Long time no write… I actually finished V for Vendetta more than two weeks ago but life have been hectic so…
Reading this back to back with The Incal was very interesting. They both have a totalitarian state as setting for their stories, and they are both attempts at the graphic novel format. Similarities end there, though.
Where The Incal is flamboyantly coloured and drawn V for Vendetta is clearly born from the super hero graphic style – sparse, lots of contrast, not much colour at all. Where the story of The Incal is New Ageish mumbojumbo V for Vendetta is, while hard, cold and dystopic much more rooted in a rationalist tradition.
Both are interesting reads but V for Vendetta is though-provoking and perhaps a bit disturbing in how people are portrayed as victims and opportunists while The Incal, despite the dystopian setting, is a sparkling firework – dazzling as long as it lasts but fast forgotten.
V for Vendetta shows how people’s need to survive works to suborn us into accepting conditions and actions we would not have thought ourselves capable to, had we lived in better times. Historical evidence shows that the picture painted by the story isn’t that far off a very well beaten track indeed and that makes the story worth reflecting over.
What I feel most ambivalent about is the politics of the book. Anarchy is, to me, not about taking your faith in your own hands or about having a say in how the world is ruled. As a young one I flirted with that -ism and both my readings and my practical experiences from how an anarchist movement work show that at heart it is libertarian, without regard to those who cannot, for different reasons, speak for themselves. As such is it’s not a democratic movement, in my not so humble opinion – it only masks itself as one.
The way the story is told it is not clear which way the authors lean in these matters – a bit pro, a bit con, more interested in telling a tale than in promoting ideology, perhaps, and only using this particular -ism to provoke thoughts in the reader? This ambivalence is part of what makes the story such a good one.