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The Shadow Gallery

V for Vendetta - Introduction by Alan Moore

V for Vendetta - Introduction by Alan Moore

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Basic V
I began V For Vendetta in the summer of 1981, during a working holiday upon the Isle of Wight.
My youngest daughter, Amber, was a few months old. I finished it in the late winter of 1988, after a gap in publishing of nearly five years from discontinuation of England’s Warrior magazine, its initial home. Amber is now seven. I don’t know why I mentioned that. It’s just one of those unremarkable facts that strike you suddenly, with unexpected force, so that you have to go and sit down.

Along with Marvelman (now Miracleman), V For Vendetta represents my first attempt at a continuing series, begun at the outset of my career. For this reason, amongst others, there are things that ring oddly in earlier episodes when judged in the light of the strip’s later development. I trust you’ll bear with us during any initial clumsiness, and share our opinion that it was for the best to show the early episodes unrevised, warts and all, rather than go back and eradicate all trace of youthful creative inexperience.
There is also a certain amount of political inexperience upon my part evident in these early episodes. Back in 1981 the term “nuclear winter” had not passed into common currency, and although my guess about climatic upheaval came pretty close to the eventual truth of the situation, the fact remains that the story to hand suggests that a nuclear war, even a limited one, might be survivable. To the best of my current knowledge, this is not the case.

Naivete can also be detected in my supposition that it would take something as melodramatic as a near-miss nuclear conflict to nudge England toward fascism. Although in fairness to myself and David, there were no better or more accurate predictions of our country’s future available in comic form at that time. The simple fact that much of the historical background of the story proceeds from a predicted Conservative defeat in the 1982 General Election should tell you how reliable we were in our role as Cassandras.

It’s 1988 now. Margaret Thatcher is entering her third term of office and talking confidently of an unbroken Conservative leadership well into the next century. My youngest daughter is seven and the tabloid press are circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AIDS. The new riot police wear black visors, as do their horses, and their vans have rotating video cameras mounted on top. The government has expressed a desire to eradicate homosexuality, even as an abstract concept, and one can only speculate as to which minority will be the next legislated against. I’m thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It’s cold and it’s mean-spirited and I don’t like it here anymore.

Goodnight England. Goodnight Home Services and V for Victory.
Hello the voice of Fate (London) and V For Vendetta.

~ Alan Moore — Northampton, March 1988


(with thanks to iwouldslayadragonforyou for the transcription)
  • Oh my god... 1988? I feel so old now, Wednesday. I remember when I bought my first copy *misty, watercolour memories*
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