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» September 24, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios


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

First Published: May 4th, 2011


Part 2


  Jessica   Andrew  





Page Index
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Commentators Jessica Andrew

oPage 31

Page 31
JessicaJessica That's a pretty piss poor battle strategy there. You'd have to seriously outnumber your opponent to be able to spare at least half your army in kamikaze runs.
AndrewAndrew Yeah, the Romans did have trouble with the Picts. Also the ParthiansGothsVandals, and a whole host of other people. The Romans weren't invincible, just for a long time they had more successes than defeats, and they were good administrators. The Picts don't really have much to do with the rest of the story here.
JessicaJessica What did you expect doofus?

"They played the accordion, the xylophone and an oboe made from a rhinoceros pizzle!"


o Page 32

Page 32
JessicaJessica Yes, America will never recover from the Beatles. Beatlemania is 4-EVAR!!!
AndrewAndrew So I guess earlier rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard didn't count. It was only the Beatles, who came from England, where there used to be druids, who had that druid beat. Does this make sense to anybody?

Also, this comes perilously close to asserting that the Beatles existed solely to open the US to witchcraft (where I guess, according to Todd, there hadn't been any before).
JessicaJessica "...penetrate...with their Satanic beat" All of this stuff is always put in such lurid terms.

"Then they listen to worldly music again and the desire to study the Bible cools off. Then they get up and get themselves a sandwich and watch TV while you just lay in the sweaty, sticky sheets wondering if they were thinking of someone else the whole time."


o Page 33

Page 33
JessicaJessica That's it, Dad! Exert some "spiritual control" over her. Show her who's the boss! God gave you a penis and you don't have to take sass from anyone!
AndrewAndrew And here we really get into it. "Lance Collins"s sermon is clearly a template for the final panels of Dark Dungeons. It certainly helps explain what that line about "rock music", otherwise out of place, is doing in that tract.
JessicaJessica Is "playing church" like "playing house"? Do kids take refrigerator boxes and pitch the roof and one little boy is like "I'll be the preacher!" and some little girl will be like "I'll be the parishioner!" and some younger kid with a (not so adorable lisp) will be like "And I'll be da sex cwime victim!"

...probably not. I hope...


o Page 34

Page 34
JessicaJessica "I was a Druid High Priest." Chick seems to be constantly teaming up with people who have lived fascinating and action-packed, but somehow completely unverifiable lives.

"I was a Wiccan, Druid, Catholic, Satanist, Mason, Templar Mormon who controlled witcheswrote RPG games and drank the blood of young women!"
AndrewAndrew I find it hard to believe there are 65,000 self-identified witches anywhere.
JessicaJessica Yeah, that's nearly the population of Lynchburg.

So witches and Satanists KNOW that Bible-believing Christians are more powerful than them (the Christ-o-philes are oblivious to this for the most part) but they still follow their wicked ways? WTF is this guy smoking?


o Page 35

Page 35
JessicaJessica Let us NOT go to the city of ancient Ephesus and say we did.

They shouldn't have provoked Beavis like that.

"He he he he... Paul's a bung-hole! Fire! Fire! I AM CORNHOLIO!!!"
AndrewAndrew YAAAAHH! That is the most lazily drawn screech I've ever seen in a comic.
JessicaJessica That dude is chucking Jews left and right. Damn! Those early Olympics were brutal.


o Page 36

Page 36
JessicaJessica "Don't throw them away... BURN THEM!!!"
AndrewAndrew So, wait, how does this follow from the scene with Beavis chucking Jews? There's just no structure to this narrative!


o Page 37

Page 37
JessicaJessica Here's another whackjob who doesn't realize Ouija Boards are manufactured and sold by Hasbro.
AndrewAndrew There's our D & D mention. It's like this comic and the Dark Dungeons tract are two different versions of the same spiel, one targeted more towards roleplaying games, and the other targeted at rock music. Almost Rashomon-like, if the idea of comparing Jack Chick to Akira Kurosawa weren't so blatantly offensive to good taste.
JessicaJessica Awww.... he made a cute little goat. They're doing a really poor job with this comic. Satan is looking cooler and cooler as we go along.


o Page 38

Page 38
JessicaJessica That's Christians for you. Got a problem with something? Set it on fire.
AndrewAndrew So what is it that these spells do, exactly? Are we talking like, "fireballs being launched from stereo systems" or what?
JessicaJessica This bitch just does not know when to keep her mouth shut, does she? Where's Dad when you need him?

