Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot, I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason shall ever be forgot…”
Hey there fellow conspirators of Precinct1313, today in the UK it’s Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night. This annual commemoration is observed every November the fifth in Britain, the history of which began with the events on fifth November 1605, when a senior member of the Gunpowder Plot – Guy Fawkes – was arrested after being discovered guarding the explosives his Machiavellian associates had placed beneath the House of Lords.
In celebration at the time, that King James had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around the provinces of London, over the centuries this has become an annual national remembrance day of the plot and it’s failure, to which people burn effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire pyre traditionally accompanied by fireworks.
In commemoration of Mr Fawkes, we present a re-blog of an interview we held a couple of years back with one V of V for Vendetta fame, so you too can join in on this classic chronicle of conspiratorial calamity! (also why not indulge in the fantastic 2005 celluloid adaptation, which encapsulates, quite possibly, the greatest performance of all time by thrilling thespian – Hugo Weaving as the titular V!)
Re-live Our V Interview – Right Here!
Happy Bonfire Night!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to yet another exhilarating episode of “World’s Finest” a series of exclusive interviews that aims to introduce you to some of our very favourite convocation of comic-book characters of… all… time!
Each episode we cordially invite one of our most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, and of course Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe, and cake (’cause everyone loves cake!)
And so, let us welcome to Precinct1313’s sacredly sanguine sofa of shockingly significant satirical secrets, the vexed vigilante of viably voguish vocalics… V!
Precinct1313: Hi there V and thank you so much for joining us on this weeks World’s Finest.
V: Verily, I aim to vivify your venerable verbose…
Precinct1313: Erm… OK then, though I must warn you that it is widely accepted by my legion of fans that I am unequivocally the auteur of admirably awesome alliteration!
V: Your vernacular definitely vies for victory, yet your voguish vocabulary verifies vacuousness!
Precinct1313: I see well… hey! wait a minute, did you just call me vacuous!?
V: Your vacant visage vouches for your vainglorious views.
Precinct1313: So it’s like that is it, well let me just say that your allusion to my allegory is the antithesis of it’s actual astonishingly astounding alliterative absolute!
V: Your vapid verbature verifies verve, yet your vainly venal vacuity is a valid vote for your voluble vanity.
Precinct1313: I… erm… uh… OK I got nothing!
Precinct1313: Moving on… I have been an absolutely massive fan of yours since I first read V for Vendetta in the 1980’s, it is one of the greatest comic-book series of all time, and you Sir… you are the coolest!
V: I am vividly viewed as a viably vehement vigilante, yet my verve and veracity stems via one vouchee.
Precinct1313: Yes indeed, you were created by comicdom’s most prolific and greatest writers the astounding Alan Moore!
V: Vauntingly unerring is Alan Moore’s volume of V for Vendetta, he is veraciously voluble in it’s valued validity.
Precinct1313: It really is a rather poignant and endearing tale of anti-establishmentarianism, that deftly commented upon the state of politics throughout the UK in the 1980’s, drawing greatly upon both Guy Fawkes, and of course, George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’.
V: Moore’s vision was vivid and valuable in its vulpine verbose indeed!
Precinct1313: Plus, I also adore the magnificent 2005 cinematic version of the classic series, especially Hugo Weaving’s scene stealing version of your very self, any thoughts?
V: Ah, he is indeed a vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as V, his valorous visitation stands vivified by the votive vox-populi as valued and virtuous, his performance therefore shall never be vanquished via remake or variance!
Precinct1313: Wow! I honestly don’t think I can best that, so on that note V, thank you so much for joining us on this weeks World’s Finest!
V: Veni Vidi Vici!!
Precinct1313: OK, OK, there’s no need to rub it in!
V’s vision of vicarious valour by vanquishing villainy through vengeful violence against any whose views violate the virtuous vox-populi, is the voyage that vocalises the voracious venture and vanguard of valiant victory.
“V – bringing masked vigilantism to the UK masses since 1987!”
With our usual quotee Rorschach on an extended leave (due mainly to Dr Manhattan literally obliterating him on the spot!?) he has handed over the reins to fellow masked avenger and valorous victor of the valiant vox-populi – “V“, and V believes this quote to be rather judicious at this juncture.
“V – bringing masked vigilantism to the UK masses since 1987!”
Alan Moore, he of the gruff, fearsome and just downright scary appearance, who nonetheless possesses a singular talent when it comes to the literary persuasion, is really just a big softy it seems…
Now if you find yourself scratching your heads right now wondering, who is this foreboding looking individual named Alan Moore? all I can say is, where have you been for the past thirty years… Alan Moore is quite possibly the greatest writer in British history, yes indeed I am including all the greats that came before and after, be they Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, James Herbert or even the big ‘S’ himself… Will Shakespeare!
Alan Moore has bestowed upon us, humble comic-book reading mortals, such luminary masterpieces as, Watchmen, V For Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke, Swamp Thing and The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman. His tales are often set in a dystopian alternate reality, he is keen on subverting existing tropes in the world of the Superhero, presenting us with morally ambiguous characters, and satirical anti-governmental narrative (V For Vendetta being a prime example of this.)
