Friday, October 14, 2011

The guy behind the Guy behind the Mask

by Eric Fortune

Fawkes that is. You may recognize this infamous visage. Recent events have led me to re-watch the movie "V for Vendetta". And to my surprise I had completely forgotten it was based on a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd (pictured below). Lloyd, who illustrated in cinematic chiaroscuro, devised V's Guy Fawkes-inspired appearance.

It appears Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes (did not know that), was part of a failed attempt at blowing up The House of Lords in 1605. Fawkes is shown here, third from the right, in this engraving by Crispijn van de Passe. Truly, the mask design could easily be anyone one of the conspirators.

I would like to offer a big "Thank You, Mr. Lloyd", it is quite the bad ass design. And to Mr. Moore as well for the amazingly insightful story. I went out and bought the graphic novel today. Hoping to be inspired. One could only wish to invigorate the masses with his/her creativity in such a way.


  1. Guy Fawkes was from YORK, UK - my 'hometown' (although i am in fact a scot), and in part made his plot right opposite the minster - one of the first huge cathedrals in the world, and also the place where emperor constantine (who made western catholicism what it is)was inaugurated. the inn where guy and his cohorts began their path is now a hotel and bar.
    - just in case you're interested.

  2. That's fascinating. Some major plotting going on over there. Thanks for sharing. My "hometown" is Coshocton, Ohio here in the USA................................yeah, that's about it. There was a lot of time to draw throughout school.

  3. Coincidences are so fascinating. I have always loved the movie, just never got around to reading the novel. I just finally decided to order it a few days ago. I am awaiting it's delivery today, when I read this post. Fascinating.

  4. David Lloyd is a hugely talented and influential graphic artist.
    He was a friend of mine back when I lived in England, and I am proud to say I did some of the colouring on V for Vendetta when he was turning it into a graphic novel.(I was helping out my then girlfriend, Siobhan, who was the colour artist)
    I'm sure David is getting a big kick out of how his Guy Fawkes mask is becoming the icon for anti-establishment agitation.

    Great blog guys!

  5. PJ- that's friggin awesome. Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Any way you could post up some of your work or page numbers from the novel?

  6. It's a long time ago now Eric, but I'll dig out a copy and see if I can identify my bits.
    My enduring memory of the process was what a nightmare it was trying to paint over the oily blue line print-outs that the publishers supplied us with.
    It was light years away from Photoshop!
    David oversaw the painting and was always as nice as pie.

  7. Thanks PJ, no worries. I just find it very interesting. And I have no comic book experience so it's even more intriguing.