The Marriage Mess


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Last Updated:

» June 19, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios


The Marriage Mess

The Marriage Mess

Chapter 5 - Until Death Do Us Part which the bonds of matrimony are frayed and tattered.


  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
31 32 33 34 35

o CommentatorsJessicaAndrew Page 1

Page 1 JessicaJessica "That THING he wants to marry"? The Fantastic Four have fallen on hard times.
AndrewAndrew I understand not liking Pat and her spawn, but what exactly is so bad about Gloria?


o Page 2

Page 2 JessicaAndrew I take it the Miller family can't afford a doorbell.

Anyone else notice Mark drinks a lot of coffee? Dude must be as wired as hell.


o Page 3

Page 3 AndrewAndrew Does he just tote these other people around with them?
JessicaJessica Pat looks like a Gloria Steinem knockoff. And little Stevie Jr. looks like a Butterball turkey.
AndrewAndrew In this panel he looks like he's made of pure lard. I mean, there's baby fat, and then there's "candidate for gastric bypass at age 8."


o Page 4

Page 4 JessicaJessica "At least you can send us a gift from wherever you're going. We could really use some more petrified crap for the mantle."
AndrewAndrew You know, they basically just demanded a gift from him. The really surprising thing is that Mark doesn't have a relevent Bible passage to quote.

We're not even bothering with the swirls anymore. Mark is practically just a disembodied head.
JessicaJessica I've heard this refered to as the 'Dirac sea." Most of Chick's comics take place on a white field.


o Page 5

Page 5 JessicaJessica Billy's wife actually looks like my mom as a senior in high school. I'm glad that turtlenecks have declined in popularity over the intervening decades.
Andrew Andrew Remember, folks! Going to church has nothing to do with being Christian! My head hurts.


o Page 6

Page 6 AndrewAndrew Billy looks almost human here.
JessicaJessica And Gloria looks like she's getting something in the back door. Either that or Billy's got a grip like a vice. "Won't that be GREAT, honey!"
AndrewAndrew You know, I always thought "shacking up" was for when unmarried people live together, not for, you know, a married couple.
JessicaJessica Yeah, that's weird.
AndrewAndrew So does Mark expect them to live separately? They can't live with their parents, they can't live together...
JessicaJessica No, on their own. Regardless of their finances.


o Page 7

Page 7 JessicaJessica Judging by this photo, the years have not been kind to mom.
AndrewAndrew Billy really looks like a ventilloquist's dummy in that photo.

Mark instantly takes Helen's side. We never ever see what it is about Gloria that she hates so much. "Some strange woman, who she could really grow to hate, is going to take you away from her!" Alternately, a woman she could grow to love... Or, just perhaps, women like Helen should get their claws out of their sons.


o Page 8

Page 8 AndrewAndrew Billy has adopted his mother's "mouth of walnuts" look.
JessicaJessica I like the pose Gloria strikes here. Also, is that a penguin on Billy's shirt? I remember we had Izod when we were growing up, but that was an alligator. Is he a proto-Linux fanboy or something?
AndrewAndrew Is that what Helen hates? Gloria's independent streak? Or is that just what Jack Chick hates?


o Page 9

Page 9 AndrewAndrew I think that just answered my question.
JessicaJessica "What kind of home will you have?" Hopefully one with a roof. I really don't get how they equate "pride" with living with your parents. I mean, he's like 30.
AndrewAndrew Yeah, and if you are living with your parents at 30, pride is probably not your first priority.


o Page 10

Page 10 AndrewAndrew So this is really all an elaborate way to say "don't get married till you can afford it," which is actually surprisingly reasonable advice when stripped of the scriptural baggage (and the "insanely overinvolved relative" baggage). Oddly enough, Mark doesn't actually tell them to hold off till Billy gets a job.
JessicaJessica "You are to become one flesh!" That means you get to knock boots! This kid's eyes are screwed shut, like he's trying to wish the fish away.


o Page 11

Page 11 JessicaJessica You notice how she was introduced as Pat, but Mark always calls her Patty?
AndrewAndrew Mark is one of those guys who insists on giving a nickname to everyone whether they want it or not.
JessicaJessica Or maybe "Pat" was just a little too masculine. Wouldn't want a woman trying to get the same privileges as a man! "That's unscriptural!"


