Greg Gagne is a professional poker player who would be a millionaire if he were the sort of person “who ever bothered to save anything”. Unfortunately, when he is invited to a top secret high stakes poker game, he makes the mistake of betting his soul, unaware that his opponent is in fact the Devil, who promptly turns into a bat and disappears once the game finishes. Be careful what you wish for, eh?
Gagne is not a bad person at heart, except that he likes to live the high life, spending as much as possible whilst occasionally playing Good Samaritan and giving a homeless man a jacket to convince himself that deep down he is a good person. And he loves himself so much that he simply can’t keep his mouth shut. His car is better than their old beater, he remarks, but is soon reminded that their gun is better than his pea shooter. But there’s much more to Gagne than his wit and loud mouth- after all, who else would willingly drive their car into a full speed collision with the Devil, who may be immortal, but is too “chickenshit” to remember it. A coward Gagne ain’t.
Eventually, our wannabe hero catches up with a bunch of others who have been swindled by the Devil, who want payback. Each of these characters is given their own backstory throughout the course of the story, and whilst Gagne remains the most interesting character in Devildealers, there’s something about a woman being paralysed in a car accident and making a wish that she can be faster than anyone else that will melt your heart.
So when Gagne is presented with a choice that the devil offers him of betraying his friends and remaining young or helping them capture the devil and get his soul back, an intriguing moral dilemma is set up. Will this character, who seems only to care for himself but seems to want to be remembered as being a good person, do the right thing, or will he let his greed overcome him?
On most pages, the text is kept to a minimum, so that the story can instead unfold naturally through the illustrations, which employ a detailed yet somewhat cartoonish style which fits the tone of the story perfectly. Despite being about the souls and the Devil, Devildealers is actually much lighter in tone than one would expect, with the lack of graphic violence and more lighthearted approach actually being a welcome change from everything else on offer.
Creators Ross May and Brett Wood give a new meaning to the term ‘creator owned’ because they created something truly original, a supernatural tale that eventually becomes a deeper story about the moral issues that humans face. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Check out the official website here.