I've just been to my first comic book-related event in over a year, the Press Preview for the London Cartoon Museum's V For Vendetta exhibition. Celebrating the world of David Lloyd and Alan Moore that first appeared in Warrior Magazine and would become a global symbol of protest courtesy of the movie. The exhibition, naturally, focuses on the comic book work, with original art pages, covers, watercolours-under-acetates, as well as designs and masks from the movie. The exhibition is also framed with graffiti reminiscent of Banksy, with barbed wire, and cameras that marry David Lloyd's black and white separated style with stencils. And simultaneously represent both oppression and protest in the same image, while the narration takes you through the creation of the comic to its transcendence into a pop-cultural icon and symbol of revolution.
And seeing the original artwork always lifts me, the blue pencil notes, the corrections, the changes, and overall the idea that, yes, something that can affect so many, and inspire so much is, at its heart, pencil and ink on paper, shoved around by one person hunched over a desk, with their own lives, problems, peccadillos and it just makes me want to pick up a pen again. Be warned.
The exhibition opens on Tuesday the 18th of May, at the Cartoon Museum on Wells Street, London, just across Oxford Street from Berwick Street and Gosh Comics. And just as England is starting to open up fully. While mask-wearing will still be a thing, it is V for Vendetta, so it is rather appropriate.
I took a ride into London this morning, filming past Parliament and Gosh Comics before finding the place. This is also the first time I've been back since its frontwoman Alison Brown died of coronavirus earlier this year, making it very much a bittersweet moment. But I also know how much she loved the museum – she pretty much moved it into its new location single-handed – and how much she loved V For Vendetta too. Man, she's have loved this.