‘The Good Morty’: Pitch-perfect ‘Rick and Morty’-themed Chick tract parody

I’ve been a big Rick and Morty fan ever since the show debuted on Adult Swim in late 2013. (For the big Science March last year I carried a sign emblazoned with the image of Rick Sanchez—who is a scientist and genius.) I was a big Community nut and continue to be a Harmontown devotee, and so I was eager to see where Dan Harmon would land after the lengthy demise of Community. In addition to creating that Joel McHale vehicle for NBC, Harmon was one of the main minds behind the legendary failed 1999 TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, which a young Jack Black teamed up with a young Owen Wilson in a parodic reworking of Knight Rider directed by a young Ben Stiller.

Harmon’s heart always lay more with visionary sci-fi (à la Robocop) and not the relatively sober sitcom trappings of Community, so Rick and Morty represented a return to subject matter like Heat Vision and Jack as well as a chance for him and show co-creator Justin Roiland to have a shit ton of fun. Reflecting the evident creative fulfillment that Harmon and Roiland have enjoyed, the show has found a solid cult following.

Purhasers of the box set of season 1 (Blu Ray version only) of Rick and Morty, which came out in 2014, received an odd little pamphlet with the title “The Good Morty.” The 14-page story was a pitch-perfect parody of the Chick tracts once unleashed by the millions by evangelical nut case Jack T. Chick. “The Good Morty” made a brief appearance in the season 1 finale “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

“The Good Morty” tells the story of the “good” Morty and the “bad” Morty—the latter makes the poor decision to join Rick for an adventure that is identical to any number of Rick and Morty episodes while the “good” version of Morty stays home and obeys the strictures laid down in Sacrimortys 4:23 to worshipfully kiss his own toes and so on. Meanwhile, Morty’s sister Summer becomes a heroin addict and eventually the “bad” Morty is transformed into a cockroach by a vengeful deity. Such are the risks in deviating from the true path of Morty!

The tract ends with a little list of things to do in order to avoid getting transformed into a cockroach:

1. Draw five scantily-clad or fully nude girls every day.
2. Kiss your toes three times each night before bed. Imagine each toe is a crying Morty who needs love.
3. Say Jessica’s name seven times each morning. Never above a whisper. Never above audible levels. Use your “six inch voice.”
4. Play with toys daily. Action figures, building blocks, remote control type toys. Bonus points for yo-yos. They’re a classic that holds up. Just be careful with them. No fancy tricks in crowded rooms.
5. Refuse all calls to adventure from Rick. Be like your dad. Be like Jerry. A simple life.
6. Play video games. Bonus points for handheld games. Never play freemium games.
7. Don’t worry about homework. You’ll be fine. The global economy is going to collapse soon anyway. Learn survival skills if anything.

Anyone who has listened to Harmon discourse on Joseph Campbell will recognize the Campbellian note in the phrase “calls to adventure.”

“The Good Morty” was written by Roiland and Ryan Ridley, and the art was created by Erica Hayes. You can read the entire thing below:


Read the whole thing after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider
12:26 pm
The Imp on Jack T. Chick Christian comics
12:23 am

If you grew up in the Bible Belt during the 70s, 80s and even well into the 90s, there is a very good chance that you have more than a passing familiarity with the hateful, frightening and just plain bizarre “Christian” comics produced by one Jack T. Chick.

Chick’s twisted message, infused with his peculiar style of fervent, the-end-is-near Fundamentalist Christian insanity, by virtue of appearing in what most parents considered to be innocuous “religious” comic books, enjoyed a long period of widespread cultural popularity. Chick tracts were distributed in Sunday schools, summer camps, motel lobbies and bus stations all across America. There have been over 750 million of them sold!

There can only be one reason such deranged literature was allowed in so many places: Adults never read them. If they had, they’d have been utterly horrified. (My own mother gave me dozens of these comics when I was a kid. I’m sure in her mind they were better for me than the Marvel of DC comics I was reading. LIttle did she know that she was actually providing me with!)

Chick’s scary, angry Fundie diatribes have given many a kid terrible nightmares. His favorite topics tend towards subject matter like “You’re going to Hell,” Halloween is evil, eternal damnation, abortion, the Vatican is evil and created Islam, demons walk amongst us, child molesters, the Antichrist will rise soon, New Age beliefs, Judaism, Mormonism and Islam are Satanic, witches are everywhere, homosexuality is an abomination (Chick’s solution? Fire-n-brimstone, baby!), Darwin’s theories are Satanic, Harry Potter is Satanic, feminists are Satanic, the Satanic plot behind rock music (The Beatles were Druids!), “You’re going to Hell,” the Commies are everywhere (Catholics are to blame for this, of course) and just about any other crazy, fucked up conspiracy theory you can think of. He’s kind of the Glenn Beck (or maybe better still Alex Jones) of paranoiac Christian comic books. Did I mention that a lot of his comics were about how YOU (that’s right you, the person reading this) are going to Hell? Chick’s God is a VENGEFUL God. The Old Testament Jehovah has got nothin’ on Chick’s version.
Not much beyond the basics are known about Chick, who is now 86-years-old. He’s an extremely private man and few photographs have been taken of him. So it’s not like anyone knows about the reclusive Jack T. Chick himself, but show almost anyone in America one of his Chick tracts and they’ll respond with an immediate recognition of the distinctively shaped and wildly deranged mini-comics. For Jack T. Chick, it’s all about saving YOUR soul from eternal damnation, not about being popular.

It wasn’t until 1998 that the first serious examination of the world’s best-read theologian (think about it) appeared and that was in the pages of The Imp a self-published journal of comics criticism from Daniel Raeburn, fashioned via the shape, design and a Daniel Clowes illustration to resemble a Chick tract. I’ve had a copy of this issue of The Imp since it came out, sitting in pride of place on my bookshelf, but it’s now long out of print. Happily Raeburn has put all four issues of his much admired publication online, also including his erudite takes on Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, and Mexican historietas.

Says Raeburn:

“People who dismiss hate literature offhand are going to miss the point of this tribute to Chick, which is that hate literature reveals not only its own corruption but the sick society that hatched it. Examine the historical and theological forebears of little Chick and you’ll find an awful, and I do mean awful, lot of mainstream beliefs. Like the Protestant zealots who colonized and raped this country, Chick tracts and the violence in them are as American as apple pie.”


Above, an episode of Boing Boing TV featuring Syd Garon and Rodney Ascher’s animated take on the Chick “classic” You Goofed.. This is Jack T. Chick in a nutshell. (Reportedly he’s seen this and liked it!)
This might be a recent photograph of Jack T. Chick

Huge online compendium of Chick racts

Thank you Taylor Jessen of Burbank, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger
12:23 am