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The Vampire Brat, and Other Tales of Supernatural Law. By Batton Lash. San Diego, CA: Exhibit A Press, 2001. 168p. $14.95. ISBN 0-9633954-7-5.

Humor, horror, law

Adults, teens, kids

NOTE: The stories in this book formerly appeared in Mavis #2; Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre #23; and Supernatural Law #24-26 and #28-29.

More tales of the world's weirdest--and funniest--law firm. When we last left Wolff & Byrd, Toby Bascoe had proposed to Mavis and she had turned him down, Alanna Wolff had joined the Associates of Portia (an organization of female lawyers), and Jeff Byrd had started to date Harriet Beryl, the leader of the AoP. Now:

  • In the three-part "Vampire Brat," Buford, a halfbreed teenage vampire, is being harassed by Myrtle Winters, the Vampire Hater, at his high school, and he and his irascible (human) father retain Wolff & Byrd in their complaint against Myrtle. Myrtle's lawyer is the cadaverous, husband-hunting Ally McGraugh (and don't ask her how Ryan O'Neal is). Meanwhile, the other V-people at the high school are figuring out their own ways of dealing with Myrtle. Myrtle (the Chosen One) and her pack of nerds are plotting strategy with the help of the school librarian, a member of the Watch-Our for Vampires sect of the Ancient Order of Haters. And while Mavis semi-patiently deals with " 'Ford" and his annoying teenage behavior--at one point he tries to use his "power of possession" on Mavis to get her to desire him, to which she responds with, "Oh, puh-leeze!"--she's also having her romantic impulses turned upside-down when Taylor, a guy whom she had a crush on in high school some years ago, turns up with an obvious interest in her. For her part, Corey has attracted the interest of Mavis's friend Richie (who is also a friend of Taylor). And Harriet is irked with Jeff, who broke a date, and with Alanna, who never attends AoP meetings.
  • "Fashionably Late" involves a party that Wolff & Byrd throw for their clients. Toby doesn't quite fit in--as Jeff puts it, some of the clients have been giving him "the hairy eyeball"--as he looks for Mavis to tell her that he's moving to California. Richie, also attending (partially to spy on Mavis for Taylor, who can't come), is finding that the clients can be a little... annoying (a ghost constantly wants to freshen his drink, and a "thing" is boring him to death with self-pitying blather). Alanna isn't attending the party either; she's seeing Mr. Finney, a time-traveling client with a confusing story. She's also worried about the firm's finances, as many of their clients turn out to be... wait for it... deadbeats.
  • The two-part "Black Market Souls" concerns Vincente Preiss, a mad medical examiner who has discovered how to capture souls from cadavers and sell them to people with tainted souls, who can then use their new, untainted souls to gain salvation after death. When his wife's lover dies under suspicious circumstances and has his soul captured, she turns to Wolff & Byrd to get it freed. Meanwhile, Harriet complains about Alanna and Jeff, and Toby asks Mavis to move to California with him; he's starting an agency in LA.
  • "Courting Disaster" has a large, purple, angry man-monster trashing the city at intervals. Against this backdrop, Corey is getting tired of Richie; Alanna finally attends an AoP meeting; Mavis and her friend Bonnie commisserate about their men (Bonnie's boyfriend is entering into Toby's scheme and has left her); Chase Hawkins, Alanna's boyfriend, is dealing with a beautiful and somewhat predatory client; the atmosphere at the AoP meeting is strained, and some of the members quite catty; and Wolff & Byrd are talking with an overbearing single mother whose son Hank appears to be friends with the large purple man-monster. Of course, the monster is the Inevitable Hank, provoked into his enraged transformations by his mother.

This series just keeps getting better and funnier; it's one of the best humor comics I've ever read. I can't wait for the movie version. Most highly recommended. 


Copyright 2002, D. Aviva Rothschild


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