V for Vendetta

~written by Alan Moore
~illustrated by David Lloyd
1991 Prometheus Award Nominee
2005 Prometheus Award Nominee
2006 Prometheus Award Winner

I really didn't intend on reading this. However, seeing a clip from the movie (Valerie's letter) in my oral history class led me to watch the entire movie with my roommate, who had read the graphic novel. Since I enjoyed the movie so much, I decided that I'd better read the original as well. Obviously, some things are always changed when making a movie from a book, but I liked both renditions very much.

I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction, so V for Vendetta fits right in with my tastes, especially with some of its emphasis on religious and sexual "deviants." Norsefire, an extreme fascist party, currently rules England. One focus of the novel is a young woman named Evey Hammond and her complicated relationship with a man who only goes by "V." An anarchist and a terrorist, he has become an noticeable threat to the current regime. While it is never revealed exactly who V is, his story is hinted at, and really, that's all that is necessary.

It took me a very long time to really appreciate the way the artwork was colored. Instead of the typical comic, with very distinct patches of color separated by distinct black lines, the coloring style used in V for Vendetta reminded me more of a water-color drawing.

In addition to the original ten issues that make up the series, the trade paperback collection also includes an article written by Alan Moore (published partway through the series it is about the creation and development of the series) and two related short comics that fall outside of the main story.

Initially intended as a commentary on the political situation in Britain in the 1980s, I find it extraordinarily applicable to the political situation in the United States in the 2000s. Perhaps even frighteningly so. Although it certainly has its issues, V for Vendetta is an important landmark for comics as a genre and I'm glad I took the time to read it.