem!"

Tim "But... but... but... coffee!"
JessicaJessica Ye gods! That doe-eyed little moppet looks like he could have been a thalidomide baby.
AndrewAndrew Why the heck did he bring his dog to the store?
JessicaJessica What exactly is "SSTWEEEEE?" Is he supposed to be whistling? And how is the kid simultaneously saying "Here Tammy!" AND telling Jim he'll look down the block? Maybe he has the Voice of the Legion.
SeanSean We looked everywhere! At least everywhere within a 1 block radius. Because there's no way a dog can go any further than that. The kid looks like a Muppet in that last panel. Also, a single tear is apparently all you need to show a sad expression. Nice artwork guys.
KellyKelly Tammy is gone; and as such a supportive person, I have some great words of sympathy: "Do you know where you can buy a puppy?"
KristinKristin Who the Hell are these guys and why cant they seem to just mind their own god-damn business.


o Page 14

Page 14
JessicaJessica Jim seems to think that one dog is just as good as another. Like the kid had no particular attachment to Tammy and is just upset to be out a pet.
SeanSean Jumping the gun aren't we, Jim? "Sorry kid, we looked for your dog for five minutes and couldn't find her. Here's some money for a new puppy." Try putting up posters or something before you assume the worst.

So, you'll keep an eye out for Tammy, but you're also telling him to get a new dog and get over her? Bit of a mixed message there.
AndrewAndrew "Buy that pup, right away!" This is urgent!
JessicaJessica Tough break kid. If you had just rotated 180° instead of braying incessantly against the fourth wall Tammy might have been saved. But now she's going to suffer a horrible, gruesome death. And it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!
KellyKelly They killed the old Scooby and are now going for a cuter, younger, more innocent image. "Tammy Tammy Doo, where are you? We need some blood from you now..."
KristinKristin Or take the money and blow it on cocaine and hookers… That will help you forget your precious Tammy as well!


o Page 15

Page 15
SeanSean "Okay, we should ask a pastor for information. Should we try a nearby church?" "Nah, let's drive a mile outside of town. I have a good feeling about that one." You know, if you don't get any information from that one, you'll just have to drive back in and try one of the ones in town so you might as well start nearby. Plus, you're specifically looking for a pastor? How do you know that particular church isn't Satanic Catholic?
JessicaJessica They just pick a church at random and assume the guy inside would have some information. They know not every church is run by "True Christians™" so this seems rather trusting of them.
AndrewAndrew Lucky for them, the car belongs to the pastor, who hangs around the church at all times, as opposed to, say, the janitor. Maybe "Pastor Cooley" really is just the janitor, and this whole sequence of events is a misunderstanding.
KellyKelly I love the rays of light behind the church... and why weren't there any churches in town for them to go to?


o Page 16

Page 16
JessicaJessica Pastor Cooley looks a bit like W.C. Fields. I like to think he sounds like him too.
KellyKelly No, Mr. Clark, this is the 20th century... we only have concentration campsmass genocidethermonuclear weaponsbiological warfare, and Grand Funk Railroad.
SeanSean Good job trying to make him seem inconspicuous. That is until he started saying "Haw Haw", because only the godless heathens laugh like that.


o Page 17

Page 17
JessicaJessica No blood? VAMPIRES!!!!
AndrewAndrew While Jack Chick sometimes throws objects into the panel just to fill in space, Fred Carter is more economical with space, which means that if it's in the panel, it's important. I looked up the Common Bible to see what I could find. Published in 1973 (the year before this comic), the Common Bible is a version of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. I couldn't find picture of the cover looking like it does here.

