Remember, remember the fifth of November…
I’ve been wanting to recommend Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta for awhile and when is a better time to talk about it than in November! A quick history lesson for anyone who doesn’t know why 5th November is historically significant. On 5th November 1605, the Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to kill King James I and his Parliament was foiled when the conspirators where caught placing gun powder under the House of Lords in London. The most infamous of the conspirators was a man called Guy Fawkes, who was found guilty of high treason, his punishment was to be hung, drawn and quartered (I’ll let you guys Google that). Since that day in 1605, there has been an annual celebration of the failure of the Gunpowder plot called Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night, where there are firework displays and bonfires, where Guy Fawke’s effigy is sometimes burnt on it. Yes, the British do not hold grudges.
So what has this got to do with V for Vendetta? Well, firstly V, the anarchist, wears a mask bearing the resemblance of Guy Fawkes. Also one of V for Vendetta’s plot points revolves around V trying to bring down the government. I don’t want to go into too much detail about V for Vendetta, as part of its appeal is uncovering the truth about the characters and what is going on. Like other Alan Moore graphic novels, it is dark, pessimistic and at times, disturbing. The graphic novels looks at the darkest parts of humanity and at times you will struggle to like any of the characters, but it will also make you think. Its also full of some of my favourite book quotes, including:
Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain, everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.
If you are going to read on graphic novel, I believe it should be V for Vendetta. Its message is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published. What’s that message? You’ll have to read it to find out. At the very least, if you like stories about revolutionary anarchist fighting a government in a dystopian England, then I recommend reading V for Vendetta.