Batton Lash,
Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the
Macabre: Case Files, Vol. II

(Exhibit A, 1996)

As a part-time paralegal, I've encountered a substantial cross-section of practicing attorneys and amazingly, Batton Lash has captured two recurrent personalities in Alanna Wolff (of the startling hairstyle --- how does all of that stay up there?) and Jeff Byrd (of the droll little barrister school to which Petrocelli and John Grisham both belong).

In this, the second volume of their collected cases, these intrepid lawyers represent a supermodel against her agent who brings worlds of new meaning to the experession "controlling." Then there's the sideshow barker who claims to have the "real" Dracula on display (after reviving Dracula, the counselors help him deal with immigration problems and assist the Frankenstein family in reclaiming their "stolen" property, a monstrous heirloom) and Sodd, the Thing That's An It, which will remind longtime comics fans of other marshland monsters like DC's Swamp Thing, Marvel's Man-Thing and, granddaddy of them all, The Heap.

While these are sophisticated stories (Wolff & Byrd began as a strip in the National Law Journal), there's lots of droll humor and even some delightfully on-the-mark explanations of legal concepts (indeed, I've used a handful of panels a time or two in paralegal seminars and classes).

Oh, and I almost forgot my favorite story in this volume in which Alanna and Jeff attend the ever-macabre bar convention, complete with some very scary sexual harassment and the snoozingly horrific panel discussion, to say nothing of the cocktail hour terrors. Not just for attorneys or comics aficionados, but for everyone with a taste for the merrily offbeat.

by Stephen Richmond
22 April 2006

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