‘V for Vendetta’ Creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd Talk Guy Fawkes Protest Masks
“At the moment, the demonstrators seem to me to be making clearly moral moves, protesting against the ridiculous state that our banks and corporations and political leaders have brought us to,” said Alan Moore in an interview with The Guardian. The popular comics writer was referencing the protestors of Occupy Wall Street (and other places), many of whom have masked themselves in the visage of V, the Guy Fawkes-inspired hero of V for Vendetta, the anarchist graphic novel Moore created with David Lloyd in the 1980s.A classic graphic novel that’s remained in print from DC Comics/Vertigo for decades (and reissued recently in the form of a prestigious Absolute Edition), V for Vendetta tells the story of a vigilante and anarchist who endeavors to bring down fascism in a grim future version of Great Britain. As a tip of the hat to Guy Fawkes’ plot to destroy the House of Lords in 1605, V wears a mask modeled after the historic figure and ultimately inspires others to do the same.
The story was adapted by Warner Bros. into a live-action film in 2006. Subsequently, the international hacking group Anonymous adopted V’s Guy Fawkes mask as their official visage. The mask was worn by protestors at rallies against the Church of Scientology, Sony, various banks and at activist events in Brazil, Iran and other places around the world, including the recent Occupy protests.
“The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way,” said David Lloyd in conversation with BBC News after visiting the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
While Moore doesn’t presume that the protestors who’ve worn his character’s face are necessarily fans of his work — “[The mask is] cool-looking. I’m not trying to make a proprietorial statement,” he said — the writer did express some measure of satisfaction with the predicament. “I suppose when I was writing V for Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact?” Moore confessed. “So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.”