Welcome to Jack's F.A.Q.s: the most Frequently Asked Questions of Jack T. Chick!
What are Chick tracts?
You're kidding, right? Everyone knows Chick tracts. Even people who don't know really do know, they just don't know that they know. Chicks are (approx.) 3" x 5" religious tracts that use 24 pages of comics to convey the message. They can be found nearly everywhere, from bus stations to park benches, in bathrooms, bars-- you name it. Those who distribute them can be very creative! (Browse our old contest page and you'll see.) There are many layers to Chick tracts, too: Fun art, reactionary views, a great variety of topics, detailed Bible information, etc. etc. Little wonder they are so collectable and addictive.
Is Jack Chick Real?
Yes he is. And let's face it, who could possibly dream up someone like Jack? He's too unbelievable to be fake. Besides, his tracts are all the proof you need to know he's been around and for a long time. Early versions have been collected that are between 35-40 years old. That was long before anyone knew who Jack was or cared. And the same man is still penning most the tracts. His style is quite identifiable. Moreover, eye witnesses have actually met Jack at his office. (An account is given in The Imp #2.) And Richard Lee has been lucky enough to meet Jack not once, but several times-- and once he even took me along for the honor! (An account is given in my book.) But Jack seems to be somewhat mysterious. Like Howard Hughes, he likes to call from his office without providing his phone number or his office location. He's very sparce on his own back ground, though it appears he went to high school in 1940, and was born between 1922-1926. According to Chick, he served in WWII in New Guinea and Okinawa, and was "saved" in 1948. See his official bio for details.
Who does the really good art?
That would be Fred Carter, a black artist who is also supposedly a minister. For whatever reason, Fred doesn't seem to want much credit for his fantastic work. Perhaps he thinks it's too controversial, or perhaps he thinks God would want him to remain humble. Whatever the reason, he's only mentioned once in another Chick book A Solution To The Marriage Mess. Jack seems willing to acknowledge Carter's role, but Fred doesn't seem that interested. Carter did all the Crusader comic series and most the tracts relating Bible stories. He is currently working on a movie drawing full color Bible stills... for Jack T. Chick!
Some rumors suggest The Solution To The Marriage Mess credit was misleading. The real "other artist" is a Filippino named Jesus (Jess) Jodloman. But conventional wisdom believes more in Fred than Jesus. The black character in The Crusaders is actually drawn to look like Fred.
Sources at Chick Publications claim the artwork in the tracts was produced by either Jack Chick or Fred Carter, except for one tract-- the title of which they can't currently recall. We've devoted a special wing to consider which tract is from this unknown third man.
Was Alberto real?
Yes he was (a real person, that is). Jack has produced numerous documents to prove that not only did Alberto really exist, but that Doctor Alberto Rivera was indeed an ex-priest. The inside cover of the Alberto comic (Crusaders #12) is adorned with these documents and photos. The truth is, the Jesuits have a long history of being controversial (even among Catholics), and the Catholic church has been caught in various acts of intrigue throughout its history. This should be of little surprise considering the Catholic Church was the center of political power, often choosing one king over another and for many centuries, placed in control of the legal (cannon) system. The Pope often used his considerable leverage to humiliate Kings, forcing some to publicly beg for forgiveness or face excommunication. After King Henry the VIII broke with Rome and created the Church of England, the Catholic Church (and presumably the Pope) organized an attempt to murder his successors by blowing up the Parliament Building. (This failed attempt is still celebrated in England on Guy Fawkes day.) And who were the agents sent to carry out this assassination attempt? Why, the Jesuits of course! All that being said, the Catholic Church has presumably mellowed out through the years. To what extent it is involved in undercover schemes today is unknown. But to imagine certain Jesuits were involved in trying to infiltrate and undermine various Protestant churches is not much of a stretch considering their historical reputation. Even so, many maintain Alberto was a fraud. We may never know for sure. He died in 1997, so he ain't talking. For info on his death, go here. For other Alberto info, go here.
Must Jack be so Offensive?
Absolutely! Because in Jack's mind, it's better that he offend you than let you offend God. (Because you're gonna burn, suckah!) One of his favorite quotes is from Gal 4:10: "Am I therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth?"(Posted on the front of every issue of Battlecry.) Jack thinks he's doing you the best favor anyone in the world could do by confronting you with your sins. And based on his strict interpretation of the Bible, he's got plenty of scripture to back him up. So who knows... maybe he's right. But one thing is for certain. Jack Chick tracts would not be near as enjoyable if they weren't so hard hitting or "in your face". The most popular ones tend to be the most offensive. Anyone can tell a Bible story, we already know most of them by heart. But it takes real nerve to explain to someone why they deserve to burn for all eternity unless they give up their Satanic ways and become saved. Another favorite theme is how Satan works in the Church, the Vatican, the media, you name it and Satan is there working overtime. The Christians are sleeping at the wheel while "Lew Siffer" is steering 'em toward a cliff. And for all the talk about how Jack is crazy, most of his historical facts are -- well, facts. No one can prove or disprove if the Catholic Church is really out to take over the world by sinister means. But who can refute the Catholic Crusades, or the forged letter to King Pepin from Saint Peter? These are factual Papal intrigues taught in almost every College history program. Then again, the colleges are supposed to be Satanic, so why would they expose other Satanic plots? (Sometimes it's best not to think about these things too much.) Suffice it to say, some of what Jack says is clearly conjecture on his part, but if you try to pin him down in an outright lie, you might be surprised how difficult it is to do. He may be vague when it comes to details, and his suspicions about the real motivations of who did what (e.g., Lennon and Marx were closet Catholics, Hitler worked for the Pope) are impossible to prove (or disprove), but most the names and dates are indeed correct. (Yes, Hitler did model the S.S. after the Jesuits, but that doesn't prove he worked for the Pope.) If a reader asks "how could anyone know that for sure?" to each statement, you'll have a good idea where the history ends and Jack's theory begins.
