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Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios


Spellbound? - Comic #10 (C10)
Art by Fred Carter - © 1978 Chick Publications


"Spellbound" is not one of the standard Chick tracts, but rather an entry in Chick's "Crusader Comics" series. These are full sized comic books. In March 2011, Chick.com finally made these comics free to read online, so we felt free to comment on them. Be aware that these images are taken from screen captures and may be a little blurry compared to the original.

First Published: May 4th, 2011

Part 1


  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 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Commentators Jessica Andrew

oPage 1

Page 1
JessicaJessica The title of this comic asks a question with its punctuation. Spellbound?

We could save ourselves a lot of time and energy by just answering this simple question right here upfront. No. No, we are not, thank you very much.
AndrewAndrew This comic is all about John Todd, alleged "ex-occultist", and the source of most of Chick's insane ideas about the occult. Anyone familiar with tracts like "Dark Dungeons" will recognize many elements here.


o Page 2

Page 2
JessicaJessica He's a joker. He's a smoker. He's a mid-night toker.
AndrewAndrew It may be in color, and full sized, but it's good to see that "haw haw" is still the number one indicator for bad people in Chick-verse.
JessicaJessica So, are they supposed to be high or something? That would seem to be the implication but it just comes off like they're shitty drivers.


o Page 3

Page 3
JessicaJessica Maybe they've taken personal umbrage to your crappy little hatchback there, James.


o Page 4

Page 4
JessicaJessica "Oh Lord... there are rocks all over the road!"

As racist as it is that makes me think of this one image macro I saw a while back.
AndrewAndrew Uh, so what exactly is happening here? This illustrator has few strengths, and competent depiction of action isn't one of them.


o Page 5

Page 5
JessicaJessica YAAAAA! BLAMM! Thank you Ma'am!
AndrewAndrew Crash Crunch! So much onomatopoeia.


o Page 6

Page 6
AndrewAndrew Actually, it looks like Bobby Dallas might have had a hand in that accident as well.
JessicaJessica Yeah, let's put the blame where it's due here.


o Page 7

Page 7
AndrewAndrew So where did he put the tourniquet? Around the guy's head? I was always told that you didn't put tourniquets around things you weren't going to amputate.
JessicaJessica That is true. The idea of a tourniquet is that it completely cuts off the blood supply to the bleeding limb. The idea is that it's better to lose the limb then have the patient bleed out. Though it has to be an extremity, and not too close to one's trunk, so a neck or a head would be kind of out of the question since you would... um... choke to death.
AndrewAndrew Is this red-headed chick intended to be the same as Sabrina, from later on in the comic? They often look the same, but nobody ever mentions it, and nobody ever says this girl's name.
JessicaJessica Bobby Dallas kind of looks like how Jack usually draws his "suffering Jesus" panels. I wonder if he just cribbed off of one of his other pieces.


o Page 8

Page 8
AndrewAndrew And here's the first appearance of Diana, the "sponsor" of the temple Debbie joined in Dark Dungeons.
JessicaJessica Do you know ANYONE who unsarcastically worships Diana and didn't live in Ancient Greece? I think in the pantheon of "False Gods" Diana is kind of low in the pecking order.


o Page 9

Page 9
AndrewAndrew "Actually, 'dude', I put that tourniquet around your head because I was hoping they'd cut it off."
JessicaJessica I hope "old Bobby Dallas" is suffering from a concussion or a subdural hemotoma or something and isn't just pretentious enough to refer to himself in the third person just because.


o Page 10

Page 10
JessicaJessica It's always presumptuous to assume that people recovering from horrible accidents want to be pestered to Jesus. Hospital chaplains and outreach ministries and whatnot always seems a bit like vultures to me that way.
AndrewAndrew Once again, we have the absurd idea that these people accept that God and Jesus are real, the Bible is true, there's a heaven and a hell...and they decided to go with the other guy.
JessicaJessica Sooo... is this sort of like that other tract? Is Chick really suggesting that most (or all) rock stars have signed actual demonic pacts in exchange for their careers? I know record execs can seem like demonic entities, but this is a little much for me to swallow.
AndrewAndrew Don't ever make a contract with Jesus. Make a deal with him to mow your lawn every two weeks over summer vacation? By August your lawn will look like a nature preserve, but if you complain about it, Jesus will be like, "Eh". "Everyone in the room who's the Son of God please raise their hands. That's what I thought."
JessicaJessica James just thinks a question mark. Like a generic sort of quizzical expression We could actually replace all the dialog with random punctuation. James thinks a question mark, the redhead can think three exclamation marks and Nurse Ratched over there can think an interrobang. Or a sarc mark or something.
AndrewAndrew "Bitch set me up!Unfortunate implications, I know.


o Page 11

Page 11
JessicaJessica James is built like a fucking tank! I would seriously wonder if he's one of those gay guys who live in the gym. It brings the whole "two guys go on international adventures" motif of the Crusaders into a new light.
AndrewAndrew Good lord this guy is sinewy.
JessicaJessica Who is James' date? And who is this tool bag? "It's good to suffer"? I think you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that.