"Over my dead body!" Don't tempt them Penny. They may take you up on the offer.


o Page 39

Page 39
JessicaJessica <Snerk> John To.... I mean Lance Collins was on the Council of 13. That's hilarious.
AndrewAndrew So I guess the witch language is so secret and hidden it sounds like ordinary English.

JessicaJessica VERY carefully guarded. So carefully guarded it makes NO GODDAMN SENSE!!!


o Page 40

Page 40
AndrewAndrew I love the idea that the druids, about whom we have almost no written evidence, and only the sketchiest understanding of their religious practices, somehow left behind a bunch of music notation that was a) legible (our familiar music notation arose in European monasteries long after the druids were gone) and b) contained music that sounded anything like modern rock music. I mean, come on!
JessicaJessica And what would said musical notation contain, anyway? You hit the drum every third beat. I doubt it took ancient Druidic manuscripts to figure that out, instead of just having someone stumble upon it by accident.


o Page 41

Page 41
JessicaJessica "Blessed." Give me a break.

So a Satanic blessing is a curse to a Christian. Is a Christian curse a blessing to a Satanist?
AndrewAndrew Does Lance Todd have any idea how many records were produced during the 1970's, often in very short periods of time? The idea that they'd just sit on a saleable record for 6 months is kind of silly. Satan? No, record companies worship the almighty dollar.
JessicaJessica HAH! Sabrina the Middle-Aged Witch!


o Page 42

Page 42
JessicaJessica Sabrina is channeling Lot in her derpitude here. Why do so many of Chick's characters end up with the fish eye?
AndrewAndrew "A spell to increase the listeners' belief in reincarnation."? That seems oddly specific. And how does this work, anyway? I can picture the instruction manual:

"Use of this spell will increase belief in reincarnation by 10 percent. People who used to think 'maybe there is such a thing' will start to think 'maybe I used to be Napoleon'"

JessicaJessica Good thing they didn't try to draw them "skyclad" since none of them have probably ever seen a woman naked.


o Page 43

Page 43
JessicaJessica Jack, why do you hate the Jews? Shouldn't you love the Jewish people? Don't you know God will abundantly bless those that bless Israel?

There's that warning at the bottom again. "It's not a Star of David!!! It just looks like it!!!"
AndrewAndrew So are they being deceived? Up above, Collins says that witches know Christians are more powerful. Why be a witch?
JessicaJessica Again, they know this, but still they stick with Satan. The guy must have one helluva benefits package.


o Page 44

Page 44
JessicaJessica Jeez, this panel is seriously familiar...
AndrewAndrew Oh, under Old Testament law, huh? You mean like Deuteronomy, the laws that Chick endorses when he likes them and ignores when they're inconvenient?
JessicaJessica I like the setup in the last panel better. It had more style. This is far more cluttered. Where's Martha Stewart when you need her?


o Page 45

Page 45
JessicaJessica Regé? Regé White?
AndrewAndrew And here we learn about a demon so prestigious and important that I haven't been able to find a reference that doesn't come from John Todd.
JessicaJessica I guess they're using those irritating birthday cake candles that don't go out when you blow on them.What a bunch of jerks.


o Page 46

Page 46
JessicaJessica What the hell is going on with her there? Calling up demons makes you seriously ugly.

Also, I'm not exactly sure, but I think there may be a small continuity error with the random runes disappearing on her right tit there.
AndrewAndrew So does Regé really speak with random parentheticals? That's awfully considerate of him, to worry about whether his worshippers can follow his dialogue.
JessicaJessica Now Regé here looks like a blue Klansman. Either that or Cobra Commander.


o Page 47

Page 47
JessicaJessica That's actually a pretty good idea. Look at how successful IKEA has been with that same model. You put the stuff together yourself!
AndrewAndrew Ok, so I take it that these terrible, horrible spells that have been put on these records don't do much of anything. "Oh, my home is messed up. Sometimes my teenager doesn't listen. This sort of thing has never happened before in the history of mankind!" "Is there a rock record in your house?" "Why yes, and correlation equals causality! Who brought the gasoline?"


o Page 48

Page 48
JessicaJessica I am sure Wikipedia will agree, but I doubt there is a better way to impart the validity and impartiality of a particular story by starting it off with "I heard a story that's worth repeating."
AndrewAndrew Yes indeed, because modern American rock music sounds just like traditional African music. And where did those Africans learn that hot hot druid beat? Criminy! Was anybody thinking about anything when they wrote this down?
JessicaJessica Who would admit that their previous religious ceremonies involved actively calling up demons?

