Update: (Tue., Dec. 25): More here.
Update (Mon., Dec. 25): This is not a hoax. I've been updating this item for a few days with reader comments debating authenticity (see bottom of post), and I'm now confident it's legit. Wonkette kindly shared a copy of the original PDF with us Sunday, and here it is: PDF LINK. Based on that, and copies of the Jan. 2007 cover of NRA magazine "America's 1st Freedom" uploaded by people who say they're NRA members (Link to scans), and illustrator Chris Gall's website — I don't see any reason to doubt. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. On the internet, I guess it's better to be too skeptical than too prankable. Thanks also to the solid guys at Wonkette for yet another great scoop (BTW, now that it's written by two manly he-dudes, I think they should gender-correct the name… Wonkero ? ).
Wonkette has published sneak peek scans from a new "graphic novel" attributed to the NRA to promote membership (don't miss the image alt tags.)
The illustrations are terrific. Above: With their mutant critter hordes of lobsters, islamofascist deer, and TNT-totin' owls, razor-eschewing hippie chicks who've escaped from R. Crumb comix are coming to burn down your white suburban home. And ye shall know them by the tracks of their Birkenstocks.
At left: your television is controlled by fire and drool-spewing ghost-ogres from Japanese fairy tales.
Link to scans from the Jack-Chick-esque "Freedom In Peril: Guarding the 2nd Amendment in the 21st Century," attributed to the National Rifle Association of America (I contacted the NRA to request confirmation, but have not yet received a reply).
For the record, I'm a firm supporter of second amendment rights. But I'm also fond of tofu and terror-chickens. (thanks, Vann Hall!)
Reader comment: Michael says,
An NRA member (which I'm not) over at DailyKos highly doubts this comic is true. And as he says, anyone who knows much about the NRA knows that they don't get involved in this sort of public propaganda. Of course, much of the damage has already been done, as with most false viral memes. Link.
UPDATE: "Admin" at the California CCW – concealed carry forum (a message board related to firearms law) says:
I found where those images came from, and it's not the NRA, and so all those who thought so collectively owe me a veggie burger (no mayo) and a sixpack of organic beer.
First, take a look at one of the images from the secret graphic novel, say: wonkette.com/assets/resources/2006/12/devilteve.jpg for example. Run a JPEG analyzer on it, and notice:
Code:Profile-app12: 15 bytes 0x00000000: 75636b79 00010004 0000004d 000000 Ducky-------M--
Hmm, Ducky M. What is this Ducky M, I wonder?
Well just for fun, take a look at:
Notice the remarkably similar (and enjoyable) visusal style? Coincidence? I don't know, let's fire up the JPEG analyzer again on: duckymag.com/images/ducky_comic_2.jpg and we see:
Code:Profile-app12: 15 bytes 0x00000000: 75636b79 00010004 0000003c 000000 Ducky-------<--
We've been goosed by Ducky!
Link to post at CCW forum.
However: an editor at Wonkette explains out that the jpegs came from their computer, not the creator of the brochure (which Wonkette received in PDF format — Link to a copy). Plus, as BoingBoing reader Miguel Borges explains,
The person who claims it's a hoax is using the "Ducky" tag in the jpg as the proof that it comes from duckymag.com. Of course, "DUCKY" is one of the default application tags for Photoshop-produced jpegs. I believe it means the image was saved with the "Save for Web" feature. It has nothing to do with duckymag.com. Check out this google search for a bunch of examples of "DUCKY" tags on jpgs: Link.
Tamara Scott says,
I am pretty positive that is the work of comic book artist Charles Burns.
Other readers wrote in to say no way. Julian Miller wrote:
That's so far off base that it's not funny – Charles Burns would never associate himself with the NRA. Link 1, 2.
Actually, it looks like commenters at Wonkette have figured out that the illustrator is Chris Gall: Link to thread.