In a crowded field stereotypically associated with male readers and creators, Verity Hall is making an impact as an innovative comic book artist. At only 24 years old, she may be sketching her way to comic stardom.
Hall was raised in Oundle and attended Prince William School, where her enthusiasm for art and graphic novels began in earnest. As a comic fanatic, inspirational writers and artists such as Ross Campbell and John Steinbeck opened the doors to her future.
She scoured the shelves of the Town Library and Oundle’s newsagents for the latest installments in series such as The Crow, Wet Moon, The Ultimate and the Ultimate X Men comics.
On a cool autumn afternoon, I found Hall nursing her lemonade at Beans whilst she remembered what it felt like to first discover those magazines. The comic genre, with its blending of detailed drawings and hand drawn script, combines brilliantly executed visual art with lofty ideological concepts of good vanquishing evil.
Hall draws on similar themes in her own comics. ‘Comics create a unique way of telling a story… they have no limits except for imagination and artistic skill,’ said Hall.
Hall was mesmerised by the fantastical worlds within comic books, and to some degree these stories supported and helped her get through her childhood. ‘Anyone who was a Goth would have loved The Crow.’
Her ambitious desire to mix literature and illustration at a professional level took Hall to Staffordshire University where she gained a first class BA Honors degree in Cartoon and Comic Arts. Hall’s studies enabled her to develop and vary her style, giving her the ability to create inspiring comics that explore feminism and sexuality.
Despite being new to the industry, Hall has already had numerous comics published, including Rapunzel, Little Brother Little Sister, Les Mis Confidential and Like a Shark, where she incorporates gothic themes and LGBT philosophies. Her next book is a supernatural murder mystery with a working title of ‘Mystery Circus’.
‘I create characters to represent those who don’t usually get representation, such as LGBT people,’ Hall explained.
Through her comics, Hall hopes to be able to help teens get through some of the difficulties that they might face growing up. She believes that her comics are ‘a way of making a small change in the world’.
If her stories inspire her readers, if her readers can ‘read and connect’, that is her ‘job done’.
With a steadily growing fan base, Hall’s Like A Shark has been nominated for the National British Comic Awards. She hopes that this recognition will enable her to stand out as an artist so that she can extend her reach to more readers.
Hall imagines that there are quite a few young people in her old school with a passion to draw and tell a story. Her advice to young aspiring artists: ‘Draw all the time, try not to stop, just keep doing it. Know that you may not make any money off it, but do it because you love it.’
By Antonia Simon