Tract Dissections

 

..with special Guest Commentator: AronRa Steve Shives


Today's Candidate:


Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternate Deathstyle

Part II

Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alernate Deathstyle

© 1986 Dick Hafer

Uploaded February 8th, 2016



"Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternate Deathstyle" is actually a book written by Dick Hafer waaaayyyy back in the halcyon days of 1986 when Reagan ran the country and everyone was afraid of the Bomb. AIDS had just begun coming into the public consciousness and most people (who were only just starting to call it something other than "Gay Cancer") knew almost nothing about it. This left the door wide open for uncheck fear and hate against the group seen as the primary carriers of this disease... homosexuals. Dick Hafer manages to distill and ferment this hate and fear into an almost 100 proof heady brew and then gives it to you good through a series of cartoons that can almost be referred to as "chibified." Make no mistake though, this is pure, uncut bigotry mainlined straight into your neocortex. Brace yourselves.

Special thanks to "Comics with Problems" for the scans!



Panel Index
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | Conclusion


Panel 1
Steve:

I haven't read ahead, so I am making the following prediction: this first, nearly blank page will be not only less offensive, but more factually correct and more artistically accomplished than any of the pages to follow.


Sean:

Okay... I do wish to apologize on the huge delay here. It's literally been years since we've touched the first part of this... thing. There is a reason for that, and I'm afraid you all know exactly what it is. Put simply, this is the worst thing we've ever had to dissect. Even the worst of Jack Chick does not compare to this, and yes this includes both "It's not your fault" and "Lisa". It's not the balls to the wall homophobia in of itself, it's the fact that there is literally nothing to it aside from it. This is not something that's easy to make fun of. I would very much like to thank our guest today, because nobody should have to sit through Dick Haefer, at least not without severe intoxication. (6 pints of Guinness and enough Hash to make Willie Nelson seem like a lightweight. Bring it on, Dick) Let's have a premature round of applause for Steve Shives, because we may as well scrape up whatever joy we can.

 

   
   

Panel 2 Steve: You know, it seems obvious to me that Chester doesn't really want to talk about any of this. And it's not as if Larry is persuading him of anything. He started out as a spiteful homophobe in part one of the book. This entire exercise seems pointless. Throwing rocks at despised minorities is its own reward, I guess.
Sean: Oh boy, here we go... Larry's going to tell us about AIDS. I have a  feeling this'll be a great big barrel of laughs.
   
   

Panel 3 Steve: He's suddenly alarmed over the possibility of contracting AIDS, so he throws a potato sack over his head. Is that a cock-eyed endorsement of safe sex, or a demonstration of how utterly abstinence-only sex ed has failed this poor doofus?
Sean:

Putting aside the fact that you can't get AIDS from casual contact, I don't think a potato sack is going to help much.

 

   
   
   

Panel 4 Steve:

Happily, the prognosis for HIV patients is not nearly so dire today as it was thirty years ago when this comic was produced. An HIV-positive person who is able to receive antiretroviral treatment (ART) under the care of a doctor can expect to live a relatively normal life. Current methods of controlling the virus are effective, and research into new treatments that could be capable of eradicating HIV infection is ongoing. If the virus is detected and controlled, it doesn't have to lead to full-blown AIDS, which is what our hysterical friends in this comic are so concerned about.


Sean:

It's true that there's a correlation between Gay men and HIV. A lot of this has to do with the act of anal sex carrying a greater risk of transmission and the fact that until HIV was discovered Gay men had no real reason to need condoms. However, another statistic sort of makes this argument moot; Gay Women have the lowest risk of transmission and make up the smallest percentage of HIV positive individuals.

 

   
   

Panel 5

Steve: What can stop Chester cold in mid-gay-bash? Naked self-interest. "Gay people have AIDS? GOOD! They bring it on themselves, the perverts! . . . Oh, wait, is there a possibility I could be harmed? ME? WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!"
Sean:

Yeah... I think we mentioned before that Dick Hafer doesn't even try to pretend to believe in that whole "Hate the sin, love the sinner" shtick.

 

   

Panel 6 Steve:

"Remember: heterosexuals are completely without blame, always. It's the gays and the bisexuals who have brought this plague upon us, and as long as we stay clear of THEM, we'll be fine."


Ahh, the ignorant, fear-fueled bigotry of the '80s. Good thing people aren't like this any more, eh? EH? . . . Eh.

 

Sean:

Worst. Schoolhouse Rock. Episode. Ever.

