Thursday, April 13, 2017
I Didn't Know Jack Chick Was Still Alive
The above is the illustration for the Pope's official Easter greetings card for 2017, sent to Vatican staff. One might be pardoned for thinking it looks like the sort of cheesy macho buddy Jesus action portrait that a Christian evangelical comic strip artist might have drawn.
Perhaps Jack Chick.
Actually, the artist is Victor Delhez, a quasi-surrealist who came to prominence in the 1930's. A Belgian by birth, Delhez would later live in Argentina and Bolivia. He settled in Buenos Aires and became a professor there.
The illustration used on the card is taken from a set of forty that Delhez produced on theme of the Gospels. He also apparently illustrated a version of Lord Dunsany's A Dreamer's Tales.
I suspect that a few Catholics would find some of his work offensive. I actually like much of what I've seen, including the Dunsany illustrations that I've managed to track down.
But the particular woodcut, above, is pretty horrible, at least in the context of what it is supposed to represent. It deserves all the silly comments that Catholics are currently giving it on social media.
I blame this Argentinian pope for choosing it. Not so much Delhez. And certainly not Chick.
Oh, man. I wonder what brother Jack would have thought of Francis?