o Page 12

Page 12 JessicaJessica This kid will be a serial killer in a few years.
AndrewAndrew So he's destructive like his father... perhaps this isn't a good sign.
JessicaJessica Though it works for the Millers. Monkey see, monkey do.


o Page 13

Page 13 JessicaJessica "What's underwear got to do with this? Oh, you said womb." Also, you know what this kid needs? 50 pounds of weed.
AndrewAndrew That'll even him out.
JessicaJessica "These things are going straight in the blender. I'm having me a margarita tonight." Also, why's he cleaning up the mess? Shouldn't Pat be cleaning up after her brat?


o Page 14

Page 14 JessicaJessica I think Mark's just been canonized.
AndrewAndrew Stevie is a gift? Hope they held on to the receipt.
JessicaJessica "God forces every breath in and out of your mouth!"
AndrewAndrew "The things of the Lord" sounds so euphemistic. "The Bicycle of the Lord. The Thimble of the Lord. The Pocket Lint of the Lord!" C'mon, Mark, say what you mean!


o Page 15

Page 15 AndrewAndrew "Pat, you are supposed to love your husband and child." "What, really? Oh shi-"
JessicaJessica "Helen, we were just talking about you. You've got some "splainin to do!"
AndrewAndrew Pat's posture is rather awkward here. Hunched over, with both arms in front. It's like she suddenly lost a handful of chromosomes.


o Page 16

Page 16 AndrewAndrew So the assumption is that Pat doesn't love her deadbeat husband and her "Bad Seed" child because nobody TOLD HER TO? That really doesn't make much of an estimate of Pat's judgement. Then again, she probably shouldn't have gotten married to Steve Sr. in the first place.
JessicaJessica Looks like Helen's trying to lay an egg.
AndrewAndrew Now that's a shit-eating grin. "Who, me?"


o Page 17

Page 17 JessicaJessica "As a member of the church, everything's your business."
AndrewAndrew Helen could have done better than Frank? I think they both deserve what they got.
JessicaJessica That's a really telling statement when we learn later on that he doesn't use deodorant.


o Page 18

Page 18JessicaJessica "I'll just get a lawyer and file for divorce" ...and go through the legal battles over property, and the custody battle, and the paperwork to get my name changed back, legal documents, court fees... it's simple. Should have done it months ago.


o Page 19

Page 19 AndrewAndrew Classic Chick strawman. Have a character choose the most extreme solution to a problem, and then knock it over.
JessicaJessica The characters overreact, so clearly their situation can't be that untenable. There's the ether again, by the way.

He's working two jobs? Wait a minute, I thought he wanted her to get a job so he could be lazy?
AndrewAndrew It's the stench of the ether that's getting to her. Look at that face!


o Page 20

Page 20JessicaJessica "God hates divorce." Yes, that is the only problem facing our nation right now. Actually, now 1 in 2 marriages are going down the tubes today, the majority of them Christian.


o Page 21

Page 21 JessicaJessica When your feelings get hurt, that's pride! You don't get feelings- you're not even human!
AndrewAndrew We've got that wierd Egyptian wall painting perspective here.
JessicaJessica We have a bird's-eye view of the table, but Mark and Pat are at a 45 degree angle. Also, Mark looks like he's about to levitate.


o Page 22

Page 22 AndrewAndrew Kid looks like a miniature Boris Yeltsin. Or maybe Newt Gingrich.
JessicaJessica I want to see him eat that bug. Why don't they just put a 666 on his forehead and be done?


o Page 23

Page 23 JessicaJessica "Burp! Excuse Me!"

Now the house has completely disappeared.
AndrewAndrew It's just a completely white field.
JessicaJessica Actually, the house hasn't been seen all chapter.


o Page 24

Page 24 JessicaJessica And we're back. Nice establishing shot, Jack.
AndrewAndrew So... basically the man is always right, even when he's wrong.
JessicaJessica Now you're catching on!!! "Your husband gives 5%, you give 195%... your husband gives 0? Well, you get the idea!"


o Page 25

Page 25 AndrewAndrew "Only Christ is perfect!" Yeah, only Christ and, well, this guy. I mean, I know he's a missionary, but... He's what Jack Chick wished he could be or something.