o Page 12

Page 12
JessicaJessica Jesus Christ. Ok. What the hell is going on here. We've got that possessed kid from The Exorcists rocking out left of frame, a weird asian stereotype with a Black Widow drawn on his forehead, and his date. Have I mentioned recently that I hate Jack Chick? I mean, really hate him? I do, you know.
AndrewAndrew Chick doesn't exactly go for the subtle approach, does he. I'm surprised James is so calm.
JessicaJessica That's quite an assortment of recreational drugs Old Bobby Dallas offers them. I like to think he has them set up buffet style on a big long table, on silver platters with meticulously embroidered label cards next to each one.


o Page 13

Page 13
AndrewAndrew And now we've apparently entered the "educational" portion of this comic. Is there going to be a test on this at the end?

"That's cool!" Shades of Marriage Mess here.
JessicaJessica Wow, it's like an encyclopedia of the occult, distilled down to one comic page. He mentions that all these symbols are at this party, but is too lazy to actually work them into the plot, so he just does an info dump all over the page here.

Also, the Hexagram. I like how he goes out of his way to mention it isn't a Magen David, but rather a jewish symbol "perverted by Satan's people." The only difference I can see is that the "Hexagram" has a circle around it. Thin line, I know.
AndrewAndrew "Italian Horn"? Why not Human Horn?


o Page 14

Page 14
AndrewAndrew "It looks like we've got some aliens with us!" Chick has no idea how these people might talk.
JessicaJessica "YOU NEED NOT BURN THIS BOOK!!!" This seems like a really flimsy justification to quash all the little Christ-pyros who might read this and think "OMG!!! This has occult symbols in it. Better incinerate it!"


o Page 15

Page 15
JessicaJessica Leaving already? It's two in the friggin' morning! Christians got to get up early for church!
AndrewAndrew "But, but, but, I love my bread! Wait, what were we talking about?"
JessicaJessica Such a romantic, moonlit night to stroll by the pool and "talk about Jesus." He may have seen wild things, but James is going to show him something even wilder. Shit will turn you white!


o Page 16

Page 16
JessicaJessica The Broken Cross, eh? I'm glad we're not the only hack jobs that reference our own works all the time.
AndrewAndrew I think it's interesting that Crusader Comics have a definite continuity. I mean, I like to imagine that Chick's other comics take place in the same world, but there's no evidence of that.
JessicaJessica I get the feeling Old Bobby Dallas is really just humoring our friend James here. "Yeah. Uh-huh. Yup. Ok. Jesus. Uh-huh. Yup."


o Page 17

Page 17
JessicaJessica I always thought the term "heavy hearted" was so damn cloying.
AndrewAndrew "I wish those dudes hadn't butted in on us!" Well, if it was that important to you...
JessicaJessica Pitching Jesus, eh? Mohammad was catching and Krishna was shortstop.

...or is this more like pitching a tent?


o Page 18

Page 18
JessicaJessica They drownded him!
AndrewAndrew Well, that certainly came out of nowhere. These satanists don't mess around!
JessicaJessica Good thing Old Bobby Dallas wasn't a cash cow or anything. These people don't think too far ahead, do they?
AndrewAndrew So much for Old Bobby Dallas. Bring on the New Bobby Dallas!


o Page 19

Page 19
JessicaJessica And now where the hell are we? Who the hell are THESE people?
AndrewAndrew .... and now for something completely different.
JessicaJessica Oh no! He's losing spiritual control of his family. If the women in the house start thinking for themselves then he'll be, like, less than a man, or something. His daughter should get into the position of the church or something. That will straighten her out.
AndrewAndrew I guess Bob's spiritual joystick is broken, so he's got no spiritual control.


o Page 20

Page 20
JessicaJessica This guy wants her Dad to talk to him about Jesus and she's all like "Whatever." Actually. I think that's a rather healthy response to something like that.
AndrewAndrew I guess that's supposed to be a Kiss-style glam rocker, but he really looks like a luchador.

"Here's a new one by our favorite group. Our nameless, favorite group."
JessicaJessica So, is this different from the other occasions where Chick feels the need to differentiate between people who "attend church" and people who "are Christian."


o Page 21

Page 21
JessicaJessica This brother. Like "Brother" in Christ, or "Brother" from another Mother?
AndrewAndrew Lance Collins is, of course, our stand-in for John Todd. His arrival signals the beginnings of the fantastical rivers of bullshit that dominate the rest of this comic.
JessicaJessica "What's a Druid?" Herp-a-derp.

