CULTURE

Still reaping rewards for vintage comics

He created one of the most popular comic heroes of all time and built a successful career on the strength of the ensuing comic series. Now 26 years on, the 58-year-old English artist David Lloyd continues to reap rewards for his illustrative work in the comic book series «V for Vendetta.» Lloyd is currently promoting a new graphic novel, «Kickback,» a noir crime story that will soon be published in Greek by Jemma Press. He spoke with K magazine ahead of a visit to Athens as a special guest at the 3rd ComicdomCon comics festival this weekend. Aren’t you tired of the ongoing fame generated by «V for Vendetta»? It’s been 26 years since it was first published. No, not at all. This project carries my credentials, it highlights my worth. People got to know me through «V» and I never skip the opportunity to use its huge success to promote other works of mine. I’ll acknowledge that it’s a bit of a problem being mostly known for one thing. But this, more or less, is how the system works, so I’m not going to get angry because I’m still remembered for «V.» Why do you think that this specific comic series continues to sell strongly and was even made into a film? Because it features a hero you can identify with, and, contrary to most popular comics, also includes an interesting female character. And, naturally, it’s well written and well designed. What role did the story’s political aspect play in the project’s broad acceptance? The most important. For me, the story’s political nature is the key to it. Every aspect of repression we experience today – in politics, culture, society – unfolds through the pages of «V for Vendetta» in an understandable and, at the same time, entertaining way. Do you believe that anarchy can change the world, as «V» tried to do? No, I never believed in something like that. I think that we humans are irresolute. We’re used to being controlled. It is difficult for an ideology like anarchy to find mass acceptance. Also, we’re all very susceptible to corruption. We vote, for example, on the basis of our vested interests, not ideology and ethics. Society is missing out on the opportunity it has to be just because we’ve all stopped feeling concerned about common goodness. What qualities must a story contain to draw you into wanting to illustrate it? Something very simple: I want to be able to care about the characters when reading the story, to be given the impression that they’re not just made of paper, as strange as that may sound. Your last project, «Kickback,» is a graphic novel which you wrote and illustrated yourself… «Kickback» is a captivating crime story whose main character is a corrupt policeman who makes a pivotal decision to change his life. It essentially addresses the weakness we all conceal, which makes us succumb to corruption. I was totally uninhibited with the illustrations since I wrote it myself, and I enjoyed doing it more than any other work I’ve done in recent years. This article first appeared in Kathimerini’s weekly supplement K on March 30. ComicdomCon Festival this weekend The Hellenic American Union joins forces with Comicdom Press this weekend to present ComicdomCon Athens 2008, a two-day festival featuring the world of comics. The event is being organized for the third consecutive year. For two days, visitors are invited to participate in a series of events which will include visits by international guests, comics awards, screenings, workshops, seminars, charity sketching and signing, a bazaar as well as guided tours. One of the festival’s highlights is an exhibition of drawings by Will Eisner. Known as the founder of American comics, Eisner (1917-2005) was a renowned writer, artist and producer. He developed his own cartoon studio while his series «The Spirit» inspired and influenced future generations. Expected in Athens are the following artists: Joseph Michael Linser, Peter Milligan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Demonakos, Andrew Wildman, Dez Vylenz and Adam Kubert. Meanwhile, a conference, «Images of Ethics and Social Responsibility of Companies and Media in Comics,» is also scheduled to take place, beginning on Saturday. A screening of «The Mindscape of Alan Moore,» a tribute to the celebrated British comic book author, is also scheduled to take place on Saturday. ComicdomCon Festival, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9.30 p.m., Hellenic American Union, 22 Massalias, tel 210.368.0900. For more information on the event, visit www.hau.gr and www.comicdom-con.gr.