Verity Fair

Been meaning to do some more little fan art sketches/reviews and the release of the collected edition of Terry Wiley's Verity Fair seems an ideal prompt.

Verity Fair is great. It's also very difficult to explain why, as it pretty much defies categorisation. Approximately, it's a comedy-drama about a bit-part actress (the eponymous Verity) who has to deal with trying to get paying gigs whilst confronting unresolved issues in her past - but that doesn't really do it justice.

It's core strength is a foundation of engaging character interaction. Terry has a knack for judging characters and situations so that they're balanced between recognisably slice-of-life and quirkily oddball, and every scene is delivered with well-crafted dialogue, facial expressions and body language, so you're drawn in to whatever's happening - be that a drama at the casting agency, a  pseudo-'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' game show or a psychotherapy session.

It's also quite a formally experimental comic occasionally, happy to playfully muck about with the medium when the need arises - but always with purpose, so that it doesn't distract from the smooth delivery of the story.

Anyway, here's my attempt at sketching Verity, blasting out a show-tune fuelled by one too many celebratory cocktails after landing a gig.

Though she's supported by a fine cast of characters (linked to other excellent comics Terry has drawn in the past - Sleaze Castle, Surreal School Stories, Petra Etcetera), really its Verity's own charm as a character that pulls you through the book. She's loud and feisty but her depiction is full of nuance and depth, and it's hard not to warm to her.

In short: ... wait, no, as I've explained I CAN'T DO AN 'IN SHORT', Verity Fair is just good, and you should read it. It's available at all good comic shops, and digitally on the Sequential app.

For more info follow Terry Wiley on the Twitter.