Written and Illustrated by Batton Lash
Published by Exhibit A Press
Whenever we have money, we always support Kickstarter projects from Batton Lash. We did so earlier this year and I recently received a nifty package in the mail with a signed copy of this new volume as its highlight.
Batton is one of the few people working in or around comics today who has an intrinsic understanding of the comics format, its history, its usage, and most of all, a wonderful sense of character humor without ever sacrificing a good story!
Grandfathered In is the latest Supernatural Law volume featuring Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre, Lash’s long-running signature strip. It’s the first full length, full color Wolff and Byrd story, too!
Alanna Wolff and Jeff Byrd are our heroes—lawyers, as you might have guessed.
Their clients over the years have consisted of muck monsters, werewolves, vampires, and anything and everything else than can go bump in the night. Their stories are generally well-told, lighthearted but not wholly humorous, and Grandfathered In is no exception.
The title character here is the ghost of a man’s grandfather who isn’t yet ready to leave his home, much to the annoyance of the man’s wife. So they bring in attorneys to legally have him removed, by exorcism if necessary. This is where Wolff and Byrd come in.
With more room to play with than the usual shorter stories, there’s more at work here than simply that story. We also meet a mysterious and persistent old friend of Alanna’s, watch Mavis (The World’s Greatest Secretary) keep the business going, learn of Jeff’s family issues and a major decision he’ll have to make. It’s a veritable soap opera with the main ghost plot (which includes its OWN soap elements) serving almost as background to the character development and the setting up of where things will go next!
Which is really the closest thing to an issue presented by Grandfathered In. You don’t want it to end with so many loose ends, especially knowing that it’ll likely be a while before the story continues!
Alanna and Jeff are the centerpieces as always—implacable and open-minded friends who are experts at what they do but NOT romantic partners, a rarity for a series that’s been around this long. Mavis is the heart, with her Archie comics face and Fabulous Flo attitude.
Lots of back story about the volume itself, the delightful characters, and the series’ publication history, rounds out a most enjoyable read.
If you’re open to non-traditional comics stories steeped in various traditions, this installment of the slow but steady Supernatural Law franchise is a most enjoyable break from the violent, dark, misogynistic, confusing comics around these days.