Bob Hall started moonlighting drawing and writing comics in the ’70s to subsidize his career in the theater. Between the ’70s and ’90s, he’s drawn and written comics for Marvel, DC, and Valiant Comics, including Spider-Man, The Avengers, Batman, Shadowman, and “Armed and Dangerous,” an original series. His art is currently on exhibit at the Project Room in Lincoln, Nebraska.
How’d you get into comics?
I was in New York wanting to be in theater and realized I needed a marketable skill. I’d always drawn, done posters for the theater department and the student union. Somebody suggested, “why don’t you take a lot at comic books?” This was 1972, it happened to be a particularly great time for comics. There were some brilliant people drawing. I decided I wanted to do it, I worked at it for a couple years trying to learn the craft.
John Buscema, one of Mavel’s top artists (Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, Conan, pretty much every Marvel book) in two years he taught a class on how to do comics. John liked what I was doing and got me a job at Marvel.
When I got to New York I realized people spent their lives doing two careers. Most people never made a major breakthrough. They would work; they’d have a life in theater, I didn’t want to be a career waiter. I saw a lot of people who’d get a day job in the office and slowly they’d never continue with their main desire. The day job would take over their time, the security would make them afraid to go out and look for work. Maybe I could balance two things? Comics being contract labor, theater being intermittent.