Jack Chick sez: Beaten and alone, a child dies. But Jesus cares.
Welcome to another exciting edition of Ecclesiastical Snuff Tracts, where Jack Chick demonstrates the love of Christ by brutally murdering a child. The child in question is an adorable little waif who bears an eerie resemblance to Liza Minnelli.
The nameless child lives with a swarthy Weeble of a man who is so drunk that even his thoughts are riddled with hiccups. Despite the raging thunderstorm outside, the brute orders the child to go out and beg for money.
The poor little boy (I think) shivers in the rain, barely dodging massive bolts of lightning as he panhandles passersby for spare change. Sadly, they’re all too busy being gay and believing in evolution to pay him any attention.
Although one gentleman does stop long enough to drop a magic, levitating penny into the boy’s cup.
Unfortunately, the boy’s jowly guardian isn’t impressed with the floating coin. He throws the cup and bouncing penny to the ground as hate juice and flames shoot out of his head!
He grabs a convenient club, chases down the poor boy while swearing and thinking about hiccups, and then beats the hell out of him while basking in the light of what’s either a mushroom cloud or a glorious indoor sunrise.
Nice art, Jack. No wonder you have to give these tracts away…
Having bludgeoned his only source of income into unconsciousness, the drunkard tosses the child out into the rain. The child begins his arduous crawl through the darkness, with only the occasional flash of cartoon lightning to light his way.
He once again finds himself on the uncaring streets, being trampled by pedestrians and chased by ferocious hellbeasts until he seeks refuge in a wooden crate.
As he snoozes fitfully, a pamphlet entitled Somebody Loves You is carried on the wind and comes to rest against his makeshift bed. Oddly enough, Somebody Loves You isn’t one of Chick’s tracts. When he crafted this masterful tale (back in 1969), he hadn’t yet embraced the notion of self-promotion that would later pervade his ouvre.
Anyway, the feverish little vagrant is startled awake by the sound of paper slamming into his crate.
Unfortunately, on top of everything else that’s crappy in his life, he’s also illiterate. He’s struggling to make sense of the pamphlet when a girl, who happens to be strolling through the alley with a Bible under her arm, stops to tell him what it says.
In fact, she apparently screams it. She then offers to go for help. Interestingly, this is a fairly recent addition to the tract. In Chick’s original version, she informed the child that Jesus loved him, and then callously left him to die. Apparently, even Chick’s most devoted Kool-Aid sippers felt this was a shitty thing for a Christian to do, and so he went back and added the “I’ll go for help!” word balloon in later printings.
Anyway, the poor little child dies knowing Jesus loves him, and an angel comes down and takes him to Heaven. Where he’ll get to spend eternity with all of the serial killers and child rapists who recanted on their death beds. So it’s a happy ending, right?
As you know, Chick occasionally “adapts” his tracts for “Black audiences.” This usually entails getting Fred Carter (the “good” artist) to black things up by drawing some afros and dreadlocks. However, Chick decided to adapt this one himself by basically taking a Sharpie marker and coloring in the characters. I give you Hard Times:
You’re welcome, Black audiences.