 

   
   

Panel 7 Steve: Just in case Chester hasn't made it clear enough to this point: he doesn't give a shit about people who die of AIDS. He's only concerned with protecting himself from what he perceives to be a threat. As long as he's safe, everyone else can die for all he cares. Swell guy, that Chester.
Sean:

Yeah sure, a magnifying glass is all you need to scan a blood sample. I think he should pay more attention to the fact that his patient is hemorrhaging all over the place.

 

   
   
   

Panel 8 Steve: As if Chester was planning on donating blood anyway . . .
Sean:

Given his striking Widow's Peak and encyclopedic knowledge of human blood, Larry's starting to give me a serious Dracula vibe. Christopher Lee must be spinning in his grave.

 

   
   
   

Panel 9 Steve:

Re-enactment of the food poisoning scene from AIRPLANE in 3, 2, 1 . . .

 

 

 

 

   
   
   

Panel 10 Steve: Don't forget the drooling and uncontrollable flatulence.
Sean:

What's the point of running away from the one doomed guy if you're already carrying the virus? It doesn't even work as a gag.

 

   
   
   
   
   

Panel 11 Steve: It's estimated that over 650,000 people diagnosed with AIDS have died in the U.S. since 1981. There are also approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV infection in the U.S. right now, according to the CDC. Like any disease that afflicts such a large number of people, HIV/AIDS treatment places certain demands on the health care system. But the prediction of the anonymous expert quoted on this page that the hospital system would come apart as a result of caring for AIDS patients hasn't come true. Caring for HIV/AIDS patients is costly -- most of all to the patients themselves. But do we see this sort of hysteria surrounding the cost of cancer treatments? Have there ever been tracts devoted to whipping up a panic over the staggering financial cost of caring for cancer victims, implicitly placing the blame for this burden on the victims themselves? No. Probably because people like Dick Hafer never figured out how to connect a cancer diagnosis with what they thought of as moral failings.
Sean:

And yet they throw a huge fit when we try to implement a single payer health care system.

 

   
   

Panel 12 Jessica:

Potential origins for the HIV virus and its method of jumping from simians to humans are discussed here. You will note that even though the "conspiracy theory" is addressed at no point is it mentioned that it may have come from acts of bestiality. So that little illustration there is just spurious.

 

Steve:

Notice the (very likely) possibility that the virus jumped from chimps to humans as a result of humans killing and eating chimps isn't even alluded to. Because that would place at least part of the responsibility on the shoulders of humans. And, I suppose, eating chimp meat isn't nearly as lurid as the suggestion that bestiality had something to do with it. For Hafer, if humans had any active hand in transmitting the virus from chimps to themselves, it had to have been in an act of sexual perversion. The theme of "this is all the fault of those degenerates" is essential to his narrative.

Also: Fuck off and take "normal folks" with you, Dick.

 

Sean:

Notice that when he uses the term "Normal People" he also excludes the Hemophiliacs. That's a bit uh... dickish. (Look, cut me some slack, this comic's giving us nothing to work with.)

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 13 Steve:

"What about the straight people?! WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE STRAIGHT PEOPLE?!"

 

Sean:

Why does ... actually have we ever heard a name for the gay guy?

 

Jessica:

Jack Chick often has to be reminded of this fact too, but TIME magazine is not a scientific journal.

 

   
   

Panel 14 Steve: Again, this is based on outdated information (in addition to hysterical bigotry). It's now known that transmitting the virus through saliva is incredibly rare.
Sean:

Okay, I call Bullshit. There is no way this anecdote is true. Do you seriously expect me to believe that a happily married couple can go 30 years without sex? Maybe if they were over a hundred years old, but 72-30=42 or Middle Age. It might not be that regularly, but middle aged couples do have sex you know!

 

Jessica:

And this one unsubstantiated case is proof positive that HIV can be transmitted through kissing, right?

 

   

Panel 15 Steve: Again, it's all the fault of bisexuals and "bad girls." Hetero dudes are hapless victims, and the only people we should really be concerned about.
Sean:

Not to be callous, but if you go bareback in a prostitute you can't really complain if you catch an STD. Also, nice slut shaming there Dick.

 

Jessica:

"Here's how it works...." No, no isn't.

 

   

Panel 16 Steve: So add "AIDS-bearing mosquitos" to the list of stuff to be deathly afraid of, then.
Sean:

While this was a somewhat legitimate fear, it turns out you can't catch HIV from Mosquitos.

 

Jessica:

Why is a Cancer Institute contributing money to study the transmission of AIDS?

 

   

Panel 17
Steve: Sure, we haven't had a go at gays in the military yet, so why not?
Jessica:

We have to appeal not only to our audience's fear of homosexuals but their habit of military worship as well.

 

Sean:

Wow 50 cases, that's totally cause for alarm. Tylenol kills almost 3 times as many people each year.

