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Anders

V for Vendetta

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I just finished reading Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, in anticipation of the film version coming out this fall.

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I'm most struck by the way that V's insistence that freedom is more important than happiness and how he breaks Evey down until she is willing to die. I couldn't help but note similarities between V and Tyler Durden, and wonder if Palahniuk was aware of this story when he did Fight Club.

Of course the idea of a protagonist who is an unabashed terrorist, who values anarchy (interesting how he contrasts anarchy or lack of leaders with chaos or lack of order) might be difficult to sell in this day and age.

All in all this is one of Moore's finest moments. Intelligent and challenging, this is a prime example of the comic as literature.

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I'm reading the graphic novel right now, and I just got to the part Anders mentioned, where

V breaks down Evey to the point where she's willing to die

. So far, I'm liking it quite a bit. Very compelling stuff that, at first, seems rather campy and overdramatic but just manages to suck you in. And I completely agree with you on the terrorist angle... I can't help but wonder if they'll include the Houses Of Parliament scene in the movie.

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Alan Moore admitted that he didn't quite know what he was saying at the beginning of "V for Vendetta". He learned more about what he was writing about as the books were serialized. That's why I believe the beginning is a bit slow and clunky, while the end is like a freight train -- he was still learning how to take this much maligned genre (the "comic book") and make it sizzle as a more literary "graphic novel" (before there was such a thing -- this is 1982). It's quite an accomplishment in retrospect.

Still, I like this work and hope the movie trims some of its fat, while still keeping the "dangerous" and prickly aspects of it: fighting for freedom, what's the difference between a revolutionary and a terrorist, apprenticeship & brainwashing, etc. There's a lot to think about, much of it unsettling, and no definitive answers. What a wonderful, subversive, hopeful, dangerous work it is!

Even if the upcoming movie is a fairly toothless adaptation, Hugo Weaving will certainly have much-deserved center stage and the end is sure to be explosive, so to speak. So, it'll make a fair popcorn movie at that, which is more than I can say for the other Moore adapations.

FYI -- For some really first-rate essays on the book, I highly recommend these online essays V for Vendetta Shrine . Even Moore fans will find a lot to chew on.

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In response to Peter's question about the relevence of November 5th in V for Vendetta I found this quote on Wikipedia.

The plot is immortalised in the popular verse:

    Remember, remember the fifth of November,

    gunpowder, treason and plot,

    I see no reason why gunpowder treason

    should ever be forgot.

    Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,

    'twas his intent

    to blow up the King and the Parliament.

    Three score barrels of powder below,

    Poor old England to overthrow:

    By God's providence he was catch'd

    With a dark lantern and burning match.

    Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.

    Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

    Hip hip hoorah!

Of course, V is a latter day Guy Fawkes, fighting against an oppressive, fascist government and adopts the appearance and legacy of Guy Fawkes.

Anyway, you should go read the graphic novel Peter, I think you'd really like it.

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FYI -- For some really first-rate essays on the book, I highly recommend these online essays V for Vendetta Shrine  .  Even Moore fans will find a lot to chew on.

Those are some interesting essays, particularily the one that compares Rorschach and V. I think Rorschach is perhaps the best of any of Moore's characters, but I had never really considered some of the similarities between Watchmen and V for Vendetta (other than they both present a real challenge to anyone wishing to make an effective movie adaptation).

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I must say, I love this movie's posters. They're certainly going for a vintage look, and they're pulling in some of my fave art styles to do so.

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=21841

http://media.filmforce.ign.com/media/715/7...mg_3218735.html

Very, very cool. These are the kind of posters I could hang up in a public place without feeling like too much of a geek.

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I must say, I love this movie's posters.  They're certainly going for a vintage look, and they're pulling in some of my fave art styles to do so.

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=21841

http://media.filmforce.ign.com/media/715/7...mg_3218735.html

Very, very cool.  These are the kind of posters I could hang up in a public place without feeling like too much of a geek.

Outstanding posters. That style captures just the right tone of the work, and makes me think they filmmakers may actually be making a serious adaptation (instead of another forgettable Hollywood action movie).

FYI -- Any folks notice that Alan Moore's "The Watchmen" was listed by Time magazine as one of the top 100 english-language books since 1923. Quite prestigious, considering he outshone other works in the genre like "Maus" and he is listed with other top-rank contemporaries like David Foster Wallace, Salman Rushdie, and Don Delillo. Time Top 100 Novels

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FYI -- Any folks notice that Alan Moore's "The Watchmen" was listed by Time magazine as one of the top 100 english-language books since 1923. Quite prestigious, considering he outshone other works in the genre like "Maus" and he is listed with other top-rank contemporaries like David Foster Wallace, Salman Rushdie, and Don Delillo. Time Top 100 Novels

Yeah, I was quite pleased to see that. Anything that helps remove the stereotype that comics cannot be literary is a good thing in my book. Maybe next time they do this list they'll include something like Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, which made their top 10 graphic novels list here.

