Goodbye To A Comics Industry Mainstay
The very sad news reached us last night that Supernatural Law creator Batton Lash and the husband of San Diego Con Con’s Jackie Estrada has just passed away. Here’s a few tributes to him from comic industry figures on Twitter. Our condolences to his wife Jackie…
Here’s his bio from Exhibit A Press:
Cartoonist 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 Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman.
After graduating he took on various art-related jobs, including doing pasteups for an ad agency and being comic book artist Howard Chaykin’s first assistant. As a freelance illustrator, Lash did drawings for Garbage magazine, a children’s workbook, the book Rock ‘n’ Roll Confidential, the Murder to Go participatory theater group, a reconstructive surgery firm, and other projects. For several years he shared a studio at 225 Lafayette Street (former home of EC Comics) with comic book inker Bob Smith.
In 1979 Brooklyn Paper Publications asked him to create a comic strip and Lash came up with “Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre,” which ran in The Brooklyn Paper until 1996 and in The National Law Journal from 1983 to 1997. He also did editorial cartoons for The Brooklyn Paper off and on for a 12-year period, did courtroom graphics for two cases, and prepared charts for The New York Daily News advertising department for sales meetings and in-house presentations.
In the 1980s and early 1990s Lash drew W&B stories for such publications as TSR’s Polyhedron, American Fantasy, and Monster Scene. Original Wolff & Byrd stories have also appeared in a number of comic books, including Satan’s Six, Mr. Monster, Munden’s Bar, Frankie’s Frightmare, Crack-a-Boom, The Big Bigfoot Book, and Panorama. Starting in May 1994, Wolff & Byrd held court in their own bimonthly comic book, Supernatural Law, from Exhibit A Press, which Lash established with his wife, Jackie Estrada. Exhibit A has published more than 50 comics, including several specials featuring Wolff & Byrd’s secretary, Mavis, as well as numerous deluxe trade paperbacks collecting the comic book series. Wolff & Byrd also appear in Lash’s online version of the series at SupernaturalLaw.com.
Lash’s non-W&B work includes art for Hamilton Comics’ short-lived horror line (Grave Tales, Dread of Night, etc.); The Big Book of Death, The Big Book of Weirdos, The Big Book of Urban Legends, and The Big Book of Thugs for Paradox Press; and Aesop’s Desecrated Fables for Rip Off Press. He is also co-wrote The Penguin’s Putdowns (a book of riddles, for Warner Books), and wrote the notorious Archie Meets The Punisher, the 1994 crossover between Archie Comics and Marvel Comics. He also wrote a 3-part Archie story, “The House of Riverdale,” in the fall of 1995. Most recently, he wrote two Archie Freshman Year miniseries for Archie. Batton has also written numerous Radioactive Man stories for Bongo Comics. His most recent non-W&B project is “The First Gentleman of the Apocalypse,” an online series published via Aces Weekly.