And how much to do you want to bet that our blond haired pastor then immediately takes the records from his children smashes them over their heads and then proceeds to take off his belt and give them the thrashing of their lives all on the say-so of this one unassuming fashion victim?


o Page 49

Page 49
JessicaJessica Yeah all you Middle-American church-goer's! Cut out your honky-tonkin'! Whatever that means.
AndrewAndrew "Don't throw them away. Burn them. We'll do that here, tonight."
JessicaJessica Take note, if you ever engage in ANY activity that is not thoroughly and overtly about Jesus, you will go straight to Hell. Do not pass "GO". Do not collect $200.


o Page 50

Page 50
JessicaJessica Oh, well if Albert Pike said it, it must be so! He would never lie to us. I mean, how could you doubt a guy who so clearly resembles Santa Claus?
AndrewAndrew And now Penny has become our Debbie analogue, the young blond girl who recognizes the error of her ways!
JessicaJessica This girl is fickle as hell. Just a few minutes ago she's all like "You'll have to pry my rock music from my cold, dead fingers." And now here she stands all teary-eyed and innocent like "I wanna get saved!"

I guess it's a good thing she's decided to give up her lodge though. I hear they don't take kindly to women anyway.


o Page 51

Page 51
JessicaJessica Yeah, Ben. You're going to church with them if you ever want to tap that sweet thing. Shame I doubt you'll realize that her new found religion is going to keep here from doing anything heaver than holding hands until you're bound by the bonds of holy matrimony. Enjoy those blue balls, dude.
AndrewAndrew The Jack Chick who wrote this comic needs to have a conversation with the Jack Chick who wrote The Marriage Mess (in the very same year). And I quote: "Too many Christian women have become wrecks because they tried to preach to their unsaved husbands." I guess that doesn't apply to Christian girlfriends.
JessicaJessica "There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!" Somehow that line just isn't as cool as it could be if it were immediately followed by a perfunctory "Haw Haw Haw."


o Page 52

Page 52
JessicaJessica Now who's this schmuck? He's sitting around in dramatic shadows smoking his Hobbit pipe with his red-eyed wolf/dog thing pacing around and looking ferocious. It's like he makes a living out of sitting around and looking like a stereotypical "bad guy." Either that or Chick has absolutely no concept of visual subtlety.
AndrewAndrew So here's the man behind it all, huh? Why the hell does Sylvia the news reporter answer to him, anyway? I guess the idea is that the Satanists run everything, but does Dear Leader really approve every single story that ABS runs?
JessicaJessica Wait a minute... In reading up on old Johnny Boy it seems as though he had some bad blood with a latter day neo-pagan named Isaac Bonewits. Is that who this is supposed to be? Because if you look at the Wikipedia article, he seems less like the kind of guy who could control a nation or world-wide Satanic/Druid conspiracy and more like the burnt-out old pothead who teaches arts and crafts at the local community college.



o Page 53

Page 53
JessicaJessica This is just... God... Todd Collins is so full of shit!
AndrewAndrew This is a character based on the same John Todd who went to prison for rape in 1987. Emulate him, people.
JessicaJessica "If they don't like it, let them go!" Yeah, if they won't swallow every last juicy nugget of your whacked-out theology let 'em bugger off! What are they going to do? Start their own church?

Jesus may have said his followers are the "salt of the earth." But Lance here is more of the "saltpetre."


o Page 54

Page 54
JessicaJessica This is so nonchalant. "The pastor and his deacons bound Satan according to Matthew 18:18." Like that's just the most natural thing ever. Is there some other way of binding Satan? Like using a full nelson or something?
AndrewAndrew I can imagine the itinerary.

4:00-4:02 PM: Bind Satan.

4:03-5:00PM: Light refreshments.

5:01-9:30PM: Bitchin' bonfire.
JessicaJessica Your church will never be the same. Got that right. Thank you for teaching my parishioners that there's only one way to deal with ideas you find threatening, disturbing or unfamiliar.


o Page 55

Page 55
AndrewAndrew And now we get the coda that Dark Dungeons never gave us. When we made that movie, people who weren't familiar with the comic kept saying "what happened next?" Well, now we know.
JessicaJessica You know, I've had Christian friends before, and I used to hear them say all sorts of whack-a-doodle things like this "The Lord told me I should do this." "I felt I've been given a calling to do that." And I outright asked them "Do you actually hear voices? Or is this just some sort of bizarre way you like talking about your own intuition?"

