Birthday Present for Amber, 2016 by tapewolf

Birthday Present for Amber, 2016


19 August 2016 at 13:30:30 MDT

This is another Jack Chick parody, of the kind Merlin usually does for April Fools. However, Amber wanted to commission one based on her DMFA webcomic, where the Dragons seemingly encouraged the other races to exterminate incubi and succubi for them by means of a propaganda campaign.
As it happened, it was Amber's birthday fairly soon so I wrote this and Merlin drew it. Sofox proof-read it and contributed a few ideas, see below.
I must say, Merlin did a spectacular job of turning some pretty unpleasant subject matter about persecution and genocide into a cutesy comic.

NOTE: This is blatant propaganda, and totally non-canon. Most of the facts about 'Cubi are completely wrong (that was the joke).

Drawn by merlin_the_bruce. Written by me with help from Merlin and sofox. Happy birthday, ambaaargh!

Notes, or The Making Of...

The first draft was pretty weak, looking back at it. It was based loosely on the story of Mink's mother, who was beheaded by an adventurer who saw her clan marking. The village held a banquet in his honour, even though she was the town healer.
It felt rather too much like an actual Jack Chick tract, and didn't have the bouncy, absurd humour from, say, "Doom Town" or "Advanced Gardens and Snails."

Merlin suggested a different approach, emphasising how evil 'cubi are, rather than the 'kill them for fun and profit' angle.
"Rather like how Chick tackles Satanism. Every strip he does about Satanism is solid gold, because he genuinely believes they exist in the form of puppy-murdering babykillers. He doesn't have to show that they need to be stopped, he just shows What Will Happen if you let them run rampant."

As an example she gave me two halloween comics. I managed the first one but my brain seized up completely midway through the second, but it did give me the idea of having children as the protagonists in the form of Timmy and Jimmy.
Merlin also commented that real Chick Tracts tend to have a fractured, disconnected narrative, speculating that this might be deliberate to confuse the reader into just accepting rather than thinking things through. This later became the sudden flashback to Jimmy's childhood and the execution scene.

I hit a block around the point where Timmy discovers that his mother is a 'cubi. Sofox proof-read it, suggested the crossbow scene and contributed a lot of the dialogue for that scene. Dad was added by Merlin as an improvisation, with the words "Son, what is going on here did you kill your mother?" and "Oh. Okay." The grammar annoyed me enough that I made some changes to the text once the artwork came in. It had a few revisions, including "Did you behead your mother?" but I settled on "Why did you kill your mother?" since that has a certain absurdity to it anyway. I suggested changing "Oh, okay." into "GASP!!"

Another contribution of Merlin's was the additional dialogue in panel 4: "Since Chick Tracts are never subtle, I changed cell 4 to have Timmy actually think "My mother has a symbol...". I also had Jimmy saying "Anyway, see you tomorrow!"."

Originally Merlin wasn't sure how to handle the death of Timmy's mother: "When getting hit with the bolt, the incubus now says "Ow I'm die". Mainly because having him say something really stupid will offset the fact that they're getting murdered. "
I remembered that in one of the early Trick Tracts a trickster is hanged, and their eyes turn into Xs with the word "bleh", so we went with that instead. On the way home I also got the idea of adding the word "Bleh" to the execution scene in a couple of panels.

I had mentally set the story about 6000-6500 years before DMFA, centuries after the Dragon-Cubi war began. However, I forgot to tell this to Merlin, hence we had an odd assortment of characters ancient and modern, including Abel, Nactlarn and Aaryanna.

Some of the artwork and writing is derived from these scenes in DMFA:

Submission Information

Visual / Digital