And it's true, nobody's perfect, and its a good idea to keep in in mind when criticising minor faults... but it doesn't work like this: "well, he hits me, and he drinks too much, and he cheated on me with the neighbor, but, well, I don't cook as well as I should, and once I wore the same socks for a week, so I shouldn't complain. It could always be worse!"


o Page 26

Page 26 JessicaJessica "Can't I just trade the bastard for this adorable Cabbage Patch doll?"
AndrewAndrew The kid has turned a complete 180. Also, the smashed fishbowl is long forgotten. And where'd that banana come from?
JessicaJessica "It's not God's fault, it's your fault. Why do you make him so angry! He only hits you because he loves you! Now go in the kitchen and bake a pie!"

Also: Mark's knuckles are clean-shaven.


o Page 27

Page 27 AndrewAndrew Easy for him to say, his wife is dead.
JessicaJessica She got the "Jungle Fever!" It's a sore subject for him, that's why he's trying to avoid it.


o Page 28

Page 25 AndrewJessica It means your divorce will bring on the apocalypse!
JessicaJessica Why can't people like Chick figure out whether they want the apocalypse to come soon or not?


o Page 29

Page 25 JessicaJessica "It's not too far away" says the man in 1978. Actually, I think it says that in the Bible somewhere.
AndrewAndrew It's been "just around the corner" for about 2000 years now. Besides, I always thought it was "nobody knows when the end times will come."


o Page 30

Page 25 JessicaJessica Yeah, I don't want to be single when Jesus comes back!
AndrewAndrew Sure you do, "Patty," after all, Jesus is an eligible bachelor, unless you think he'll get back together with that Mary Magdalene tramp.

Once again we have Mark's patented "way with children"
JessicaJessica What the hell's he doing to that kid? Actually, Stevie Jr. looks like Brad from the back. If you look at other panels, his hair isn't nearly as shaggy as that.
Andrew I think Chick can only draw one variety of child.
Jessica In most of Chick's comics, all the children are butt-ugly, except for baby Jesus. That's the only one he puts effort into.


o Page 31

Page 25 AndrewAndrew Great, once just a nag, now a Bible-thumping nag. Even Mark shoots that one down. I think he knows that the prospect of someone like Pat nattering on and on about Jesus would drive a man like Steve to homicide.
JessicaJessica "Wrecks", that is to say, "car wrecks."


o Page 32

Page 25 JessicaJessica "Take it on the chin, woman!" Is Mark standing in front of an open refrigerator in this panel? I can imagine him doing that for effect... fog pooling around his feet. "BEHOLD the power of CHEESE!!!"
AndrewAndrew "Come into the light! There's soda, and coldcuts!"

Somehow, I think this scenario he's talking about only works in the wet dreams of people like Mark.
JessicaJessica You'll bug him to Jesus! The only way to save him is to irritate the living shit out of him!


o Page 33

Page 25 AndrewAndrew Once again, the lecturing of an almost complete stranger has brought about great change in others. Does Mark practice hypnosis? "When I clap my hands, you will be a submissive housefrau."
JessicaJessica Compare this panel with the "lemon sucking" of Panel 19. Now that she's accepted her proper place in the home, she's dolled-up considerably.
AndrewAndrew "You and Jesus." Clearly Steve needs not accept any responsibility for his home life.


o Page 34

Page 25 AndrewAndrew Forgot the old lady was even in this scene.
JessicaJessica I guess she just stood around while Mark berated Pat.


o Page 35

Page 25 JessicaJessica "I need a big strong man to protect me and guide me and tell me what to do and smack me around when I burn the pot roast..."
AndrewAndrew They were here the whole time, too?
JessicaJessica She started off as a straw-man feminist but now I dont know what she is. I'm not an especially ardent feminist, myself, but I just want to smack that look off her face in this panel.
AndrewAndrew What Chick would have you believe... all "rebellious women" simply need a firm hand, which they will relish and enjoy.
JessicaJessica "God will bless your union!" Bow chicka bow wow.