Cover image for Mister Negativity : and other tales of supernatural law
Title:
Mister Negativity : and other tales of supernatural law
Author:
Lash, Batton.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego, CA : Exhibit A, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
vi, 170 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 27 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780963395481
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

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.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Practicing supernatural law isn't always safe.ust ask attorneys Alanna Wolff andeff Byrd, whose office is currently being renovated after a client's rampage. Such vicissitudes don't deter the pair, who now take on the case of Nagy D'Viti, a guy so pessimistic he literally radiates negative energy and whose constant whining even gets on their nerves until they realize he might be able to help them with another case. In Trail of the Trial of the Mummy, Wolff and Byrd try to prevent an ancient mummy from being reawakened and unleashing its curse on its descendants. Courting the Muse brings a disgruntled muse--the tenth muse, the muse of potboilers--to the lawyers' doorstep, feeling she has been taken advantage of by the cute slacker who convinced her to write his novel for him. Little does he know, the joke is on him. Meanwhile, both Alanna and the firm's secretary, Mavis, are torn between two men. Clever, witty, and funny, Lash's tales delightfully evoke the humorous side of the supernatural. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Table of Contents

Introduction--Tom DeHavenp. v
Trail of the Trial of the Mummyp. 3
Mavis, Mavis, Mavis!p. 25
Courting the Musep. 53
Meanwhile, Back at the Interim...p. 65
Huberis the Dybbukp. 77
The Strange Case of Mr. Negativityp. 99
Trial of the 800-lb Gorillap. 121
Words Don't Do IT Justicep. 133
The Co-Inkydinksp. 145
About the Authorp. 168