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‘We All Deserve To Go To Hell’
Charlie’s Ants by J.T.C.
© 2014 James LaFond
JAN/2/14
Charlie is a be-speckled geek with a magnifying glass, who loves to observe his ant friends ply their industry through the looking glass in the public park. He is one cute kid with two very different friends. There is the nameless brat with a prison-stripe shirt on, a wrist-rocket in his pocket, and the mischievous dog, cat and dive-bombing blackbird from many another J.T.C. epics to keep him in trouble. This particular yard ape informs Charlie that the park is about to be flooded by a dam and that his ants are doomed! From here we depart into perhaps the best child-targeted evangelism ever dispensed.
The trouble-making cat, brat, dog and bird provide a comic backdrop for a very serious discussion between Charlie and his Christian female friend. As Charlie tries in vein to convince the ants to move to higher ground she informs him that the only way he could do so would be to give up his human status—godlike compared to the status of an ant—and become an ant. There is then a cartoon of Charlie as an ant with geek glasses on, surrounded by menacing ants. His friend reminds him that his ant friends would kill him when he informed them of their doom. She then goes on to equate this Charlie-as-descendant-ant-messiah, to the life of Jesus and his sacrifice for humanity.
This is masterful conversion-indoctrination lore for children, and makes the case for Christianity better than most of the comics in this series. A rare procession of the cross scene, followed by a good midnight crucifixion scene, are juxtaposed with a geek-molesting devil scene to convince Charlie to become a Christian. Soon he and the Brat are saved, and even the normally savage animals are walking happily along. It is telling that J.T.C. makes more mature and rational appeals to children then to adults, who are generally just threatened with damnation and lured by promises of paradise.
Charlie’s Ants is a masterpiece of its kind.
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