Previewing ‘Devlin Waugh: Blood Debt’ – The Return Of The Vamp Collected

by Richard Bruton

It’s the return of the vamp, with a brand-new set of Devlin Waugh tales from new writers, new artist, but still the same old charming Waugh, ultra-stylish bon vivant and vampiric deviant that he is…

Cover by Alex Ronald

Created by John Smith and Sean Phillips, Devlin Waugh is the flamboyant, camp, in your face gay Vatican exorcist troubleshooter and paranormal investigator. And not even being turned into a vampire could put an end to his relentless pursuit of decadence!

This new collection contains the post-John Smith strips of first Rory McConville and then Ales Kot, who continues writing new Devlin Waugh tales in the Judge Dredd Megazine at the same time as this new Devlin Waugh collection comes out.

But both writers have the huge benefit of having just one magnificent artist, Mike Dowling, someone who really gets the look of Devlin Waugh just right – that perfect combination of absolute don’t mess with the man who looks like the proverbial brick outhouse and is never afraid to punch the spine right out of someone, and charming, flirtatious sophisticate, someone to charm the knickers off anyone and everyone whilst reciting Wilde in several languages.

McConville’s tales move things along with Waugh, entertainingly and solidly done stuff, with Dowling’s artwork the star of the show.

In ‘Blood Debt’, there’s the small matter of Devlin’s brother and the enormous debts he’s managed to run-up. Of course, with the Waugh family, the debts are no ordinary, mortal thing and thus it’s off to the ‘Chasm of Perpetual Delight and Endless Sorrow’ to have a word with brother dear.

As for ‘Kiss of Death’, it’s Waugh finding himself being used as publicity by a tabloid hungry celeb, one of the hot young things who’s offended the wrong people and needs a little publicity to take everyone’s mind off things.

Basically, it’s the date from hell for both the dumb young celeb and Waugh, although whether it’s the malignant spores or being called an older man that really bothers him most is up for some debate.

Kot took over the strip with a one-off in Megazine #400, where he went and trapped the spirit of the demon Titivillus in a dildo.

Yes. You did read that right.

Devlin Waugh now has a strange friend in Titty, the demon in a dildo.

So, buckle in for a series of orgies, refined dinner parties going very seriously wrong, and plenty of buddying up with Titty and Devlin.

It’s something of a very unconventional friendship that the pair have developed, full of to-and-fro, bickering like an old couple, although as with everything in Devlin’s world, things may not necessarily be what they seem and Kot has plenty of stories planned for the future of your favourite camp vamp with a penchant for mixing high living and some downright dirty behaviour.

And throughout it all, the art ofDowling just gets better and better, coping with everything thrown at him, whether it’s page after page of talking heads descending into absolute madness, or beautiful spreads of idyllic coastal holidays.

And then there’s this… all tying into Kot’s repeated request that we should all be re-reading the classic John Smith Devlin Waugh volume, ‘Swimming In Blood’, something he’s going to be revisiting in the new Waugh tales of the future, the future looks very dark for Waugh indeed!

Devlin Waugh: Blood Debt – written by Rory McConville and Ales Kot, art by Mike Dowling, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Simon Bowland.

Contains the Devlin Waugh stories Blood Debt, Kiss Of Death – Written by Rory McConville (originally published in Judge Megazine 388-393 and 397-399), and Call Me By Thy Name, A Very Large Splash – Written by Ales Kot (originally published in Megazine 400, 415-420)

Published by 2000 AD/ Rebellion on 13th May 2021

Now, a little preview, a few pages from the Rory McConville written ‘Blood Debt’ first…

And finally, a few preview pages from Call Me By Thy Name, written by Ales Kot and the introduction of dear Titty:

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