Various virtues: an interview with David Lloyd, part2.

In second part of our exclusive interview, David Lloyd talks about the creation and meanings of the masterpiece V for Vendetta, and also what he thinks about the Wachowskis Brothers’ movie adaptation.

Wellington Srbek: It is 1981 and editor Dez Skinn is putting together a new magazine named Warrior. You had worked with him before, and he asks you to create a new adventure strip similar to Night Raven. Then Alan Moore joined the project. This is how V for Vendetta came to life, right?

David Lloyd: Basically, yes. Dez originally suggested I write and draw it - but I'd worked with Alan on the Dr Who stuff, enjoyed working with him, and I knew instinctively we could come up with something great if we worked on it together. Alan was already on board Warrior with his pet project to update Marvelman. V turned out to be a combination of two concepts we'd created individually but neither of us had sold - one about a female urban guerilla in a future fascist England, and one about a strangely garbed serial killer. The final thing came out of a lot of brainstorming.

WS: England has a long tradition in graphic arts associated with political commentary, from a master like William Hogarth and a genius like James Gillray to publications like The Punch. Do you see V for Vendetta as part of that tradition?

DL: Yes, absolutely. Though I think the subtlety of V overall takes it out of the area of caricature which most political lampoons operate in. I think the movie gets closer to that style of thing, because it tells it's story in much broader brushstrokes and with less complex figures than we used in the book. Actually, when I saw it for the first time, I told Andy Wachowski that I thought it was very much like a political cartoon that they'd put on the screen. And it was all the more powerful for that.

WS: Considering character design, V works as a visual puzzle: friend and foe, male and female, satirical and lethal, historical and modern. How did you come up with that visual concept, this enigma that always holds the question: who is V?

DL: An accident. A good piece of luck. The idea of having the character adopt the dress and persona of Guy Fawkes gave us that ambiguity by simple good fortune. A lot of great things in creativity come out of accident, not planning: it's the unexpected that gives that extra spark of life to something that could otherwise be relatively ordinary. The basic requirement of the character was that he was a revolutionary and an anarchist - and then another requirement was that he be flamboyant or theatrical in some manner. Guy Fawkes was a famous anarchist in history, who everyone in England was familiar with. It seemed a great idea to us to have a new creator of chaos resurrect the spirit of Fawkes as well as his intentions! So that's how it happened.

WS: V for Vendetta is a revolutionary work, no doubt. The theme of anarchism versus fascism and the atmospheric storytelling were very new to adventure comics then. Also your artwork shows a peculiar sense of depth and texture that lacks in much of mainstream comics. But it almost stayed incomplete!

DL: Not sure what your question is, but yes, it hung around for a while in limbo when Warrior folded. You're right in saying it was quite unconventional for the time, but it had created a reputation for itself over the years it ran, so it would have found a new publisher if we'd looked hard enough for one. I think the need to just get on with earning some money and building our careers stopped us doing that. But then, when Alan achieved his great success at DC Comics, they were very happy to continue anything he'd been involved with, and they knew about V, so they were happy to take it up and continue it.

WS: Commercially, colours and comic book format are the right choices for the American market. But I have to confess that I prefer V for Vendetta in that B/W magazine format of Warrior. The light is beautiful and the artwork details are stronger. Don't you feel that something has been lost?

DL: B/W is pure and simple - so it's universal in it's appeal. On the other hand, colour can be appealing or non-appealing because people have favourite colours. Some prefer blue. Others hate green. There are even superstitions about colours! So, in aesthetic terms, colour will always be more problematic to use than b/w. For me the only problem with the colour of V was that from it's beginning at DC we didn't get the best results from the printers, and I was naive in expecting more than we got. Only in the latest hardback editions of V in the US, Scandinavia and Germany has this been remedied, because I was given the opportunity to tweak the colours to the tonal values and consistency they were meant to have. So those editions are the definitive ones. Believe me it would all have been different if we'd had then what we have now - computer colouring, better technology and much more enlightened attitudes towards comics from printers. Whatever you think about it generally though, colour gained for V a much wider audience than it would otherwise have acquired - and at no major loss to it's artistic value. I think that justifies its use.

WS: What about the Hollywood production? Does it make justice to yours and Alan's work?

DL: It's a good version of the original story. It isn't perfect, but I have nothing but praise for the Wachowskis, James McTeigue, Joel Silver, and everyone else involved with the production. They did a great job of it - and doing so spread the essential message that was contained in the original. But the book, of course, is better.

Next: some words about the present and future.

3 comentários:

Anônimo disse...

Vc gostou do filme do V de Vingança? eu adorei!!

Wellington Srbek disse...

Olá Anônimo,
Não é um filme ruim, mas a HQ é muito superior.
Mas também nada se compara ao lixo cinematográfico chamado Liga Extraordinária.
Dessas adaptações de quadrinhos do Moore, prefiro de longe From Hell.

Anônimo disse...

Eu também adorei a Liga Extraórdinaria!!! É melhor do que V e From Hell