Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review:: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

Title: V for Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore
Artist: David Lloyd
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Every time I read one of Alan Moore's books, I have pretty much the same reaction: "Wow. This would be so good if Alan Moore weren't sexist, racist, and homophobic." And then I sigh wistfully. V for Vendetta has a phenomenal story to tell, but it would have been so much better if the female characters weren't portrayed so awfully.

I had seen the movie before I read the graphic novel, and while it's been some time, I remember Evey actually having a personality. And not just being a sniveling doll for the most part, there simply so V has someone to exposition to. Sure, even in the graphic novel Evey comes into her own, but that's just establishing the pattern: women in this book are formed out of tragedy. Usually tragedy involving sex. Until that happens, they're pretty much meek sheep.

This wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if there weren't good and salient points being covered in the book. See, if Moore's writing could just be flat out bad, it'd be so much easier. His discussions of philosophy and politics are poignant. His fear of how easy it is to fall into the fascist trap of "safety" over "freedom," is becoming more apparent now than it was in the 80s. And of course, the fact that you can't kill an idea.

The plot is well put together, not treating the audience like they're stupid, but also not trying to lay mountains of traps for the reader and then laugh later. The paneling is fantastic, although I wasn't a big fan of the art style. However, David Lloyd does a phenomenal job using the art to tell the story as much as the words. Unfortunately for me, I think my copy had to be rebound (library copy) and so sometimes it was hard to read things near the inner margins.

I don't know. I hate the frustration I feel after reading Moore's works. But at the same time, there tends to be something there, something I can grasp onto. In many ways, the movie really was better. It addressed some of the issues Moore himself had with the work, such as naivety regarding a nuclear winter. I felt like the style better fit the story than the art in the graphic novel.

But at the same time, I felt like this story was meant to be told in frames, not in continuous reel. The medium was well chosen.

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