Thursday, December 26, 2013

V for Vendetta by Jasmine Quinonez and Marcus May

1.)    The work in V for Vendetta is very real, and detailed. The people drawn in the book each have their own physical quality. There is no set silhouette that the characters share. The characters were drawn to be very life like, the color of skin, hair, eyes, etc. It really gives the reader a detailed feel of the characters and story. The detail and life like features go beyond the characters; the background objects are also very detailed. The unevenness of bricks on a wall, the books on a shelf, a control panel, everything is given in detail. This really gives the audience a feel for the story and its setting. Seeing all the lines on the old preachers face, the thin strands of hair, and his fragile, yet strong, frame, really give the reader a feel for how creepy this guy is. Eveys rosy cheeks really show her youthfulness; among other physical features she is given. Most importantly of all V’s mask, clothes, and physical features make him a frightening character, yet the reader gets a feel for his trustworthiness. The very real details of the book help the reader see the story happening and draws them in as part of the story. This kind of artwork sets a dark and solemn tone, yet when that white mask appears, there is a sense of security in the scene. As the scenes change with the setting, the background shadows change colors. At times the shadows are all black, other times, it is blue or grey, and sometimes it is even colored with neon streaks on the black shadows. This change in colors helps the reader really set the tone for action that is about to come, or lack of extreme action. The works illustration is very well suited to its story, it really helps set the tone with its details and color, and that is needed in a work that has the kind of storyline that V for Vendetta has. It helps the reader know that something is about to happen, yet as a reader you don’t know what is going to happen.

2.)    This story was written as a graphic novel because it allowed for narration, conversation, and illustrations through images, to happen all at once. This story at times is showing one thing, but the voices as speaking about another. However, the two correlate. For example at times V is reciting Shakespeare and the images in the frame are showing confrontation between two people. The two seemingly have nothing to do with each other; however the Shakespeare being recited is, in a way, narrating the confrontation. Other times the words in the frame are not what is happening in the frame, but instead what is happening in the gutters. For example in one scene V is approaching and killing off some member of FATE, but the words are a conversation of two guards outside the building, you see the scene of V and FATE, but you hear something else. Again the two seemingly don’t correlate, but they narrate each other. That is something that is pretty much impossible to do in a novel, and difficult to do in a film. In translation to a novel the work would lose the effect that the images give the story to the reader. As a novel, the work would also lose its structure. In order to work as a novel, things would have to be changed in presentation, and in the order they are in, thus the novel would give a completely different feel to the reader. It could work in a film however, and they have turned it in to a film. But even then the film has aspects of the work cut out, or rearranged, because otherwise the viewers would be left confused. This format works because the juxtaposition of the words and images allow for more than one or two scenes to be happening simultaneously, and not leave the reader confused or lost.

3.)    It is written in present tense, no one person narrates the story; instead there is this omniscient presence that takes the reader from place to place and scene to scene. Allowing the reader to be like an invisible bystander in more than one place at a time. Thus allowing the reader to see the whole picture of what is going on. This novel challenges the traditional novels way of telling a story, by giving the reader a point of view from multiple angels. Jumping from one scene to another, from what is happening at present in one place, to what is happening at present in another place. Traditional novels would not do that as effectively. The novel also gives dates; it takes the reader in the present from place to place, but also to the past from place to place. Again a traditional novel would not be able to narrate a story in that way. A graphic novel allows for it due to the juxtaposition of images and words which allow the author, writer, illustrator to push the bound of the narration, like they did in V for Vendetta.

