Originally from Warlock #10 (1976), but scanned from issue #3 of the Warlock Special Edition (1983). Warlock conveniently thinks back on how the last few issues of his adventures had led him to where he was that day. Awesome drawing.
Art by Jim Starlin
Originally created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for an issue of the Fantastic Four, Him was a genetically perfect being created by a group of criminal scientists. Him's first act was to murder his "parents" and leave the planet heading into space.
Roy Tomas took the character several years later and gave him a name, Adam Warlock, and a job, Cosmic Messiah. The messiah of "Counter Earth" that planet circling exactly the opposite of Earth on the far side of the sun.
Eventually adopted by Marvel's resident 1970's comics guru, Jim Starlin, Warlock has been a major player in the more important "Cosmic" sagas.
Let me say first of that obviously I do not follow Jack Chick's insane interpretation of Christianity, but that after 35 years of studying the man, I know what i am talking about.
Jack Chick loved people. Deeply and completely with the kind of spiritual reverence that is hard to accept considering what he wrote. What Chick wanted desperately was to save people from damnation and have them spend eternity in the arms of Christ.
That was his entire goal and sole purpose in life.
But for Chick, that meant there was no room for "lies" or kind but empty words. If you wanted to go to Heaven, God laid out some pretty strict rules and you had no choice but to follow them.
So for more than 50 years, Jack Chick laid down those rules. Being gay was the road to damnation, so was listening to Rock n Roll (mostly the European sort, not so much the African) or playing the "Devil's Game" D&D. Almost more frighting was Chick preaching the idea that even child molesters and rapists will become safe and honest citizens just as long as they find Christ. Then there is Chick's interpretation of the Bible itself. Which was a mix of Christian scholarship, conspiracy theories, the Illuminati and his extreme distrust for the Catholic Church.
From what I can tell, the only thing that Jack Chick actively hated in this world was the Catholic Church. But of course while there are indeed all sorts of things to dislike about the Church, Chick hated them because in his eyes the Catholic clergy were happily in league with Satan working to lose the war for Christ and not their actual issues as priests and men.
Still, while a deeply flawed man with a... unique, interpretation of the scriptures Chick was a true force on the American evangelical scene for 50 years.
He was wrong about so very much though. So very much.
Like a religious lawyer Chick was stuck in the rules of salvation while never capturing the mercy or compassion of Christ's teachings. And in the end that is his biggest failure. Those little comic tracts were powerful devices for proselytizing. And while they could have spent decades teaching a message of love, a message of compassion, instead they presented God as a petty, mean, faceless giant overlooking us all from a throne anxious to throw us to our well deserved damnation.
If in the end there is a Heaven, I can't help but wonder if it would surprise any of us if Jack's name wasn't in the book?
The wrap around cover for the 1957 edition of EG White's, The Triumph of God's Love (original title, the Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan) art by Russ Harlen.
This piece from the 1950's reminds me of the kind of political art you see on posters in North Korea. Still, quite striking and I noticed the entire cover wasn't on the web, so I thought I'd put it up.
Detail art from the movie poster for Sorcerer (1977)
I'm just a movie watching guy these days. This morning I've been enjoying director William Friedkin's 1977 adventure film, Sorcerer. In a remake of 1953's Wages of Fear, Roy Scheider is one of four men hired to drive an unstable shipment of nitroglycerin through the rough roads and flooded jungle of an unnamed South American dictatorship. Beautifully shot, with palpable tension, as trucks slowly crawl across rope bridges and impossible obstacles it is a gut wrenching visceral experience.
Roy Scheider stars as a mafioso, on the run, who learns that there is nowhere to run. Sorcerer (1977)
Despite being a first rate film, Sorcerer was a huge financial bomb on it's original release, Director Friedkin has blamed the lack of success of the film on the reality that it opened at the same time as another little movie, Star Wars. While it is true that not much was able to stand up against the pure drawing power of the original Star Wars, I'm not so sure I can agree with Friedkin.
Francisco Rabal is a hitman, also on the run. Sorcerer (1977)
I'm of the opinion that Sorcerer's failure at the boxoffice was almost 100% because despite being an adventure film about truck drivers in South America, people convinced themselves it was going to be a horror movie. Sorcerer was Friedkin's first film since 1974's The Exorcist, which was one of the most influential and critically important horror films of all time. A movie that had so successfully scared the shit out of modern american that as far as the audience was concerned the only way he could top the Exorcist was to make an even better horror film. And besides it was named Sorcerer, so how could it not be a horror film. This is despite the fact that Friedkin had already directed the French Connection and was known for action. The trailer certainly doesn't push the horror vibe either. But never the less, once the first audiences went to the theater and discovered that what they were seeing was a taunt action film about truck drivers in South America instead of a scary movie, word of mouth got around and people stayed away in droves.
Which is a shame, because in its own right, Sorcerer is a very good movie. The four leads, Scheider, Amidou, Bruno Cremer and Francisco Rabal all put in strong performances. The film is beautifully shot, and the tension going throughout the entire film right up to it's shocking ending could be cut with a knife. 40 years on this film holds up. Fairly obscure, but worth the time, Sorcerer is yet another example of 1970's gold at the movie theater.
As kids most of us had our fair share of bubble gum cards. One of my personal favorites, were the stickers Topps put out for Marvel Comics. Here is a large selection of character stickers from the 1976 edition.
Sure the jokes are dumb, but at 12 they weren't that bad really.
Howard the Duck
A pre-Winter Soldier Bucky
Blade the Vampire Slayer
Hercules got a couple of bad jokes
Same for Luke Cage, Power Man
Hawkeye back in his Goliath era
The Fantastic Fours, Human Torch
Also from the Fantastic Four, the Invisible Girl
And the Thing, I'm sure there is a card for Mister Fantastic, but I don't have it
Kid Colt, Outlaw
Loki, long before they made him all sexy and stuff
A selection of packages from the 1976 edition of Marvel stickers
If Peter Parker is around.....
... can Spider-Man be far behind????
The Red Skull
One of the most innocent Marvel characters, the Silver Surfer
On the other hand, the Son-of -Satan
The Incredible Hulk
A double shot of Volstagg
On the back of several of the cards were sections of a larger picture that when put together
gave us a nice looking copy of the Cover to Conan the Barbarian #1