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Nobody Else Can Save You
On The Highway to Hell with an Invisible Urban Evangelist
© 2013 James LaFond
I collect Christian flip comics; little pamphlets that can be ordered at www.chick.com. These are left for us godless stock clerks on the shelves at work, and on buses, where my friend Big Head Tweet collects them as well. We trade to keep our collections up to date. I am using some of them in the fiction serial First Contact as props for Big Head Tweet’s fictionalized alter ego, who I very creatively renamed, Big Head Tweet.
Today I hit the jackpot, and, since I got stuck on a diverted ghetto bus in the rain, I was set for reading material. These things are handy, and since they are meant to target the ADHD Generation, the required attention span falls far short of vast, which was good since I had been up for 32 hours and was nodding off reading Melville. My comic writer friend at work dislikes J.T.C.’s work, and so do other graphic novel fans I know, who claim the art is cheesy. But I grew up in the 1970s when everything was cheesy, so I’m good with that.
Although I am not an artist, art critic, or even a comics fan, I think the illustrator J.T.C. has his strengths. He does tears well, ghetto characters incredibly well, slathers on the dread with midnight crucifixions that would sober up Mel Gibson; and, above all, he does Hell well! His Devil is always cheesy, to demean him. But the Devil’s avatars are awesome! The best thing about J.T.C. is he can use outrageous racial stereotypes and not get slammed because he is under the protection of The Big Guy. He does ghetto so well I would like him to illustrate Harm City.
Let me review today’s offerings, all written and illustrated to scare the Jesus back into you:
Tiny Shoes is about this poor Mexican drunk who is such a screw up it is pathetic. If I were Hispanic I would be insulted, unless I was one of my Puerto Rican or Peruvian friends, who all hate Mexicans…
The Peace Maker is about a black hero cop who is also a deacon. He starts out saving some stoner white boy’s soul, and then is faced with a ghetto riot and has to save an ignorant white cop from a crowd of gangbangers, who apparently all forgot their nines. The cover art is really good, and depicts a do-ragged thug with a combat knife.
The Letter is really gothic and creepy. It is dark and gloomy with dream sequences and a cryptic ascent of avatars out of Hell [I never realized they had a stairwell.] to deliver a message from the dead. The avatars are perfect and noble in form, wearing Olympic [pagan] garland crowns. As the damned go, these guys are refreshingly professional. Make sure you get this one. The scene from Hell would please Dante fans—both of you.
The Long Trip is great. It is about a man’s life from infant to old age. The best part is the evil sadistic house cat who torments the infant and toddler. As the boy grows into youth, and then maturity, and then middle age, he takes the same highway of life as most people, forgetting the narrow side road of salvation. The road to Hell is occupied by catholic priests, Shriners, Sikhs, Nuns, Orthodox patriarchs, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, and even a disciple of the Buda, along with your assorted bikers, businessmen and schleps. It is quite clear that all of you people are going to burn for longer than Steven Hawking could possibly calculate.
As the procrastinating man nears the end of his 70 ‘promised’ years, with eight left to go, a bearded intellectual cautions him to hold off on committing to Jesus until the end. On the next page he is falling into the abyss with the legions of unbelievers, into the clutches of the Devil, who was disguised as the intellectual! Go figure. The best part, the part that sent a thrill up my spine and had me sprinting home like a ten-year-old to tell my roommate, was this: the disguise used by the devil looked exactly like the most evil backstabbing man I know; a man that ripped my friend off in a business deal two years ago. No fooling!
Wow.
I can’t wait for the next one. The last page in each volume has the same self-help advice: a 4-step soul saving course; and a 4-step soul preservation course, that will hopefully see you past that comforting intellectual and his bag of eternal torments.
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