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Kaufman Contracts “Whore” For Zenescope

by  in Comic News Comment
Kaufman Contracts “Whore” For Zenescope

This September, Zenescope releases one of the most provocatively titled graphic novels of 2012. Written by Jeffrey Kaufman with art by Marco Turini, “Whore” chronicles the life of one Jacob Mars following his expulsion as a government-employed contract killer. Without a guaranteed government check for doing some pretty nasty things, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to earn some cash — even if it involves taking jobs with no concern for moral or ethical ramifications.

Kaufman, a defense attorney who doubles as a comic creator, puts Mars through a number of different situations with the goal of earning some kind of payday. He spoke with CBR News about the concept behind “Whore,” the deliberately incendiary title, gun-for-hire Jacob Mars’ motivations and how Kaufman’s legal background assisted him in crafting the plot.

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CBR News: Jeffrey, what’s the basic premise behind “Whore” and who are the main players involved?

Jeffrey Kaufman: “Whore” is about a real bad guy who did real bad things for the government, but whose job has been downsized. The main character, Jacob Mars, is the kind of person who does and says anything he wants without fear of reprisal. Now that he doesn’t have a guaranteed check, he works for anyone willing to pay him, no matter the job. His motto, simply stated: “Every man has his price.”

Do you think comics is the best medium for “Whore,” or could you see it told in other formats as well? And why did you decide to publish “Whore” as a complete graphic novel rather than a series of single issues?

I don’t really know if this is the best medium for “Whore.” I really love this industry and tried to produce a solid, entertaining story for it. Could this be a cable show or a movie? Probably. I see things visually in pictures, so I think it would work in any medium other than a regular novel or audio book. I follow one rule in both the law and in comics, which is, “If I can see it, I can sell it.”

I prefer to tell a complete story. I wrote 29 single-issue comic books and just enjoy crafting a full story from beginning to end. I enjoy “kick you in the face endings” like in “The Sixth Sense,” “The Usual Suspects” and “The Book of Eli.” A great ending is something writers should strive for, and that’s why the most memorable parts of my graphic novels are the endings

What are you most excited about when it comes to “Whore” hitting readers’ hands?

Following up my last graphic novel “Terminal Alice” was a big concern for me. It was my first graphic novel and I just wanted this to be better. It was the best thing I ever wrote and I wanted this book to be better. I threw myself completely into “Whore,” which sounds funny as I say it. While I really love Alex, Laura, Illena, Cara and Eve from “Terminal Alice,” I can honestly say I know Jacob Mars. Producing a book titled “Whore” has to be the dumbest, but most honest, straightforward thing I have ever done. This industry hasn’t always been easy on me, but I did enjoy writing and producing this book.

“Whore,” created and written by Jeffrey Kaufman with art by Marco Turini, launches from Zenescope in September.