The back cover of the book states that Jacob Mars “…isn’t a bad guy by nature, but out of necessity.” The graphic novel, WHORE, released this week from Zenescope Entertainment follows a recently laid-off CIA assassin that now has several “private sector” jobs and even more sexual encounters. There’s plenty of nudity, violence, and somewhat humorous references to modern-day celebrities.


WHORE graphic novel from ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT

Jacob Mars is the best in the business at taking people out for the government. He will get the job done no matter what it takes. But when budget cuts and a poor economy hit the U.S., Mars is let go by the CIA. To his fortune (and that of his three ex-wives’ bank accounts) though, a mysterious new handler has work for the assassin in the private sector that will get him by and basically make him a “whore” to get work. What kind of work? Consulting for the President of the United States; protecting a pop song singer, discovering who’s after a prize winning dog, assisting with the conception of his future killer, and taking down an international gambling operation. If he can survive his job he may just be able to get a chance to enjoy the life he had grown accustomed to and partake in his sole hobby, sex.

The character is a more a cross between Michael Weston (from TV’s Burn Notice) and Sterling Archer (from the FX channel’s Archer) than James Bond as the creator says. He has no real moral compass but he’s not a bad guy; just kills those who deserve it, for a price. Marriage was something he did to try to feel normal but it never works out, so now he sleeps with any attractive woman that he crosses path with. Ok, so maybe there’s a little similarity to Bond there.

The book progresses smoothly, telling the present story while giving enough detail of Mars’ past to avoid plot holes (or any sort of prequel book). Kaufman seems to have some issues with politics in America, Justin Beiber’s sexuality, dog shows, and online gambling. He uses over the top references to harsh on modern day politics, pop culture and society by poking fun at Obama, Beiber and show dog owners. At the same time, he gives each personality a chance to explain or justify their decisions and actions – Obama had no idea politics would be this hard; it’s okay to be gay; shows dogs are loved and cared for too, etc. The story is “too easy,” for Jacob Mars though. When things can go wrong, they never do. Mars always get out of the trouble he gets himself into without much effort. The conclusion at the end of the novel plays out well though and made the book worth reading.

The artwork gives the characters a realistic look while still keeping the animated look of comics. The landscapes and background include great details without overtaking the story. The nudity, gore, and action are shown with enough detail that you only need a little imagination to really get a grasp of what’s going on but the sex scenes are the best-depicted action and take up about forty percent of the book.

A book titled WHORE will make anyone’s do a double take, but thankfully the book title was not an obvious description of what I thought the story would be. Overall, the book was good but a little too simplistic for an action story. With some success in sales, I think a “better than the original” sequel could be written about Jacob Mars. I am intrigued enough by Kaufman now to read his other book (loosely referenced to in WHORE), Terminal Alice and see if its any better. The $9.99 price makes this graphic novel worth the purchase if you have an interest to read it, but this will probably be in the bargain bin at conventions before too long if you want to wait.

WHORE from Zenescope Entertainment hit store shelves September 12, 2012.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out where we will be as well as all of our upcoming events!