How Would A Poker Comic Book Work?

Have you ever wondered what it might look like if someone united the excitement and intensity of poker into comic book form?

Poker has an unrivaled following in the gambling sphere, with over 100,000,000 players worldwide. All of whom are invested in the process, logistics, and tournaments poker offers.

And so, even if a fraction of those poker enthusiasts like reading graphic novels, a poker themed comic could have the potential to attract a large following.

Which leads to the question, how would a poker comic book work? The below points will be discussed through this post to reach a conclusion;

  • A poker legend that would serve as a great storyline and theme for a graphic novel.
  • Existing comic books and characters with a poker theme.
  • Exploring the above elements, conjure how a poker style comic book could work.

Poker Legend – Dead Man’s Hand

Poker has been around since the 18th century. With that, the game has played witness to an extensive range of characters worldwide. Both in a legal and illegal capacity.

Over time it’s accumulated a couple of notable legends, which could be great inspiration for a comic. One poker legend is Bill Hickok.

In poker today, the dead man’s hand refers to a combination of two aces and two eights. The hand, accrued its old west inspired name from the 18th century, in a saloon likened to those found in movies. The bar, inundated with gunslingers, cowboys, lumberjacks, and miners. And the air filled with smoke, tobacco chewing gamblers, bet their money away for fun.

First of all, a scene like this, adapted to a comic, would be incredible. And appeal to readers interested in the old west.

The legend features Bill Hickok, a lawman and ladies man. Who was an avid and excellent poker player. During a game of five-card stud, he had the potential to win big – in his hand, he held what is known after the events to follow, as a dead man’s hand.

During the game, in walks Jack Mccall. He experienced a slight with Bill not long before. Which caused Jack to emerge behind Hickok, aim a gun to his hand, and shoot. Bill died,, and Jack, later on, was executed.

The suspense and intensity of this scene would work well in comics, which is surprising why a writer or illustrator has not yet adopted it.

Poker Inspired Comics

There are a few writers who have attempted to bring a poker-related comic to fruition.

For instance, the Poker comic, called Short Stack, was written by Jean-Christophe Derrien, and released in digital form on 27 June 2017.

The comic Poker reveals how the protagonist, Mark Middleton, embarks on a journey to attract and take revenge on his parent’s murderers. Mark uses his talents to become a professional poker star on tour.

Although the story is intriguing, there’s one significant problem for native English speakers people -the comic is in french!

World Series Of Zombies

Another poker themed comic is World Series Of Zombies (WSOZ), which was written by Chad Holloway and released in 2015. Chad was a World Series Of Poker bracelet winner in 2013.

The comic featured a few World Series Of Poker event infested with a zombie outbreak. The debut of WSOZ occurred in 2017 at the WSOP event.

But, with only one issue available to purchase online, it’s unknown whether Chads’ comic gained the recognition and fanbase it deserved.

Final 9

Written by Anish Patel, Final 9 was supposed to be the first time poker was illustrated in a comic.

The story featured nine poker players, and insight into the characters’ lives, backstories, and reasons for playing poker.

The premise of each issue was to feature one player eliminated from the poker tournament per comic. Potentially with the perception of gripping in the reader, and building suspense for the next comic.

Final 9 was supposed to release in September 2009, and aim to capture the suspense, tension and high-stakes action of the poker world. However, little is known about whether this comic gained a victory.

The extent of poker’s success as a theme for a comic book remains to be seen. The above concepts don’t appear to have grasped worldwide attention. However, this may have been due to a lack of effective marketing.

Victor Zsaz

However, some characters associated with gambling have gained a footing in the comic book world. Victor Zsaz, for instance, has earned appearances in DC Comics.

Zsaz is a supervillain, who gambled away his fortune in tournaments across the globe. One distinctive, memorable scene involves Zsasz at the Gotham City Casino, in the company of Penguin (another high profile supervillain ). Zsaz lost his money to the Penguin.

Victor’s gambling addiction added an exciting dimension to his backstory and character. But, Victor Zsas amounts to more than gambling. He is a serial killer and psychopath, who carves a tally of his victims onto his body.

Conclusion: How Would A Poker Comic Book Work?

Any event, including poker, can be dramatized into comic form. However, whether it attracts an audience is something else entirely. From the points explored above, it appears a few attempts have been made to use poker in comics – but none have amounted to success.

This is most likely because poker players reading material, in particular, involves educational books detailing how to become better at poker.

Perhaps if an educational twist was added to a poker themed comic it may lure readers in.

Moreover, the legend of Bill Hickok has still not been used in comic form. Thus there could also be untapped potential for a dead man’s hand to gain a readership who is familiar with the story.

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