I often made it a point to stop by to say hi to Batton and Jackie at the San Diego Comic-Con—where he was a fixture with a booth at a prime location on the main floor—and had the pleasure of being at smaller shows and book signings with him, where we often talked shop and business. Given the number of people he knew, our relationship was more professional than personal, but he was always warm and open with whoever he spoke with and being fellow self-publishers certainly made it a special bond. Batton and Jackie were great supporters and role models, and happy to share information and advice. (I don't have concrete evidence, but I also think Batton and Jackie both had some hand in the recognition I received at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con as a special guest.)
Batton's illness was fairly public knowledge and I made it a special point to visit him at his booth the past few years. He was always his usual upbeat and cheerful self—though I wasn't completely aware of his progress, his passing was nevertheless a bit of a surprise.
I was privileged to have our two characters—Rob Hanes and Wolff & Byrd—play together in a pinup for his series, which appeared in issue 7 of Wolff & Byrd, reproduced below. It remains one of my personal favorite such pinups I've done and I'm glad to share it in Batton's memory.