Mr. Negativity: And Other Tales of Supernatural Law

Overview

In 1979, Lash created the comic strip "Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre," about two attorneys specializing in cases dealing with supernatural matters. Unlike Wolfram & Hart, the law firm with a similar clientele on the TV show Angel, Alanna Wolff and her partner, Jeff Byrd, have always been on the good guys' side, and their exploits are comedies. Over time, Wolff and Byrd have migrated from one comics venue to another, and now star in their own comic book, Supernatural Law, from which the stories ...
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Overview

In 1979, Lash created the comic strip "Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre," about two attorneys specializing in cases dealing with supernatural matters. Unlike Wolfram & Hart, the law firm with a similar clientele on the TV show Angel, Alanna Wolff and her partner, Jeff Byrd, have always been on the good guys' side, and their exploits are comedies. Over time, Wolff and Byrd have migrated from one comics venue to another, and now star in their own comic book, Supernatural Law, from which the stories were collected for this paperback. The stories aren't laugh-out-loud funny, but instead deal in quiet, gentle whimsy. The appealingly cartoony art maintains a light tone even in the more morbid scenes; the firm's secretary looks as if she grew up in Archie's Riverdale. Lash is overly fond of some of comics' and soap opera's kitschier clichEs. His characterizations tend to be one-dimensional; Wolff and Byrd have little personality and function as the straight men to a supporting cast of eccentrics. What's most impressive about this book are the inventive concepts. In the title story, a man with an obsessively negative attitude visually transforms into a "photo-negative" version of himself. Lash parodies pop culture targets ranging from Stephen King and Harry Potter to other comics. The high point is a satire on Dave Sim's Cerebus comics, which should delight even readers unfamiliar with the target. After a full quarter century, it's remarkable that Wolff and Byrd's saga still demonstrates such imaginative vitality.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1979, Lash created the comic strip "Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre," about two attorneys specializing in cases dealing with supernatural matters. Unlike Wolfram & Hart, the law firm with a similar clientele on the TV show Angel, Alanna Wolff and her partner, Jeff Byrd, have always been on the good guys' side, and their exploits are comedies. Over time, Wolff and Byrd have migrated from one comics venue to another, and now star in their own comic book, Supernatural Law, from which the stories were collected for this paperback. The stories aren't laugh-out-loud funny, but instead deal in quiet, gentle whimsy. The appealingly cartoony art maintains a light tone even in the more morbid scenes; the firm's secretary looks as if she grew up in Archie's Riverdale. Lash is overly fond of some of comics' and soap opera's kitschier clich s. His characterizations tend to be one-dimensional; Wolff and Byrd have little personality and function as the straight men to a supporting cast of eccentrics. What's most impressive about this book are the inventive concepts. In the title story, a man with an obsessively negative attitude visually transforms into a "photo-negative" version of himself. Lash parodies pop culture targets ranging from Stephen King and Harry Potter to other comics. The high point is a satire on Dave Sim's Cerebus comics, which should delight even readers unfamiliar with the target. After a full quarter century, it's remarkable that Wolff and Byrd's saga still demonstrates such imaginative vitality. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Batton Lash was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended James Madison High School. He went on to study cartooning and graphic arts at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where his instructors included the legendary cartoonists Will Wisner and Harvey Kurtzman.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2004

    Clever Stories - Great Art!

    Loved this book. Not only is it clever, funny, and appealing to a wide audience, but the art enriches each episode with every turn of the page. Batton Lash's storytelling demonstrates his mastery of the quirks of human nature as well as supernatural creature quirks. A pleasure to read over and over.

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