And those posters are amazing enough to significantly raise my expectations for the movie.

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John James wrote:

: FYI -- Any folks notice that Alan Moore's "The Watchmen" was listed by Time magazine

: as one of the top 100 english-language books since 1923.

Yes, we have a thread on that list here.

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While it's great that Time was inclusive enough to include the very deserving "Watchmen" on their list, they do that annoying thing that critics tend to do when they so graciously go out of their way to lend validity to the sequencial art funny book medium - the refer to it as a "graphic novel". Sorry folks, "Watchmen" was a twelve issue comic book mini-series that is now available to purchase in a collected volume (aka, a trade paperback). Graphic novels are comic book style stories originally published as a bigger and more prestigous release, ala Darren Aronofsky's recent hardcover release "The Fountain".

So Time included a comic book series on their big fat fancy pants list - whether they wanted to or not - and that's how it should be. I just wonder what should've been bumped in order to also fit Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" on there.

JiM T

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While it's great that Time was inclusive enough to include the very deserving "Watchmen" on their list, they do that annoying thing that critics tend to do when they so graciously go out of their way to lend validity to the sequencial art funny book medium - the refer to it as a "graphic novel".  Sorry folks, "Watchmen" was a twelve issue comic book mini-series that is now available to purchase in a collected volume (aka, a trade paperback).  Graphic novels are comic book style stories originally published as a bigger and more prestigous release, ala Darren Aronofsky's recent hardcover release "The Fountain".

So Time included a comic book series on their big fat fancy pants list - whether they wanted to or not - and that's how it should be.  I just wonder what should've been bumped in order to also fit Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" on there.

JiM T

Most comic creators would disagree with your distinction.

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Most comic creators would disagree with your distinction.

Then they are wrong, and plus, I disagree that most comic creators would disagree with my distinction. When you read "Wizard" interviews with writers (and I've read A LOT of 'em), they freely refer to working in "comics". Why is calling it such a bad thing? Comic books may just be the fastest evolving & maturing art form on the cultural landscape today. It should not be shameful.

The book publishing world clearly thinks working in comics is shameful, which by extension, also pretty much implicates their buying public as well. I recently looked at a back-flap quick bio of writer Greg Rucka in one of his "Queen & Country" novels. Despite the fact that this guy is one of the most prolific and involved creators at DC Comics right now, and has been for years, AND that "Queen & Country" has also been a monthly comic for years, they breezed over that detail, quickly mentioning his "graphic novel" work.

This is why the snobbiest of comic book snobs are still less snobby than your run-of-the-mill book snob.

So there! ;)

Edited by Jim Tudor

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Most comic creators would disagree with your distinction.

hate to just jump in here, especially since this is an older thread, and I'm a new poster, but I just thought I'd put my two bits in...

In the Sandman Companion by Hy Bender, the author interviews Sandman creater Neil Gaiman in depth and, in course of those interviews, Neil rattles off a story that fits right in this mold. (Forgive my lack of exact quotes, I lent the book to my brother, and, because he's my brother, I've never gotten it back).

Neil talks about being at some literary gathering, presumably there for one of his novels, and is asked by a critic what is profession is. Neil responds that he writes comics. The critic is instantly turned off by his answer, until someone later on at the party introduces the two. When the critic hears that the name of said comic book writer is Neil Gaiman, the critic responds "You don't write comic books, you write GRAPHIC NOVELS".

Needless to say, Neil Gaimen, friend to Alan Moore and one of the top writers in the field, considers himself to be a writer of comic books.

There, now that I've completely embarassed myself, I'll just go back to my geekdome.

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There, now that I've completely embarassed myself, I'll just go back to my geekdome.

Thanks, HewittWCC, for the verification. Geekdom ain't so bad - I've been all over the art world, and comics may be the most pure in both creation and appreciation. :) This is not something that most people are going to take seriously any time soon, so in the meantime, I guess I should be happy for the lip service the mainstream press pays to "graphic novels" every now and then. But doggonit, the hypocracy always seems so apparent, there lurking just beneath the surface. But again, that's probably my problem.

'Cause all that said, I've still not read nor seen the title story of this thread, "V for Vendetta". I was bummed to have to miss the critics screening last night. :(

Now the true debate in comics these days: Decompression - good or bad? Talk amongst yourselves!

JiM T

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I've moved Jeffrey's post into the film-related thread... click here.

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