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Marcellus Hall

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Marcellus Hall is an American artist and musician best known for his illustration work in magazines including The New Yorker, Time and others.

Marcellus Hall was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design where he also learned guitar and harmonica.

After graduation, Hall moved to New York City, New York and became a founding member of and main songwriter for the band Railroad Jerk. The group released four albums on Matador Records and was influential in the blues/punk/folk/grunge genre. The song “Rollerkoaster” from the album One Track Mind appeared on MTV’s Beavis and Butthead.

After the dissolution of Railroad Jerk, Hall went on to form the band White Hassle with Railroad Jerk drummer Dave Varenka. Using accompanying guitarists, a theremin player, and a DJ, White Hassle released albums on Matador Records, Fargo Records, Mazri Records, and Orange Recordings. The band toured Europe and America before disbanding in 2006.

Hall has since performed as a solo artist with his band, The Hostages (which includes mainstays Damon Smith and Mike Shapiro, as well as others including Michael DuClos, Alex Berman, Troy Fannin, Jimmy Ansourian, Joachim Kearns, and Matt Martin). Hall released a debut album, First Line, on Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock’s label Glacial Pace in 2011. The album is accompanied by a 44-page illustrated book.

On May 8, 2013, Hall’s Kickstarter campaign to fund his next album with his band The Hostages was successful. The self-produced album, Afterglow, was released on December 10, 2013.

As a freelance illustrator, Hall has worked for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Time, The Christian Science Monitor, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Fortune, and The New Yorker. His first cover for The New Yorker was published in 2005. His second in 2008. His third in 2013. And his fourth in 2016.

Hall’s work has also appeared in The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Communication Arts annuals.

In his first years in New York, Hall also created the weekly comic strip Bill Dogbreath for alternative weekly newspapers that included The Onion, The Seattle Stranger, New York Perspectives, and Baltimore City Paper.

In addition to illustrating the books White Pigeons and 57 Octaves for , Hall has self-published books of drawings and writing including Hard Luck Stories and Legends of the Infinite City (a collection of black & white drawings of New York City).

A selection of Hall’s sketches was published in Le Sketch #05, 2008.

In 2008 Hall began illustrating children’s books. Among them are Because You Are My Baby (2008) by Sherry North, City I Love (2009) by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Because You Are My Daddy (2010) by Sherry North, The Cow Loves Cookies (2010) by Karma Wilson, Full Moon and Star (2011) by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Because I Am Your Teacher (2012) by Sherry North, What’s New? The Zoo! (2014) by Kathleen Krull, and Duddle Puck The Puddle Duck (2015) by Karma Wilson.

In May 2013, Everybody Sleeps, Hall’s first children’s book as both author and illustrator, was published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin.

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