The Common Bible is set up to please both Protestants and Catholics, in the interest of ecumenical relations. Of course, this probably offends Chick in two ways. First of all, Chick believes any translation other than KJV is a Satanic counterfeit. In fact, the publication of the RSV was a major factor in the KJV only movement. Add to this Chick's basic hostility to Catholicism, and to any attempts to bridge the gap, and this book might as well be Anton LeVey's Satanic Bible.
KellyKelly Yes, in the enlightened age where people sucked energy for their lava lamps. And, of course, smoked pot, a whole lot of pot.
SeanSean "But Pastor Cooley, the evidence is stacking up! The one girl we found drained of blood points to a massive rise in the church of Satanism! After all, a serial killer doing this would just be silly!"


o Page 18

Page 18
JessicaJessica That is a good point, though. If you don't believe most of the tenants of Christianity, why would you bother being a Christian pastor?
SeanSean Well it can't be for the money. That church looks smaller than your average McDonalds. Maybe everyone is very generous with the collection plate.
AndrewAndrew Even with Chick's twisted logic, that makes no sense. "I'm a Christian who doesn't believe in pretty much any element of that religion."

It's good to know that Chick's talking buildings are still around.
KellyKelly Well, fuck, man! You must be here for the consistent swarm of young boys.


o Page 19

Page 19
SeanSean Jesus dude, calm down! Man, these liberal pastors flip out over everything in the Chickverse. "Do you believe in the Bible?" "No!! Now GTFO of my church you bigoted zealots!!!!" Oh well, I'm sure it's all just anger issues and he has absolutely nothing to do with the Satanist cult in this town.
AndrewAndrew Chick does love him some straw-men, doesn't he?
KellyKelly I love how Jim's hand is half the size of Pastor C's arm.

"What hope does your congregation have if you deny the Word of God?"

"I said, 'Get Out'!"

That's right everyone get some "Get Out" hope today! It will only cost you your soul and your political affiliation.


o Page 20

Page 20
JessicaJessica Do you mean to tell me most pastors don't keep human skulls in their offices?
AndrewAndrew "I'll fix them both!" So what does he do? Pick up the phone? No... he... lights a candle. Also, this guy only pops up once more, in the next to last page. So he never really "fixes them".

"God is Love". No irony like ham-handed irony, eh Jack?
SeanSean Yeah, this one church turned out to be a bust. Let's go to the library instead of just trying another one. First the dog and now this, these guys really give up easily.

Oh my god the pastor is part of the cult! What a tweest!
KellyKelly "Something's wrong... Let's go to the library."

Yea, sorry Ron but without Hermie we can't do shit.


o Page 21

Page 21
JessicaJessica This backwater burg doesn't even use the Dewey Decimal system. Instead they just label their shelves by subject, which seems like it would be pretty darn inconvenient.
AndrewAndrew So they have an "occult" section and a "witchcraft" section which are in different areas. Does Chick know how libraries are organized?
JessicaJessica If the town wants to keep this information from outsiders why do they have those sections to begin with?

Or is the suggestion that the town is so overrun with Satanists that they've checked every book out?
KellyKelly I'm surprised that he knows that sooo many occult books exist while being the God-fearing perfect Christian that he is. Why don't they just look in his collection?
SeanSean Wow, I'm impressed. These guys actually tried a second time for once. Then again, if they have separate sections for "Occult" and "Witchcraft" why not try searching under "Satanism", "Paganism", "Wicca", and "Pastafarianism"? Apparently it's all the same thing.


o Page 22

Page 22
SeanSean "We have shelves dedicated to both witchcraft and the occult, but they're empty and then we say we don't have the books to begin with. We're totally not part of a satanic cult that does not exist in this town, I swears!"
AndrewAndrew "She's lying!" No shit Sherlock. Unless the library just likes to leave open shelves under its idiosyncratic classification scheme. "Books on the occult would go here, if we had any."
KellyKelly This library only contains good, sweet, innocent, delights for the young mind. You know, like, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, The Scarlet Letter, and The Rape of the Lock.


o Page 23

Page 23
AndrewAndrew "That's nice." I don't know what kind of vocal inflection should go with that line. Is it grandma's indulgent "that's nice" like when you tell her you got past level 7 of some video game? Or is it the sarcastic "that's nice" of a sullen teenager? I have a hard time reading it as sincere.
KellyKelly Why did Barbara suddenly get fatter? Apparently all fat people are evil.
JessicaJessica No, no, no. You see... all evil people are fat. It's not the same thing.
SeanSean Barbara? Barbara Bush? I gotta admit the resemblance is uncanny. Also, Babs here is really rocking the man hands.


o Page 24

Page 24
AndrewAndrew You know, they never do reach that library. Too bad it's about 25 years too early for Google Maps.
KellyKelly Why do they need direction if they know where they are supposed to be going?