Does Jack still draw his own art?
Yes! Jack suffered a stroke a number of years back after drawing Where's Rabbi Waxman, and it effected his drawing hand. Some say it set him back many years, and that the new tracts we see today are from stockpiled work done before his stroke. But that's not true. He penned many post 2000 tracts and even drew hundreds of illustrations for the recent book by David Daniels,
Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible? The True History of God's Words.
It has some of the best cartoons art wise to date. Chick Publications has indicated they plan to release a new tract every 60 days. That would be a pretty ambitious schedule for a publisher if their illustrator was out of commission. Of course, they still have Fred Carter, who draws about half of the tracts with a real clean art style. But the other half with the more scribble-type artwork is still being drawn by Chick.
Are Chick tracts "Hate Lit"?
No, although in Canada various Chick comics were not allowed over the border for that very reason (the wimps!) Certain groups would love to outlaw Chick tracts here, but Jack's tracts generally reflect what the King James Bible has preached for hundreds of years. US politicians seem reluctant to go on record equating the KJV Bible with "Hate Speech". (But that could change after a few more years of Satan music and PC programing.) Some Chick tracts are definitely insensitive, and liberals have passed many regulations restricting "offensive speech" in the last decade. (Conservatives passed similar laws aimed at their political opponents during the McCarthy area, so now it's the liberals "turn".) But no state has yet outlawed Chick tracts in the USA. That being said, anonymous threats and organized pressure (especially after the Alberto series was published) have successfully reduced the number of Christian book stores that carry Chick tracts by 2/3rds. The attempt to run Chick out of business might even have worked, if Jimmy Swaggart hadn't started quoting Chick's Battle Cry on his TV show. (Swaggart is one of the few tele-evangelists who openly agreed with Jack's critical views of Catholic dogma.) Company sales rebounded and apparently made up for the lost revenues. Needless to say, Chick is still in business. Whereas Jimmy Swaggart...
Where did Jack get the idea for Chick Tracts?
Officially, Jack learned how the Communists Chinese brainwashed millions using comic books and copied their concept. But the actual size of Chick tracts is suspiciously similar to pornographic mini-comics that were popular during the 1950s. They were called "2 x 4"s (their size in inches). These small comics were cheap and easy to conceal in a pocket. Jack never pretends he was goody-2-shoes in his early days. By his own account, he was quite a hell raiser! Like many young men of that era, he probably saw and read some of these dirty comics. Ironic, huh? Who would have ever thought the Commies and the Pornographers would help create the very tracts that attack them both on a regular basis!
What does the "T" in Jack T. Chick stand for?
Jack Thomas Chick. And you thought it was something grand, like Tiberius? The only reason he probably includes the "T" on the front at all is so it doesn't read "J.C.", which some people might think was a sacrilegious joke.
How often does Jack publish new tracts?
Chick typically puts out a new tract every 90 days (9 times a year). Why so often? Because the Jehova's Witnesses fan out every 6 months, so Chick has to be twice as aggressive to undo their damage! Lately, he's even printed a new tract once every TWO months. There's been grass growing under his feet!
What does Jack look like?
Chick doesn't permit photos to be taken of him. He doesn't want to help the media recognize him! In fact, not only are there no current photos of him published, but he doesn't do interviews either. The result is one of the most successful mystery men of our time. He's actually famous for not being known! No amount of money can buy that kind of publicity. Why does he do it? He knows most interviewers will try to crucify him for his strong religious non-P.C. views, so why give them more ammunition? TV crews have tried to "ambush" him on camera but he's always out smarted them (FOX "The Reporters" tried to corner him once, but he "out-foxed" them). Even pictures people thought they had of him turned out to be false. (A recent example was in Imp #2, the self portrait of Jack turned out to be someone else.)
Another reason is that he's concerned about his safety and doesn't want to help his enemies identify him. In his book (and tape) of Lets Make A Stand, Jack says he was with Alberto when someone tried to shoot the former Jesuit. That was even before Jack published Alberto's insider tales of Catholic undercover plots. So he probably thinks the Vatican wants BOTH of them dead. His company has received anonymous threats, and he's been quoted predicting his own death by assassins. (After Alberto, someone drove by his company and shot out the front widows and glass door.) Little wonder he's become a PR Artful Dodger. Currently, there are more pictures of Big Foot and space aliens than Jack T. Chick. Consider him the Faceless God of the underground comic artists. Readers can witness his creation and some can even hear his voice (if they own his books on tape), but he doesn't reveal his face. At least, not on this mortal plane...
Of course, I asked for his photograph the time I met him with Richard Lee, but Chick politely refused. The only image we can provide are CARTOONS (image 1 & 2) of Chick by Richard Lee, but they are twenty years old and Richard would be the first to downplay his own drawing talents. Still, it's the best we've got, so it will have to hold our image appetite for now.
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