If you’re travelling to New York this month, you may want to check out the fabulous-looking V for Vendetta art exhibition featuring the amazing work of David Lloyd.
The exhibition runs until 29th April 2017 at the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, which is also hosting a Will Eisner Centennial Exhibition until 3rd June 2017.
V for Vendetta first appeared in the 1980s British anthology comic magazine, Warrior. After the curtailment of the serial due to the cancellation of that title, DC Comics decided to reprint and complete the story via a mini-series published in 1988.
Created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta tells the story of an anarchist anti-hero who dons the disguise of the 17th century revolutionary, Guy Fawkes, to do battle with a Fascistic government in a near-future England.
In creating the milieu and characters for V, Lloyd and Moore were heavily influenced by British film and television from the 1960s and 70s, as well as classical dystopian works such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Night-Raven, a masked vigilante character that Lloyd helped create with writer Steve Parkhouse for Marvel UK, was also influential as a model for the kind of character asked for in the brief given to Lloyd for the new work in Warrior.
More importantly, however, it was the political climate of the late 1970s, and the severe economic, demographic, and cultural changes that followed it, which motivated the duo’s storytelling.
In Moore and Lloyd’s imagined world, fascists come to power after a limited nuclear exchange between major global players creates a breakdown of social order in the UK. The nature of this political force closely resembles that which governed Nazi Germany, and, just like that crowd, it soon begins to persecute, eliminate, and imprison minorities and dissidents. One of these unfortunates is the person we later get to know of as, V.
A survivor of cruel medical experimentation in a concentration camp, V vows to destroy all those connected to his imprisonment, and the government itself. In the course of this mission, he forms a close partnership with one of the oppressed society’s casualities, Evey Hammond, who ultimately becomes his disciple.
In 2006, a feature film adaptation of V for Vendetta was released. Subsequently, the Guy Fawkes mask that Lloyd designed for the strip has become a symbol of protest and rebellion throughout the world.
• V for Vendetta Exhibition opened 21st March, runs until 29th April 2017 at the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, NY 10065 USA. Web: www.societyillustrators.org | Opening Times | More on the V for Vendetta exhibition