4.)    The scene that is the most significant in the work happens in all of chapter 13, but the most important frames of this chapter are on page 171. V is telling Evey that she has been living in a cage, and that that “suffocating” feeling she is experiencing is freedom. The final frames on this page V says to her “No Evey, No more blindfolds. All the Blindfolds are gone.”  Those words on the last frames make the set of frames, the entire scene, and the most significant in the book. It sums up his story, his purpose, and what he wants for others, starting with Evey. His ways maybe unconventional and harsh, but he wants the cage doors to be opened, the blindfolds to be off, and for the people to sense freedom. Freedom in the way that he experienced it, in the way he made Evey experience it. This scene is significant for that reason, it is what V is all about, what he’s trying to accomplish. For the first time we get to really see what his purpose behind his actions is. I admire this scene for the words more than the images, but the images help give the words their strong edge. Seeing the mask, her face, and the freedom expressed in the words, show on her face and body, it makes the scene all the more powerful. Seeing Evey be “freed” makes the reader trust V. Up to that point he seems trustworthy but you’re uncertain. After seeing his actions and words towards Evey, and her freedom, the reader fully begins to trust in him. And that just makes this scene all that more significant. 

1.         V for Vendetta is illustrated in a way that brings realism together with the ornate. The characters are well defined and attention is given to the appropriate setting elements. The comic is done in color, and the heavy use of pastels, primarily yellows and greens, add to the ominous tone of the story. The illustrator, David Lloyd, uses contrasting yellow light and dark shadows to add to the setting and tone. While the frames are often filled with many characters, the frames also relate a sense of loneliness to the reader which works well with the story.

2.         The story was originally written in a series over a number of years during the 1980s and was compiled into a graphic novel in 1995. Although I have not seen the film, I believe that it would be difficult to relate all of the underlying themes which take place in the graphic novel form. A novel would lose its personal walk with V as the reader would be tempted to skim important aspects of the story that are significant to the work. A film version would also move too fast as there are many action frames. By using the graphic novel form, the reader is allowed to slow down and absorb all of who V is and his underlying idea of humanity.

3.       The story lacks a specific narrator, as it is told primarily through dialogue. The only narration that takes place is the setting and date tags that accompany new scenes. The story is followed in an omnipresent form as we get multiple points of view from many different characters. By taking this approach, the authors bring a sense of reality into this fantasy world. The lack of a formal narrator brings the reader in and allows the story to be told without the distraction of being pulled out of the storyline.  

4.         One scene that is significant to the characterization of V begins on page 70. Dr. Delia Surridge is asleep in her bed and wakes up to the scent of roses. The frames move slowly as she realizes what she smells and rises in her bed. She understands that V is in her room and calls out to him, “It’s you isn’t it? You’ve come…You’ve come to kill me.” She is answered by a single word, “Yes,” in which she responds, “Thank God.” This scene gives the reader a chance to see a human side of V. He has come to kill her, but he goes about the business in a completely different fashion than the other killings we see in the graphic novel. At this point, we have seen V blow up buildings, jump onto moving trains to murder people, as well as drive a man insane. Now we see him enter the room softly and genuine.
            He asks Dr. Surridge if she is scared. She replies no. She said that she is relieved. She goes on to talk to him about the way human are flawed. She believes that human do things that are wrong just because they are told to by someone in authority. She actually believed that she was doing good while she was working in the camp. She relates that she actually enjoyed it at the time. He assures her that there will not be any pain. A frame shows him holding up a syringe as he tells her that he killed her ten minutes ago while she slept. Before he goes, she asks him if she can see his face. The next frame is at V’s back as he unmasks himself for her and she tells him that he is beautiful. V leaves her room quietly in the next three frames. We see the doctor sitting in bed as she silently awaits death and V as he quietly closes her door and enters the hallway. We are left with V walking in the shadows as he pulls his hat down over his face. This seems to depict that he is hiding some sort of emotion which allows the reader to see him as an empathetic human who sometimes finds it difficult to do what he thinks is right.


  1. Hey Josh, I didn't know about this blog. Its so cool! What an awesome selection of titles. I would like to read more graphic novels. I'll pick some from this list. thanks

  2. Glad you found it! You'll find a lot of great ideas here, even though some books are repeated. Let me know if you want to read any of these, since I have most of them at home or in the office. Enjoy!