Monday, May 15, 2006

V for Vendetta -- Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Once upon a time I read a lot of funny books (that's what they were called in the Old Days, even though many of them weren't funny at all). I read everything I could get my hands on, from Captain Marvel to Captain Marvel Bunny (Yes, there was a Captain Marvel Bunny). And then I stopped. I have no idea why. I just did. And the next thing I knew, funny books had become comics and comics had become graphic novels and I hadn't read any of them.

(This brings up a philosophical point: Does one "read" graphic novels, or is that the right term? There's more than reading involved, since the pictures are as much a part of things as the text. But I'll leave that discussion to someone who knows a lot more than I do.)

Having seen the movie of V for Vendetta, I thought I'd have a look at the graphic novel and see what the differences were. For one thing, the structure was changed drastically for the movie. I can see why, and I thought it worked pretty well. The ending was changed, too, and I think the one in the movie was actually more effective than the one in the book, which reminded me for some reason of the Ghost Who Walks. I know that some fans of the book complained quite a bit about the movie, but having seen the movie first, I'm not sure why. I thought it was pretty faithful to the book and that the changes made for the film worked pretty well. (There were some others besides the ones I've mentioned, such as the fact that the movie gives V's time in the experimental hospital short shrift compared to the novel.)

About the artwork. I liked it. It reminded me of the old style used in some of the funny books I read.

I'm glad I took the time to read the book, but, that being said, I'm still a long way from becoming a fan of graphic novels.


  1. I've only read two graphic novels, this one and WATCHMEN by the same guys. I liked WATCHMEN better but they're both really good.

    I have yet to see the movie but I'm guessing Stephen Rea played my favorite character - the honest cop in a corrupt system.

  2. Excellent guess, Graham.

  3. Scott Cupp7:21 AM

    I have read many graphic novels, a term I dislike because in many cases, they do not approach the story as a novel approach but are a collection of unrelated tales (and sometimes that is a stretch). Done right, they are a delight. The Alan Moore WATCHMEN and the Art Speigelman MAUS have consistently been voted as the two best of their genre.

  4. I forgot about Maus. I've actually read that one, a long time ago.

  5. I suggest reading both volumes of Alan Moore's excellent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen....especially if you are unfortunate enough to see that very crap movie that had almost no resemblance to the work that inspired it.

  6. The Bros. Hernandez, and their LOVE AND ROCKETS, sucked me back into comics/graphic lit, after years of essentially only looking at the newspaper-strips (including the likes of Alison Bechdel's DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR and Matt Groening's LIFE IN HELL)...the odd Pacific Comics Moorcock adaptation might pass before my eyes, but I'd pretty much left comics behind, WEIRD WAR TALES and MAD being the last, by the time I'd started shifting my consumer dollar to fiction magazines, in 1978. But the Fantagraphics crowd and such similar projects as WIMMEN'S COMIX and WORLD WAR 3 ILLUSTRATED re-engaged me in the late '80s, and I've been reading the Phoebe Gloeckners and Carol Lays since.

  7. I have to admit to a stash of Zap Comix, Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and many others of that ilk.