"Gracious loving Father, please grant us clear roads, nice weather, no stop signs or lights, and magnificent future orgasms.............Amen."
SeanSean I know you guys pray over everything: to find love, have your team win the superbowl, and making sure that your Denny's Grand Slam isn't too greasy... but maybe you shouldn't pray while you're driving a car! Or maybe you're praying you won't get into an accident.


o Page 25

Page 25
JessicaJessica They asked for leading, and what they got was a torrential downpour. Close enough I guess.
SeanSean Now they're driving around in the Striped Tomato from Starsky and Hutch. Did we mention this was made in the 70's?
AndrewAndrew Oh, so Jim now knows how far it is. So I guess they prayed to God, then got directions. That's kind of hedging your bets, isn't it?
JessicaJessica That "SCREEECH!" isn't the tires, it's Tim squealing like a 6 year old girl.
KellyKelly It's a man!!! We can tell because...


o Page 26

Page 26
KellyKelly Thank you, Lord for sending us a downpour and letting us almost hit some hooded dude and making me have an accident... Sincerely, Tim.
KristinKristin Why yes actually, thank you for asking… I do want to die but I was hoping for pneumonia instead of being run over.


o Page 27

Page 27
AndrewAndrew "Ladyfingers they taste like ladyfingers."

I looked hard to find anything about the supposed incident, and I came across this article, which is itself pushing a conspiracy theory about the Best Friends animal sanctuary, which is bizarre enough to be worth reading in its own right. Fortunately, that article did list a source, though that second article doesn't cite anything at all, and goes on to talk about Satanic conspiracies. I would really like something more official, like a police report, or almost anything at all to indicate that this story didn't just emerge from the bowels of conspiracy theory hell.
KellyKelly Human fingers, I'm sure, are a rare delicacy in some places. The damned French.
SeanSean How can you tell those are human fingers? With the artwork so convoluted they look more like moss covered twigs.

"I ate his fingers with some fava beans and a nice Chianti!"
KristinKristin Is he stoned? Yes! And where do I get shit that good?


o Page 28

Page 28
SeanSean That's a bit of a leap of logic to assume it's Satanism. Did you ever think that maybe he's just a crazed cannibal drug addict?
AndrewAndrew That lower-right panel makes me think of Ponyo, with a huge wave of water looming overhead.
KellyKelly That car has bad brakes...

"OK, friend -- we're going to take a little ride..."

On my disco-stick.
KristinKristin Yay! Lets take the stoned zombie for a ride maybe he will show us his source!


o Page 29

Page 29
SeanSean Good idea by the way: take the insane cannibal in your car with you. There's no way that can possibly backfire.

"Gulp! They found the drugged out cannibal! Now there's no way they can't trace it back to us!"
AndrewAndrew He thinks "Gulp", but does he actually gulp? The world may never know.
KellyKelly So wait, did they find the guy or car on the road, or both? I love the lack of punctuation.

What the hell is that blue thing behind Tim to the right... Maybe that's why the officer is facing think-gulp syndrome. Gagagagaghooost!
KristinKristin At least I think he is a cannibal… he wanted to put his mouth on my most sensitive spots.


o Page 30

Page 30
SeanSean Wait... earlier Jim said they were less than a half hour away from the other town. So instead of going to the police station there, they turned around and went back? More time to spend with the guy who might bite a chunk out of your neck I guess.

I like Tim's pose in the first panel: "I bet I look fabulous in these pants!"
AndrewAndrew Dig the bellbottoms. Tim and Jim are seriously stylin'.
KellyKelly 35 miles to get to a police station?

Bell bottoms- red bell bottoms.... No, no queerness here.
KristinKristin Wow! Fred is a big puss of a cop! One little finger in the pocket and he is all like “I’m gonna blow chunks!”


o Further Reading