"Lance Collins" here has the shit eating-est grin EVAR!


o Page 22

Page 22
JessicaJessica All the Satanists look like homeless people with poor hygiene. I wonder if Chick is trying to make some sort of comment about how hippies are filthy little mongrels. Damn kids today with their rock music and fast cars and Pong machines...
AndrewAndrew I guess the implication is that they've been trying to get Collins for a while, and keep failing. C'mon people, you'd think that the satanists would be better at this than Team Rocket.
JessicaJessica In Chick's universe, everyone in the 70's refers to everyone else as turkey. I used to think it was strictly an African-American affectation, but whatever.


o Page 23

Page 23
AndrewAndrew "Lance, tell us about the druids." Worst. Justification for exposition. Ever.
JessicaJessica Perhaps if God had been just a touch more liberal with "light" then you wouldn't have had such a significant Satanic stronghold half way around the world. For someone omnipotent God sure doesn't think things out, does he?

"Men of Oak" sounds like some sort of Viagra fan club or something.


o Page 24

Page 24
JessicaJessica Hmmm... Kernos... I've tried to do a bit of research on this Kernos fellow and it seems like unless you are discussing a certain feature of greek pottery the only person who's ever heard of him is John Todd. The Wiccans seem to worship a Cernunnos, which it would appear that Todd simply bastardized the spelling of and declared him Satan, which is what they seem to do with all Gods, even Allah. I mean, just blame the shit on Chernabog or something.
AndrewAndrew "Lance" is looking an awful lot like Jeffrey Jones here.
JessicaJessica If Satan can duplicate all of God's miracles, what's the difference? Except these people would suggest that Satan still does stuff like this in this day and age, which is more than can be said for lazy old Yahweh. Wouldn't make more sense to go with the guy who actually gets things done?


o Page 25

Page 25
JessicaJessica "Everything ties together." ...in my head!!!
AndrewAndrew Yeah, usually when somebody says something like that, they're spinning a big ol' conspiracy theory. "Remember when I talked about the red spots in eggs, that dent above your upper lip, and the way avocado pits keep guacamole from turning? Everything ties together with the Illuminati!"
JessicaJessica Speech impediments aren't funny, okay? Some people are really sensitive about it.

They played rough!!! And they LIKED IT THAT WAY!!!


o Page 26

Page 26
JessicaJessica By the by... the British countryside was littered with castles by the way. That way they could go from one to the next just picking virgins like fruit.
AndrewAndrew This adheres to a complete fairytale version of Merry Olde England (except for all the death, of course) as though every few miles there was a king who had a marriageable daughter just waiting around for a noble knight (or brave scullery boy) to save her.
JessicaJessica The implication is that the "father" here is a totally cold hearted bastard. "Father! Don't let them take me!!!" "Sorry, bitch. We have to pay our dues. You knew what this was. Now go with the nice men."


o Page 27

Page 27
JessicaJessica Dad's still sitting back in his easy chair, all like "Keep it down, okay? I'm trying to watch the game. Can't you go to your gruesome death peacefully and quietly? Like your sister did? Ungrateful kids..."
AndrewAndrew Why does this sound so much like the bullshit explanations for holidays that snopes.com spends so much time debunking? Oh, that's right, because it's the same idea!


o Page 28

Page 28
JessicaJessica Think about this for a minute. The druids come to every house once a year. They demand a woman for sacrifice, whom they promptly kill. If no woman is to be had, they hex the house and indirectly kill someone through fear (whatever the hell that means). So one way or another the household loses at least one member each year. Even if you had four kids your house would be empty after six years. You can't produce more than one kid a year, and that's if you work really hard at it and there are no complications. So even if you keeping having children solely to feed the druids you'd still only barely keep your head above water, and that's only while you are still of childbearing age. The whole country would be deserted in under two decades.

I think someone just might be pulling our legs here.
AndrewAndrew The spellbinding beat of the Druid music... right. Thump. Thump. Thump. Polyrhythms was extremely uncommon in western music until the 20th century, when increased exposure to African-derived music (which did have such rhythms) led to some cross-pollination.
JessicaJessica Stonehenge, by the way, has been dated to between 3100 BCE and 2400 BCE. The druids didn't really get rolling until around 200 BCE. So they're only off by two or three millennia. Considering their track record it's not that bad.


o Page 29

Page 29
JessicaJessica So God requires blood sacrifices? But didn't you just say Satan (excuse me, Kernos) didn't demand the same thing? Are we sure that God and Satan aren't the same person?
AndrewAndrew It sounds like the same thing to me. My guess is that Todd purposely modeled his bizarre version of Samhain to have some aspects of the passover.
JessicaJessica What does any of this have to do with anything? This whole train of thought is one giant non-sequitur.


o Page 30

Page 30
JessicaJessica This is always the lamest part of Chick's work. You know somewhere around the half-way/two-thirds mark you're going to get a torrent of biblical information presented in as dry a manner as possible. It's like having dry, overcooked turkey for dinner with nothing to drink, then following it up with a turd pie.
AndrewAndrew Sooooo... what about the druids? Criminy, it's like the panels are out of order or something.
JessicaJessica Everyone is going to stand before God in a silken bathrobe. Which seems kind of weird since Chick usually depicts them as buck stark naked when they have to stand there and review the movie of their life. Being in your birthday suit makes it all the more humiliating when millions of people are getting to watch your various sexual faux pas.


o Further Reading