Home > Comic Books > Verity Fair – Terry Wiley’s latest book

Verity Fair – Terry Wiley’s latest book

Way back in the early 90’s, UK independent comics seemed to be the next big thing, and there was a seemingly endless supply of new and trendy graphic novels. Most were very different from the mainstream, telling odd little stories about real things in unreal places, rather than the usual action-adventure hero fair. Sadly, the big British indie comic rush never really happened, and though a few creators moved onto bigger things, many more simply vanished, and many great stories just petered out, never to be finished.

So I was recently delighted to discover that comic book creator Terry Wiley is back. Wiley is perhaps best known “More Tales from Sleaze Castle”, a strange tale that puts an ordinary person in a surreal and extraordinary world (imagine Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with a more surreal bent, and add an aardvark.) 1. Wiley’s latest work is called Verity Fair, and focuses on the everyday adventures of Verity Bourneville, a 40-something jobbing actress.

Great art mixed in with photo backgrounds lends a strong real world feel to the work

She’s had a good life, but one that has had more than its fair share of strange moments and quiet horror. Verity Fair, is an everyday tale, filled with humour, tragedy and well realised art. Though they are plenty of shout-outs to Wiley’s previous work, knowledge of obscure 90’s indie comics is not required.

I can firmly say that this is Terry’s best work so far; the art is strong, the characters are interesting and the plot, though slow, is fun and clever. The tale of one women’s journey through a tough world is never going to fly off the shelves; comic book fans aren’t famed for their love of domestic drama, which is a real shame as it means they’ll miss out on a great read.

Fans of the TV series Coupling , or those who just appreciate good pub inspired banter will probably get a kick of Verity Fair. Further samples of Wiley’s work can be found here and Verity Fair is currently available by bothering your local comic book dealer and getting him to stock it for you2.


1: The book generated a series of spin-offs: the everyday mystery story (and prequel) “Tales from Sleaze Castle” and the conspiracy theory parody “Surreal School Stories”. The latter was presented in a penny dreadful format, mostly text with key illustrations, with the occasional full length comic-strips appearing elsewhere. (For a good example, take a look here.) You may also want to check out Petra etc.
2: Travelling Man UK would probably be your best bet; the Newcastle store certainly has copies.

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