Virginia Mills : To begin, I am bound to ask you about your feelings on the Guy Fawkes mask image that you revived and enhanced for ‘V For Vendetta’ in 1982 and the image’s apparent impact on worldwide protest identity. It has been employed by Anonymous, the Occupy movement and any latter day protest of government and financial oppression. I’ve worn it myself. I believe the story and images have helped to promote citizen protest and civic participation. However now, post Women’s March 2017, we see the desire for anonymity fading. How do you ultimately feel seeing the image you created become a worldwide symbol of anti-authoritarian protest? How do you now see the progression of that symbology, the united anonymous front of The People, moving to a more unmasked and personally engaged approach?
David Lloyd : Well, the unity of protest that a universal symbol of protest gives is only that. A protest of a general kind that has no conventional political or cultural base. A protest of a specific kind by groups with a clear agenda that is supported by a supporting section of the mass media, like the Women’s March, or fascists – who have lots of support in the media it seems to me – is a different thing. Such groups have support amongst wider society and don’t need a universal linking ‘ brand ‘ of protest. No conventional media supports groups like Anonymous, or Occupy, or the varying protests against some authoritarian government somewhere in the world. In those cases, it’s good to be a unified whole and in a generality of protest, and with a unifying image of resistance, and, of course, it is also useful to be ‘ anonymous ‘ in such circumstances so that you can’t be logged and targeted for persecution by those who don’t want the established order upset. Of course, the forces against such protest say the masks give freedom of identification to damage-makers, which also happens to be true, but most such damage is caused by the venting of frustration caused by the immovable nature of the forces in power, not malice.
Virginia Mills : As the protagonist ‘V’ has doubtless inspired people to speak up for their rights and freedoms, do you likewise feel that the character’s terrorist aspect may have inspired less positive activity?
Virginia Mills : There is a clear wave of authoritarianism spreading across the globe. Brazil, Poland and now the US come to mind. We seem to need ‘V’ now more than even we might have in the 80s and 90s. When you and Alan Moore were developing the comic’s dystopian Norsefire regime, was it rooted firmly in your contemporary experiences, history, or was it more speculation of what would possibly come? Do you see any familiar tactics and methods, even in just imagery, of Norsefire in our present-day concerns?
Virginia Mills : I was watching the film version of ‘V’ recently and was struck by the attention to recreating much of your original atmosphere in backgrounds, now-iconic images, certain scenes. Did you have any consultation on the film?
Did that have any effect on how you approach your work now?
Virginia Mills : You have done so much other work in your career. Do you feel the success and attention on ‘V’ has enhanced or hindered that work’s reception?
Virginia Mills : ‘V For Vendetta’ started in a serial anthology and now we find you still involved in that kind of publishing enterprise with ‘Aces Weekly.’ What draws you to anthology? What about the form appeals to you?
Virginia Mills :I would love for our readership to learn more about ‘Aces Weekly.’ Please tell us how and why you developed it, who else is involved in it.
Virginia Mills : Creators must create but how do you continue to stay inspired? How much of your time is still devoted to comics and what other pursuits you have outside of comics? From where do you derive your inspirations?
Virginia Mills : David, I thank you for your time today and for your good works. We will have more information regarding ‘Aces Weekly’ in the future. Watch this space!
“Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. ”
― Alan Moore, V For Vendetta