Monday, January 5, 2009

The Hardest Working Guy in Comics

One of my favorite pros in comics is Batton Lash, the publisher-creator-writer-artist of Supernatural Law (originally known as Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre). I feel very privileged to have gotten to know Batton over the years (as well as his partner and significant other, Jackie Estrada) as a fellow self-publisher, colleague and friend.

As one of the last viable self-publishers still active, he's always been a great role model, and generous in sharing leads and ideas. There's nothing more fun than catching up with Batton at a convention (when I can catch him between sales!) I like to think one reason we get along is that we both share a similar appreciation and aesthetic for "old school" cartooning and comics. Batton is one of the few cartoonists whose work is truly "mainstream" and accessible in that he strives to appeal equally to both the hardcore comics fan as well as casual readers. And he has done so while hustling to stay ahead of the curve by adapting to the new realities of the comics market, using the internet, new technologies, and other creative ways to grow his audience.

Anyway, Batton was recently interviewed over at Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter website and I thought I'd link to it here. In his introduction to the interview, Tom says Batton "is funny, he's full of stories and he's really, really nice." That's all accurate, but since some people believe being called "nice" sometimes comes off as damning with faint praise, I thought I'd instead give Batton the moniker of being "the hardest working guy in comics"! When you read the interview, you'll see know what I mean!

In any case, I encourage you to go read the intervew—as usual, Batton is personable and full of insight as to how he has been able to sustain success in this business as a freelancer and self-publisher.

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