Thanks to Hurricane Sandy we missed Halloween here in New York City. So please enjoy this post from our regular graphic novel guest blogger, Francisca Goldsmith, exactly one week later than planned:
Batton Lash studied with Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman, but has gone on to create a unified field of their master teachings of good visual storytelling with his own accessible while sophisticated pun-strewn humor. While the law firm featured in this compendium first saw the dark of night in the funny pages, the series of stories included are sequentially arranged and run here at the pace of a novel rather than daily strips.
The publication in hand has been funded as a Kickstarter project, another feature to bring to the attention of teen readers who may be looking for ways to finance their own brilliant but non-commercial ideas. It seems likely that Wolff and Byrd could make it in big city publishing, but good to see, also, that a Kickstarter product has such high caliber–or is that macabreter?
Adult/High School–The law firm of Wolff and Byrd specializes in the full range of legal services–for what we might call “monsters” but for a population who prefers the term “macabre.” A generally polite and intelligent group that includes vampires, witches, zombies, and even invisible childhood friends, these clients generally keep night time hours. Blonde bombshell Wolff and pudgy Mr. Byrd run the standard law firm office, assisted by Wolff’s younger (and ditzy) sister and super assistant Mavis, in Brooklyn. What unfolds in this series of delicious and interconnected tales are pun-filled courtroom scenes, multiple romances involving the law office members, and the likes of a fake magician, an uptown lawyer with a rich but bad guy client, and a TV news reporter desperate for a scoop. Lash’s art is bouncy and sweet, in perfect keeping with the tone of his narratives: yes, a real wolfman should have standing to sue for damages created by the Hollywooding of his persona; women do obsess about being sensitive to ex-boyfriends to a degree that can undermine current relationships; and who couldn’t resist that hottie from an alternate Earth who seduces the mad scientist? Good fun, excellent storytelling, and character development makes this authentic sequential art light but fully realized.–Francisca Goldsmith, Infopeople Project, CA