Jeffrey Kaufman's Whore cover image
Whore is an original graphic novel from writer Jeffrey Kaufman and artist Marco Turini. Kaufman is the founder of Big City Comics and Resurrection Studios, and he is also a legal expert and cable news legal analyst who has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News, among others. Marco Turini’s art has appeared in the Marvel Comics’ titles Squadron Supreme and Astonishing Tales. Published by Zenescope Entertainment, Whore centers on a downsized CIA agent who takes whatever sleazy jobs he can get in order to pay his bills.
Jacob Mars is a CIA black-ops specialist, and he’s deadly. At 34-years-old, however, he is informed that the CIA no longer needs his services because of budget cuts. Still, the modern job market does have a place for him. Mars suddenly becomes an independent contractor for the agency that just fired him. He takes whatever jobs his “handler” offers. Sometimes, he uses his intelligence skills. Sometimes, he needs a firearm.
Mars’ new career basically has him operating as if he were a whore. He is killing people on the government’s enemies list; that is when he isn’t taking high-paying jobs babysitting gay pop stars, spoiled mafia progeny, and show dogs. When an old friend is murdered, however, Mars takes on his biggest and deadliest mission.
The one thing that Whore definitely has going for it is that it is funny. I could see myself reading this every month. In fact, I wonder if what writer Jeffrey Kaufman really has in Whore is a series instead of a single graphic novel. Most of Mars’ assignments and jobs could stand on their own as single issue stories, if not as miniseries. Early on, the writing is a little clumsy, but once the narrative gets some momentum, the humor outshines any blemishes and even the cleverly staged violence.
Artist Marco Turini is no master draftsman and his compositions have an obvious awkwardness to them. What stands out about his art is Turini’s approach to drawing the human figure and face. There is a naturalism that not only makes each character unique, but also makes many of them look as if they were drawings of real people. There is a soldier that appears at the end of the last big battle scene; his face looks uncannily real. Then, there is the page featuring five sexy women. Although two of the women vaguely resemble one another, the individuality of each of the five women is stunningly evident.
When I received this review copy of Whore, I didn’t think it was something I really wanted to read. Now, I’d like more. Whore is the funniest fiction about CIA types since the Coen Bros.’ Burn After Reading.