diary of a catering whore
Diary of a Catering Whore
story and art by sean seamus mcwhinny
Sean Seamus McWhinny, 2006
by Lacy Telles
If you are wondering what a catering whore is, a definition can be found on the “about” page of Sean Seamus McWhinny's “Diary of a Catering Whore” webcomic. But, let's get serious, if you have ever lived in a bustling city (read:expensive) you, or certainly someone you know, has whored themselves out for a quick buck in the catering world. Mr. McWhinney spent many years doing just that, but rather than putting the whole experience completely behind him, he took a few years to catalogue the trials and tribulations of tuxedoed artists trying to make it in San Francisco.
I love it when a boy is wicked smart and stuff, using words like proselytizing and droll and gauche. Gauche is such a dead giveaway, for I cannot recall ever hearing a straight man utter such a word, though I suppose the flirting and the sex are bigger signs of the direction Mr. McWhinney swings. Not only was I wooed by his vocabulary, but I loved his casual way of talking politics. It isn't in an “above my head” sort of way, nor in a “let me explain this to my buddy's grade-schooler ” kind of way, but rather in a matter of fact, “Seamus assumes you know what he knows about politics” sort of way.
In general, the author lays the setting within the first square. It could be a Napa Valley warehouse or a mansion in Pacific Heights, for frankly there is no place a catering whore will not tread. Gain some firsthand insight into the world of San Francisco, such as the winemakers' weekend in Fort Mason, or the awesomeness that is the Folsom Street Fair, or the over-the-topness that is the Getty family's wealth. Seamus is the storyteller, and the dialogue is saved for one sentence blurbs or embarrassing displays of wealthy indifference or cluelessness. And sure the caterers talk, too, but the majority of the time their moods or opinions are expressed in their facial expressions or lack of dialogue. Mind the little black devils that appear with their glib assessments and their sneaky commentary. Though the devil is not always sitting on McWhinney's shoulder, his sharp teeth share the same bite.
While the webseries is no longer updated, you can find the entire archive online for your reading pleasure. The majority of the strips are in black and white, but McWhinney graduated to color at the end of 2008. Of course, being in black and white does not detract too much, considering the whores are all in tuxes and the majority of the guests are at black tie affairs. That being said, the color tones are of the more subdued variety and really add some depth in some of the stories, such as the “Cuffs and Collar” poem.
Each comic runs from 1-5 pages long, and is archived according to date. The 1 pagers are great because they give a quick fix for a laugh and a shake of the head at the way the “other half” rolls. If you are part of that “other half” (in this case, San Franciscans that hobnob with Gavin Newsom and think nothing of dropping a couple of grand at a fundraising dinner in support of the latest cause) I hope you are able to enjoy a clever poke in your side. Then again, I imagine “those people”, those that are of the “one of us” elite, are not really the demographic that reads webcomics. Also, don't be surprised if the narrator breaks out into a singsong rhyme to describe a party, or the zany people at the party, or the whores working the party. While his poetry may not be considered romantic or ageless, it sure is fun to sing along with the pretty pictures.
And for those less impressed with sardonic wit and sarcasm, for those looking for something simpler, there are strips like “Cropdusting” to really bring home the base humor that is so often craved. The artistic renditions alone will make you snicker, and after you throw in the funny commentary, you will be laughing aloud.
But don't get me wrong, people. Not every strip, not every story, is a jab at San Francisco high society. In “Morning after”, McWhinny shows a more serious side. Sure there are still smile inducing, relatable instances like the stranger from the night before blabbering away about chirping nothingness. But there is sincerity in his statement about class difference and the likelihood of a return phone call or a proper date. I appreciate these odd glimpses into the world of a catering whore outside of his catering jobs, especially when they show a slightly less acrid view on life.
If you live in San Francisco, read this strip. If you have ever sold your soul for a little while in order to get by, read this strip. If you are looking for something funny and light, but don't want to make too much of a commitment, read this strip. Find it at: www.cateringwhore.com.
Editors' Note - Thanks for reading! - PKA
Lacy Telles is a writer currently living in Manhattan. In addition, she is a full-time hairstylist, a part-time veterinary technician, a reader, a lover, a friend, and also what her pals call, a "hostess with the most-est". Check her out at www.lacytelles.com.
Diary of a Catering Whore © 2006 Sean Seamus McWhinny. Review © 2011 Lacy Telles.
Prism Comics promotes the works of the LGBT community in comics. It does not implicitly endorse any other material or products associated with those works. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s).