 

   

Panel 18 Steve:

He's wearing make-up and earrings, see. So he's definitely 1) Gay, and 2) Unfit for the military.

Right? No other way to see it.


Sean:

Uh... yeah, even if they turn out to be HIV positive, that doesn't necessarily mean they're gay. You just went through the ways heterosexuals can catch it.

 

   
   
   

Panel 19 Steve: Do you think ignorant, hysterical fear-mongering of the type contained in this comic might have anything to do with people refusing to work with or help HIV-positive people? Maybe?
Sean:

You know, for all his venom-spewing homophobic rhetoric, Dick Hafer draws some rather phallic looking tanks.

 

Jessica:

How would a fireman know that you are gay? Despite what Dick Hafer believes not all gay people are mincing stereotypes.

Also... raincoat? WTF?

 

   
   

Panel 20 Steve: That's what is driving the fear and rejection of AIDS patients -- the certainty of death. Not the rampant anti-gay bigotry propagated by things like this comic. Surely not.
Sean:

Dick Hafer telling us about the dangers of fear and rejection is like Elizabeth Taylor teaching us how to have a healthy marriage.

 

   
   
   

Panel 21 Steve: Oh, boy! OTHER diseases!
Sean:

Oh thank God, a blank page. No hate speech is good hate speech.

 

   
   
   

Panel 22 Steve: "Sodomites." Just in case you thought for a fleeting moment that Larry's lament of "More fear and rejection, I'm afraid" a couple of panels ago was a sincere expression of empathy for his fellow human beings.
Sean:

I once caught the flu from a gay guy who sneezed in my general vicinity. Does that count?

 

   
   

Panel 23 Steve: To reiterate the main theme, for those of you who haven't got it yet: GAY PEOPLE ARE PLAGUE CARRIERS. Their suffering and dying only matters so much as it impacts the lives of straight people.
Sean:

Hep B is a pretty standard STD that carries no severe correlation towards Gay men the way HIV does. Even if there was (and at the time there may have been), the fact that Gay men, as stated earlier, do not have the same need for condoms that straight couples do (Homosexuality is the only 100% effective method of birth control).

 

   
   

Panel 24 Steve: Actually, there are NO "gay diseases," but I don't think either Larry or Chester are interested in hearing that.
Sean:

Someone should really fire that nurse. She's carrying a collection of biohazardous materials in a test tube rack one handed without any kind of lid. Also, we have developed many ways to treat Hepatitis over the years, especially that vaccine you mentioned in passing.

 

Jessica:

No, HIV is not contained in saliva, mucus, urine or sweat. Period.

 

   

Panel 25
Steve: "They're gross mainly because they're all relatively easy for straight folks to catch" -- He just comes right out and says it. Gay lives don't matter.
Sean:

This is a very unorthodox interpretation of the phrase "Love thy neighbor".

 

Jessica:

Why is Amebiasis wearing a bandolier and a sombrero? There a reason he turned it into a horrible Mexican stereotype?

 

   

Panel 26 Steve: There are "sodomites" and there are "normal" people, see. And we aren't supposed to give a shit about the sodomites until they start harming us normals. Because our lives are the only ones that are important, and worth protecting. Those filthy sodomites can all die in the streets for all we care.
Sean:

Right, because gay men never wash their hands.

 

   
   
   

Panel 27 Steve:

Are you a hetero person with gonorrhea? Don't worry -- it's probably a gay person's fault.


Sean:

Why do I get the feeling that Dick Hafer wrote this section as a way to explain to his wife why they both got Gonorrhea?

 

Jessica: If you aren't observing proper food safety procedures you can very well get someone sick. Doesn't matter if you are straight, gay, bent or broken.
   

Panel 28 Steve:

The dog is at risk, too, because gay people fuck dogs.

 

Sean:

Classy implication there.


Fun Fact: I always imagined Chester sounding like Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld as Larry and... the other guy (reference fully intended) being played by Michael Richards. Now you'll never be able to unsee that, have fun!

 

   
   

Conclusion
Steve:

Holy shit, you guys. That's one of the ugliest, foulest, most irresponsible, most hideously bigoted things I've ever read. Thanks so much for the invitation! I think I'll go spend the rest of my life under a hot shower.

 

Sean:

Thanks for your help Steve, I doubt we could have suffered through it without you.

Well there you have it, more Dick Hafer, still the same big ol' ball of unapologetic hate speech we covered years ago. If you don't hear from me again, it's because I succumbed to alcohol poisoning and died a substantially less painful death.

 

 

 

 

 


 
Last Modified: February 8, 2016
 
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