The Whore Chronicles

The newest release from Tony Esmond sees him compile a series of comics, prose & pin-ups to capture the lives of people we would never readily be aware of and with a title like The Whore Chronicles it’s safe to say that’s it an adult release not for the easily offended.

The stories are based on real people telling real stories and while the details of each story have the ability to shock & even disgust, particularly in the comic elements of the book,…….there’s something exceptionally human about each character we’re introduced to.  Part of the success in this first issue is Tony’s unflinching desire to layout the honesty that pours from every person involved and pairing up with a different artist for each of those is a genius-level approach to take, as it firmly captures the unique psyche & characteristics of each interviewee we hear from.

There’s more to every person’s story though and reading through them you’re almost sure that there’s worse things being held back but what they do share gives a glimpse of the hardships they’ve faced, the decisions they’ve made and the resulting outlook they have on situations that would normally remain hidden from view or everyday conversation.

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The addition of prose is smart element to include in the issue as it almost gives you a bit of mental breathing space to take in what’s been shown in the short, hard hitting comics and it draws you in further with equally unflinching details of other situations people have experienced.  This gives the book a great flow and by the end of the issue you can’t help but feel that this glimpse into an unreal world that actually exists is something that only indie comics have the ability to capture without any limitations put on the story-telling approach.  This results in a curious mix of intrigue, stark reality and hard home truths that are slapped across your face with each page turn but that all triggers contemplation rather than condemnation.

This IS an adult themed comic but I’d have a difficult time saying it’s not for everyone….although it kind of is.  It shouldn’t really be a problem to face the entire mix of what happens in a “civilized” society and while the stories are tough to hear they are still hugely relevant…maybe moreso today than ever before.  The art from each of the contributors is also key in making sure that message is carried across outwith the words being spoken and in the end the writing/art combo adds a surprisingly moving vibe to each and every word or glance.

Harrowing but heartfelt this feels like another worthy addition to the back catalogue of creations Tony has to his name and with each of the artists embracing the subjects of their story and nailing it, this all becomes a thought-provoking exercise in comics but so much more beyond as it’s a reading experience to make you take note of the world around you.

Art contributors:

Rachael Ball for ‘Shelly’

Sarah Harris for ‘Peggy’

Rik Jackson for ‘Diane’

Tom Curry for ‘Lana’

Charles H. Raymond for ‘Sasha’

Pinup from Stuart Mulrain

Pinup & cover from Vince Hunt

You can get hold of this new release in digital or hardcopy over on Tony’s online store and you can catch up on some of his reviews over on his blog too as well as keeping up to date with all things Tony over on Twitter.  You can also check out the weekly Awesome Comics Podcast that he has out there with Podcast bro’s Dan Butcher & Vince Hunt on the website, Twitter & Facebook pages.

9/10

G-Man

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