Sep 16, 2008

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (illustrated mostly by David Lloyd)

V for Vendetta

I watched the movie. It was sort of eh to me, mostly because Portman used up all her acting ability back around 1994. That being said, I dug the concept, so when a cool gal offered to loan me her copy of the collected comics, I pounced on it.

Who doesn't love a little chaos and humor in the face of fascism and repression? Who doesn't love the idea of the everyman who manages to evade the cops, slip between shadows, blow up the broken courts, do away with torturers and pedophilic priests? Do I think that bombing the halls of "justice" is a good way to get my voice heard at this time? Of course not - but I haven't got the government peeping in my bedroom every night yet or banning art and music yet or forcing a power-grabbing religion on me. Yet.

I'm drawn to anarchy as a philosophy. Not the punk's AN-AR-KEE!, necessarily (though I've still got a soft spot in my heart for those kids), but the empathetic don't-rule-me-and-I-won't-rule-you train of thought. Too bad I can't imagine it ever working. Get two people agreeing to pull together, you'll have a third bashing them both in the back of the head while they're busy.

In a less general sense, regarding the actual comic - I loved the story, I wasn't wild about the art. But then, it had a very 80s style that seems a little dated now, which pretty well excuses it. As an American, I have no cultural connection to Guy Fawkes or the masks, but I know enough about the whole thing not to be confused by the allusion and I think it worked. I wish now that I owned the collection, because I'd like to read it again in a few months and see if it's deep or shallow.

Oh, and because I am a dork with a head full of quotes and musical bits, I liked catching the meanings, here and there, of the lines that V dropped. Especially stuff like the Anti-Nowhere League. If you want your comic to have a soundtrack, that's the way to do it.

final thought: I'd like to see an English director film it with an English cast some time.


Olman Feelyus said...

Good stuff. V for Vendetta didn't blow me away like the Watchmen, but it's still pretty cool. Alan Moore likes the vigilante.

I was in Winnipeg last weekend and there was an Anonymous protest against the downtown Scientology office. It was cool because they were all masked and a lot of them were wearing the V masks.

downtown guy said...

Makes sense - the philosophies of Scientology are at least as fictional as V for Vendetta.

B.E. Earl said...

I loved this graphic novel. I remember buying it when it was first collected by DC in '88, I think, with new material. It was originally from 5 years before that and it was unfinished.

I love it for the things that were left out in the film. The Vicious Cabaret, Evie's line after she finds out that it was V who imprisoned her, some of the background plot, etc...

I still loved the film. It was done extremely well and remained topical because of, well, the Bush administration. And I had no problem with Portman as Evie. She was the only American in the film, so I don't really understand why you want to see a film version made purely by the English. Just about everyone involved in this one was Anglo-ish in one way or another (Aussie, Irish, English, etc...).

downtown guy said...

I feel like the Wachowski brothers and Joel Silver took a very English story and used it to make a point about America. Nothing specifically wrong with that, I'd just like to see how it would turn out in British hands.

B.E. Earl said...

Gotcha. But you have to remember that Thatcherism was a huge deal in the 80's and even though England has its problems right now (many, many problems), the obvious parallel to a fascist state described in the book is these here United States of America.

So for me, it made sense. And, once again for me, I thought they retained enough British-ness to keep it real.