or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the changing meanings of the “V for Vendetta” mask.
In a BBC feature today, the Man himself, Mr Alan Moore, discussed the emergence of the Guy Fawkes mask that is my profile picture-sake (on facebook and google) and pretty much my namesake as well (as “V”).
It must have been the summer of 1989, when my eyes first fell upon a graphic novel with a frozen, smirking mask on its cover, smiling back at me. Intrigued, I bought and read this strange piece of work, with its almost surrealistic style, minimal use of colour, and philosophical themes on fascism and anarchism. The material was far too advanced for my sensitivities and mental faculties at the time; it made an impression on me, but was soon left aside.
Little did I know then that it would be my first foray in the amazing world of Alan Moore. Long before taken up by Anonymous hacktivists, globalisation protesters or the Wachowski siblings, V for Vendetta was Alan Moore’s first groundbreaking work on comics (with artwork from David Lloyd). But it was certainly not his last! He moved right along to create Watchmen (perhaps his best work to date), From Hell, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And this is without even mentioning his redefining work on Batman and Superman.
I found it very interesting to read how one of the creators of V for Vendetta sees the proliferation of the Guy Fawkes mask that he unwittingly helped define as the symbol that it is today. For me, the mask (and the initial) will always signify first and foremost my love for the influential and inspiring work of Alan Moore.
Moore, Alan (2012) Viewpoint: V for Vendetta and the rise of Anonymous. BBC News, 9 February 2012