Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre

For Halloween this year I wanted to point our readers to Supernatural Law, a comic strip, comic book and web comic series that has been around since 1979, written and illustrated by Batton Lash.  The most recent collection is The Werewolf of New York, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  The series features attorneys Alanna Wolff and Jeff Byrd, who represent a variety of supernatural clients, including zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and vampires.  The legal details are kept very accurate, largely thanks to Mitch Berger, the real-life attorney who consults on the series.

Because the stories are overtly law-related and the details are accurate, there isn’t much for me to say.  Anything I wrote would largely amount to summarizing the plot and saying “yeah, that’s about right.”  But I invite you to check out the web comic and if you like it, order a book or two.

12 responses to “Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre

  1. Well the first one of the webcomic does introduce the interesting idea of suing someone for your death, even if it does also apparently not think that people might be offended at the trial by media we see in the opening pages.

  2. Grrr…The webcomic ends in the middle of a story~ A wicked hook to force people to buy the books.
    I wish there was some way to know which books the webcomic covered so I could know what to pick up to find out the end result of the current storyline, and get the opportunity to read the earlier material without picking up what I have already read…

    Ah well, Thank you very much for the recommendation~ It is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy. ^^

  3. My brother used to collect the comic books. I let him know about the webcomic, but I think he’s got more than is posted in paper form.

  4. Terry Washington

    We can question whether vampires and werewolves have the legal status to retain an attorney, far less sue(in state or federal court)- as they are not “persons”( ie human beings) but it’s worth looking into. If lawyers are not ashamed of representing serial killers, Mafia dons, violent white supremacists, paedophiles(priestly or otherwise) or even terrorists( IRA as well as Al Qaeda), then why refuse to represent bloodsucking creatures of the night- as a wag puts it-the only things lawyers(at least in America) are ashamed/embarrassed about- it is poverty!

    • I certainly hope that there would be at least one lawyer in America willing to defend those people in a court. The American criminal justice system is clearly stated to (ideally) presume that the accused is innocent until their guilt has been firmly proven in a court of law. Are there rapists in this country? Yes. Does rape occur in this country? Of course. Is the person currently being accused of rape actually guilty of it? That remains to be proven before a judge and/or jury.

    • Vampires might (or might not) be legally dead, so may be they’d not have rights. But aren’t werewolves human most days of the month? I’d think a person wouldn’t loose their personhood just because the turn furry once a month.

      • There are two general types of werewolves in fiction: one in which there is a sort of disease or curse or what have you that causes a human being to turn into a wolf, and one in which there is a separate species which happens to look like a human most of the time but also turns into a wolf. The former should probably be a clear-cut case of retaining personhood, but the latter runs into the same problem Superman does: regardless of how much they look like a person, some law would need to be passed for them to legally be a person.

        (I will note asidely that within both types are a number of other varying factors: whether they only change during the full moon or at will, whether they turn into a standard wolf, a larger and nastier wolf, or some sort of wolf-human hybrid creature, whether they maintain their intelligence when changed, whether they take on certain traits even when in human form (e.g. increased aggressiveness, craving for meat, enhanced senses), etc. But at least they never sparkle.)

  5. @Pat: I’ll complicate things by adding a third variety of werewolf. In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, lycanthropes are considered to be another type of undead, which means they raise all the same questions that vampires do … did their rights cease when their natural existence terminated?

    • A good point, there are actually a not-insignificant number which class werewolves as a type of undead, though I’m not sure always fairly. I’ll admit to not being as familiar with Discworld as I should be: when a lycanthrope is turned, is there an actual clearcut being dead period between being human and being a werewolf?

  6. Terry Washington

    Interesting- could there a be “Dred Scott” or “Plessy v.Ferguson” or “Korematsu” style ruling from say the US Supreme Court asserting that the undead( like African Americans, Japanese Americans during WWII) have no rights worth respecting by the living!


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