Those people aren't really my friends anymore.


o Page 56

Page 56
JessicaJessica They followed him for 40 minutes. Would they have followed him all night? What if that wasn't really a calling from the Lord? What if you just had a bout of really bad gas or something?
AndrewAndrew And finally our international Bible-thumpers The Crusaders actually get to swing into action and... drive their car into another car. This isn't derring-do, it's falling asleep at the wheel!
JessicaJessica These would-be assassins are hard-core! "What in the world?!" Sounds like the WHAM-bulance there made them spill their Earl Grey tea or something.


o Page 57

Page 57
AndrewAndrew More lazily drawn onomotopoeia. "RRRRRHH". What's the source of this? Is it the oncoming car? Our Satanic assassins? Mountain lions?


o Page 58

Page 58
JessicaJessica Yeah. Totally. Charlie Manson and Ed Gein here were just coming home from a hunting trip when their gun accidentally went off. Happens all the time, I'm sure.
AndrewAndrew Gasp! The cops are in on it! This conspiracy goes ever deeper! We know because it appears in a comic book!
JessicaJessica That cop has a big-ass heart to go with his big-ass chin.


o Page 59

Page 59
JessicaJessica If the cop was in on it, why didn't they just have the cop shoot Todd Collins? Then there wouldn't have to be any sort of cover up. Efficiency people!!!
AndrewAndrew "A lot of groups want him silenced!" "Especially Satan!" I wasn't aware Satan was a group. We've gone from "Satan is a real person" to "Satan is a committee". Besides, everywhere else in this comic it's implied that Satan controls everything- why bother making a distinction?
JessicaJessica Yeah, I wonder how much time he has. Of course, John Todd died in a mental institution in 2007, sooooo... about 29 years. Yep.


o Page 60

Page 60
JessicaJessica I don't think it's either professional or ethical for a newscaster to outright state "I was so ashamed!" during a newscast. Even if she works for the All Bull Shit (ABS) network.

It's like she should pull a Christine Chubbuck or something.
AndrewAndrew Melinda? She looks exactly like Gloria from The Marriage Mess. I guess it's her long-lost twin sister.

Also, I think this is the first time I've seen "Haw Haw" come from a character who wasn't explicitly evil.
JessicaJessica Ben is trying to go along and be supportive and understanding of Penny's new hobby. But when he goes home at night - EVERY NIGHT - empty-handed, you know he jerks off into an old semen-encrusted sock, curses God above and then cried himself to sleep.

Thanks, Penny. You've destroyed that nice young man.


o Page 61

Page 61
JessicaJessica Penny? She was the point of this whole mess? What about Old Bobby Dallas? What about John Lance Todd Collins? What about poor, sexually frustrated Ben? This whole thing was about that fickle, stupid-ass Penny? Man, what a gyp.
AndrewAndrew Wouldn't be the first time we've seen a bait-and-switch from Chick. (Though, maybe chronologically speaking, it is...)
JessicaJessica She's the Lord's property now. All this talk of women being other people's property makes me really uncomfortable. You belong to your father, until you get married and belong to your husband. You belong to Satan until you get saved and then your belong to God. Is it really all that bad to just be responsible for yourself? It's not that unusual a concept, is it?


o Conclusion

AndrewAndrew Well, this comic contains the most distilled essence of John Todd's craziness yet seen in Chick's work. Even though Chick has since moved on to figures like William Schnoebelen and Rebecca Brown, the conspiracy insanity contained herein really packs a punch. Still, I have to wonder how this all fits together with Alberto Rivera's Jesuit conspiracy, or any of the rest of it. It sounds like virtually everyone in the entire world, except for Chick and the brave souls who give him information and (no doubt reluctantly) take his money, is a part of some conspiracy. With a worldview like this, it's easy to understand why Chick is such a recluse.

For Chick aficionados like us, this comic is also helpful to understand classic tracts like Dark Dungeons. That line about "Rock music" being occult paraphernalia never made any sense to me before. Now it all fits into place, in a crazy sort of way.

In a way, comics like this make me feel sorry for Jack Chick. He's so vulnerable to people who tell him what he wants to hear that he's made tract after tract dedicated to the easily debunked stories of con-men like John Todd and Alberto Rivera. At the risk of psychoanalyzing a person I've never met, he must have a deep need to believe in theories like this, even if they don't make any logical sense.


o Further Reading