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ALAN MOORE – MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE PROTEST MASK

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Posted by abeodbart November 28, 2011 at 8:10 am

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“The comic-book writer Alan Moore is not usually surprised when his creations find a life for themselves away from the printed page. Strips he penned in the 1980s and 90s have been fed through the Hollywood patty-maker, never to his great satisfaction, resulting in both critical hits and terrible flops; fads for T-shirts, badges and shouted slogans have emerged from characters and conceits he has dreamed up for titles such as Watchmen and From Hell. “I suppose I’ve gotten used to the fact,” says the 58-year-old, “that some of my fictions percolate out into the material world.”

But Moore has been caught off-guard in recent years, and particularly in 2011, by the inescapable presence of a certain mask being worn at protests around the world. A sallow, smirking likeness of Guy Fawkes – created by Moore and the artist David Lloyd for their 1982 series V for Vendetta. It has a confused lineage, this mask: the plastic replica that thousands of demonstrators have been wearing is actually a bit of tie-in merchandise from the film version of V for Vendetta, a Joel Silver production made (quite badly) in 2006. Nevertheless, at the disparate Occupy sit-ins this year – in New York, Moscow, Rio, Rome and elsewhere – as well as the repeated anti-government actions in Athens and the gatherings outside G20 and G8 conferences in London and L’Aquila in 2009, the V for Vendetta mask has been a fixture. Julian Assange recently stepped out wearing one, and last week there was a sort of official embalmment of the mask as a symbol of popular feeling when Shepard Fairey altered his famous “Hope” image of Barack Obama to portray a protester wearing one.

It all comes back to Moore – a private man with knotty greying hair and a magnificent beard, who prefers to live without an internet connection and who has not had a working telly for months “on an obscure point of principle” about the digital signal in his hometown of Northampton. He has never yet properly commented on the Vendetta mask phenomenon, and speaking on the phone from his home, Moore seems variously baffled, tickled, roused and quite pleased that his creation has become such a prominent emblem of modern activism.

“I suppose when I was writing V for Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.”"

Read more at The Guardian (Thanks @JoJoe69369)

COMMENTS
November 28, 2011 at 8:12 am

I do love that charmingly insane man. The only person I can think of who gets away with worshipping a Snake God.


November 28, 2011 at 10:39 am
Dwarfy29 says:

Alan Moore is a great author. His work is inspiring.
Has Mr Brown ever made a drawing of the man ? Or of his famous mask ? ;D


November 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm
roz says:

thanx, abeo! i always wondered where that particular representation of guy fawkes came from.


November 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm
David says:

V for Vendetta was a great movie! You are nuts to say otherwise.


November 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm
Kelly S says:

I bought this mask as soon as I had watched the film I loved it so much. It’s good to see that people have taken the message of the story to heart although I do think that a lot of the protesters won’t have a clue where the mask originally came from, especially after Anonymous used it. I would love to see the end of the film re-created (minus the demolition of the Houses Of Parliament) as I think you would get more people willing and able to take part in something like that than we have at Saint Paul’s at the moment.


November 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm
Matt says:

V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and From Hell are all from the same person?

Makes sense, but I never would have realized. That alone is a testament to this mans brilliance.
The first two are some of my favorite movies, and From Hell is on my too watch list. I wish I knew, I’ll be looking up more of his works.

I’ll also be wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to an upcoming masquerade; Classy.


November 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

It’s a pity that such a great artist saw his masterpieces exploited and betrayed by untalented film producers for overtly commercial purposes. Some of the filmmakers, actors and technical staff did what they could to save their adaptations of the graphic novels, but on the whole the movie rendering of his work has been quite disastrous. No wonder he doesn’t have a TV…
Seeing his creations live a life of their own as they get covertly adopted by the public is a just revenge: may they inspire, may they guide and lead! And may their rebirth spark an era in which authenticity, quality, talent and artistry rule over greediness, finance and hypocrisy!


November 29, 2011 at 3:10 am

I have to hand it to Moore. I couldn’t live without my internet connection or television.


November 30, 2011 at 4:12 am
epic fail guy says:

rules one and two people.


December 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm
unmevsworld says:

Thank you for this. I was really wondering about that.


December 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm
alan says:

Time was when we burned an effigy of Guy Fawkes because of what he attempted. Now its because he failed.


December 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm
Shaun Banks says:

Alan Moore is a god even atheists can appreciate – From writing for 2000AD, including Rogue Trooper, to Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell to name a few and of course is pornographic novel Lost Girls about Dorothy from Wizard of OZ, Wendy from Peter Pan and Alice from wonderland.

Apparently the best comic ever written is the Watchmen comic no 5 – Alan Moore Rocks

Just thought I would get that out of my system.


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