Whore (Big City Comics/Zenescope)

Jacob Mars is a badass action hero who’ll do any job as long as it pays in this exercise in action-packed wish fulfillment.

 

 
104 pgs. full color; $9.99
(W: Jeffrey Kaufman; A: Marco Turini)
 
Before you get the wrong idea, the “whore” in Jeffrey Kaufman’s graphic novel of the same name is a man, Jacob Mars, and he’s an ex-CIA operative now plying his trade freelance. He kills people (or sometimes protects his clients from other killers) rather than sleeping with them, but that distinction aside, he’s pretty much available for hire by anyone, just like your friendly local call girl: If you’ve got the bucks, he’s got the time. This lack of selectiveness is largely motivated by Jacob’s taste for the good life, not to mention some hefty child support payments due to three failed marriages; it’s also encouraged by the fact that, despite being 34, he doesn’t seem to have developed any interests beyond the action-adventure and sexual variety.
 
Needless to say, Jacob’s attitude toward life brings him into a lot of exciting adventures, and when he’s not committing murder and mayhem he’s generally seen enjoying the company of one or more very well-endowed young ladies who just can’t get enough of him, no matter how boorishly he treats them (or how close he comes to getting them killed). Did I mention he has a six-pack to die for, a luxury apartment overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and that he wins every fight?
 
If this sounds like a lot of wish fulfillment, well, that’s exactly what it is. Kaufman, a defense attorney when he’s not penning comics scripts, says he wrote this novel by asking himself what he’d do if he didn’t have to worry about obeying the law. Whore is a quick read, with new adventures coming fast and furious, and with the author bringing them together in the last few pages so you don’t feel like you’ve just consumed 100+ pages of disjointed action. This volume has Jacob doing everything from protecting a closeted pop star to acting as a dog handler for a Pekingese at the “Eastminster” dog show, along with one assignment involving a well-known amateur basketball player, but the utter absurdity of the situations just makes it more fun.
 
“Fun” is definitely the operative word—Kaufman has a wicked sense of humor and keeps the story moving so quickly you don’t really have time to worry about silly things like plausibility. Marco Turini’s art is a good match for the story—it’s straightforward and realistic, with a lot of nice details included in the frames so that although locations are deliberately non-specific, they do feel real. Colorist James Brown uses a muted palette that gives the whole series a noirish feel, even in the daylight scenes.
 
You can read an interview with Whore creator Jeffrey Kaufman, and see a preview of the art, here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=39416 . | Sarah Boslaugh

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