Jeffrey Kaufman is no stranger to controversy. As a successful defense attorney, Jeffrey made big waves in 2007 when he donned a Tigger costume to successfully defend a client who worked as the popular character at an amusement park. It created such an uproar that it was all over the news and was featured in truTV’s Disorder in the Court: The 20 Most Outrageous Courtroom Moments.
As a writer, having written Ant for Image Comics and Terminal Alice for Zenescope Entertainment, Kaufman continues the tradition of shocking his audience with the title of his latest graphic novel, Whore. Available in the July 2012 edition of Diamond Previews from Zenescope, Whore avoids the usual moral dilemmas that most main characters deal with by presenting us with one without any morals. Simply put, if you have the money, Jacob Mars will do the job. We were fortunate enough to pull Jeffrey Kaufman away from his busy schedule to discuss Whore, as well as his love of comics and other projects.
For folks that may not know, tell us a little of what Whore is about?
Whore, if the title doesn’t make it clear, is a mature graphic novel filled with sex and violence while still keeping the humorous, wise-ass moments that as a writer I’m known for. After getting downsized from the CIA, the main character, Jacob Mars takes any job he can to pay his debts and alimony. He isn't a bad guy by nature, but out of necessity. Jacob has to live a life where things just don't matter, as long as he gets paid. His motto, simply stated: "Every man has his price."
Is there anything that Jacob Mars wouldn't do for money?
I haven’t come across a scenario where Mars had said no, but like certain “Ladies of the night” who have rules about kissing on the mouth, he’d probably draw the line at national terrorism.
In doing some research, I noticed that you're a very successful lawyer, what made you decide to get into comics?
Stupidity and my “Fanboy” nature. I’ve always had an outlet outside of law to keep me grounded and allow the entertainment side of me out. For nine years, I did character work, part time for Walt Disney World. Since I do all my Pro Bono work representing entertainers, singers, musicians, artist and writers, when a person playing Tigger was arrested and tried, I represented him for free. I wore the Tigger costume in my closing statement, which basically ended my part-time career at Disney. A year later, a comic book artist asked me to collaborate on a book called Totem and then Ant for Image Comics and that’s how it all started.
Given the title and actions of the main character, this is definitely going to be a controversial book. Where did the idea come to write Whore?
I wanted to create a character who was both a hero and a villain. Being a big fan of the Sir Sean Connery’s version of Bond, I wanted to create a modern version of him. I wanted a character whose morality did not define him, but was a hindrance. I wanted to create a complete narcissist who relied on logic to solve his problems, but someone the reader hated to like but couldn’t help themselves.
In addition to writing and your duties as a lawyer, you're also filming a documentary. Want to tell us a little bit about it?
The Documentary is called How to Fail in Comic Books. We’ve been filming for three years at conventions and other locations across the country. The idea came from my own ignorance of the industry and the ridiculous amount of money that myself and my associates have lost. We have interviewed everyone from Stan Lee down to discussing the true problems and mistakes we all make in fighting for our dreams in this industry. We should finish shooting at San Diego Comic-Con in July and will have the editing done around December.
In your own words, explain why we should run out and buy Whore?
First, Marco Turini is a fantastic artist who tells my story in a truly original manner. The story entertains, offends and will make you laugh. You will hate yourself for liking the book and you’ll feel stupid that you didn’t figure it out. It’s my goal to get the reader and I know I have succeeded in this book. My only problem is that I think I may have set a bar too high for me to follow.
PREVIEWSworld expects to talk more with Jeffrey at Comic-Con International in San Diego and may obtain some signed copies of his work for future giveaways!