Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jack Chick Returns to the Dark Dungeon

*Blows dust off the blog*

It's been a very long time folks. Nearly three months by my count. Life's just been kicking my ass this year and I've been trying my hardest getting it back in working order.

I didn't expect to write a post today, but when I heard this piece of news I knew I had to say something.

Jack T. Chick, the fundamentalist christian cartoonist that wrote numerous comics called "Chick tracts", died this past Sunday at the age of 92.

This is the man who wrote Dark Dungeons, the unintentionally hilarious comic that depicted Dungeons & Dragons as something evil. That it was a tool for satanists to corrupt the innocent youth of the world, teach them magical spells, and drive them to commit suicide if their characters died within the game.

I wish I was making this up.

Dark Dungeons is a relic of a strange time in the hobby's history, a moment when some people actually believed to be dangerous. This little comic was made to fan those hate-fueled fires, along with stuff like John Coyne's novel Hobgoblin or the made-for-television film Mazes & Monsters based on the Rona Jaffe book of the same name.

Today, I find it hard to muster any amount of hatred for this piece of exploitative propaganda. I might not like the person who created it and find the majority of his beliefs to be utterly deplorable, but I can't help but find some strange merit with this particular piece of work. It's like this weird, cultural landmark for the hobby, giving us something to laugh about and make snarky references towards.

However, I might also just be reaching for something positive in all this so I won't default to negativity in this incredibly awkward situation. You'll never know.