A pair of angels lean back against a cloud, hands folded behind their heads and look upward like two 6-year-olds naming animals from passing cumulonimbus on a summer afternoon.
“Now that your human is safely in heaven,” one angel says to the other, “For old time’s sake, do you ever wish he’d do something stupid?”
So starts Louis Hall’s book of “Angelic Twaddle Comics,” a collection of comics the ’88 grad and his children have put together that prompts consideration of all kinds of things, really – life on Earth, guidance from the Catholic tradition, history, philosophy – and all in the accessible and easy-to-digest form of comics.
“It’s a great way to get people to think about harder questions,” Hall said. “It’s easy not to want to pick up a big book to consider these things; it’s nice to have an easier platform for some of these harder ideas.”
The idea for the comics grew from conversations Hall had raising six children where – no surprise for a studio art major – he realized providing visual context might help make difficult topics easier to digest. What started as a blog became an ongoing family project, with Hall's kids involved in everything from topic brainstorming to editing.
“It’s been a lot of fun understanding more as you get older, or going and asking Dad what things mean so you understand it,” said 17-year-old Gemma Hall, who is hoping to go into dental work some day. “It’s been very helpful as we’ve grown up.”
Hall said much of the comic’s content and general spirit has been informed by his years at St. Thomas and the intellectual curiosity it instilled in him.
“When the kids need help understanding, it helps me to understand things better myself,” Hall added. “I’ll try to read from the people that have gone before me to help understand things. It’s almost better than journaling for me; I can put it into an image form and then put it in a context for others to understand.”
With the first set of comics published and plenty more on the way there are plenty of possibilities for the future of Angelic Twaddle. The Hall family already has felt the benefits of doing such a project together, making the impact it has outside of themselves a bonus.
“To follow through on the mission of St. Thomas … we’re trying to do good in society. We’re trying to advance a Catholic tradition, a curiosity and a stronger framework about life,” Hall said. “Even though it’s a comic book, young people and older people can look at this stuff and shape the ideas that carry them through life.”