Alan is often portrayed as a gruff, stern and austere personality by the press at large, but it seems he’s really just a great big softy at heart after a correspondence from a young fan to the legendary writer found its way online recently.
The letter was written to Alan in 2013 by nine year old fan named Joshua, he was taking part in a class exercise in his school in Northamptonshire (also Alan Moore’s home city) where he was tasked with writing a letter to his favourite author. Joshua’s letter began: “I am writing because I want to know more about your comics, including V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Swamp Thing” Joshua mentioned that his favourite characters were Rorschach, Dr Manhattan and The Comedian, and that the first Moore story he had read was V For Vendetta. The letter ended with Joshua proclaiming Moore “the greatest author in human history!”
Alan Moore replied personally to Joshua, saying that he was “really pleased that you’ve enjoyed so much of my stuff, and especially because most of my readers these days are people almost as old as I am” (Alan is now 60 years old.) Alan sent his young fan a copy of his new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel (Heart Of Ice), as well as some exclusive artwork by his League co-creator Kevin O’Neil.
And coolest of all, he used Joshua’s line “all in all you are the best author in human history” as a quote on the back of his new novel ‘Jerusalem’ which publishes this September. But it is Moore’s sign off on his original letter to Joshua that is the greatest part, which reads… “Alan Moore, best author in human history, in your face Shakespeare, Joyce and Cervantes!”
We spend most of our time in the Precinct writing about the heroes and villains that inhabit the pages of DC’s comic-book universe, in fact about 90% of the posts originating from us are about this classic company’s plethora of characters.
I first discovered Superheroes through DC after being bought a copy of Detective Comics by my Mum at the tender age of six, it was here that I came across the character that has had the biggest influence on me as I have grown up… Batman. I continued to read nothing but Batman stories up until the age of 9, when I decided to branch out and leave my comfort zone of Gotham City, and travel to a place that was as far removed from that festering crime-ridden city as could be… Themyscira, home of the fabled Amazons and of course the world’s first ever female Superhero… Wonder Woman.
With all that said, being English, I also grew up reading and collecting the characters that came out of a popular British comic-book called 2000 AD, these home grown dramatis-personae were very different to the spandex clad heroes who populated the books I avidly collected from DC. I always found that these characters originating from the land of my birth were (though this is only true of the late 70’s and very early 80’s) darker, edgier and definitely more derived from what was happening in the UK on a weekly basis, be that through political or trendsetting issues.
Characters like Judge Dredd, (even though the stories were based in a fictional dystopian USA) were directly influenced by the politics and social movements of late seventies and early eighties Britain. Dredd himself was a correlation of what the people of the UK in the eighties believed the country was becoming; a police state, plus the rise of the anti-establishment punk rock movement that originated from Britain in direct defiance of how the government were running the country at the time, George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984″ seemed to be coming true (in fact, the UK has the largest amount of street surveillance cameras in the world.)
Now then, this isn’t a politically motivated piece (politics bores the hell out of me, to be honest) just a small background on why, I believe, that the heroes and villains that leapt out of the pages of British comics were so different from their US counterparts. Alan Moore’s masterpiece “V for Vendetta” captured this sentiment perfectly, an amazing amalgam of everything that was believed to be taking place, and how at the time (and maybe still today, to some extent) the people of this sceptred Isle felt about the direction the country was taking.
Now that the lengthy preamble is done, we can concentrate on the interesting things this hopefully weekly series will bring you, my loyal and avid readers and blogging friends… cool comic characters from this tiny island we call the United Kingdom. So stay tuned, in our next instalment we shall examine the popular rise of the British comic-book industry and its first foray into the realm of the Superhero. Until next time, or as Tharg The Mighty would say “Splundig Vur Thrigg.”
And welcome back once more to our daily countdown…
NUMBER 13 is: V.
V’s vision of valour and victory by vanquishing the villains through vengeful violence, against any whose view violates the virtuous vox-populi, is the voyage that vocalises the voracious venture and vanguard of valiant victory.
V was created by the great Alan Moore in 1982, and given life by the pencils of David Lloyd. It tells the tale of a dystopian near future Britain that after a devastating war across the planet, has now been taken over by the fascist like party of Norse-fire. V himself was a victim of experimentation and the only survivor of the government created drug ‘batch 5’. The drug as a side effect ended up giving V advanced strength, reflexes and pain tolerance. Using these new skills, V waged an anarchistic revolution against the corrupt government, whilst also tutoring his young protege Evey Hammond to help in the fight.
In 2005 a film version of V for Vendetta hit the big screen directed by the Wachowski brothers, it starred the great Hugo Weaving as the character of V in a career defining performance. Though Weaving spent the entire film in the iconic Guy Fawkes mask and never showing his face, his amazingly emotional performance was astounding and a tribute to the acting skills of this fantastic Australian thespian.