David Lloyd: Bringing anarchy to the masses

A comics interview article by: Linda Leraci

At the Lucca Comics and Games Festival, Linda Leraci, our friend in Italy, interviewed David Lloyd about his life and career in comics.

Linda Lercari for Comics Bulletin: If anyone (editor or creative, or writer) should propose to you a different kind of work, apart from your usual kind of character (crime stories, hard boiled, action, thiller...), i.e. something for kids or very young people, would you accept?

Lloyd: I had probably never planned something before, not in that direction with such simple characters; I almost couldn't do that, but really I think that if you have a kind of skill, or idea, or a certain kind of materials for any kind of story, you should make bold use of those skills and put such things at work. Otherwise there are several greater artists that are more proficient in telling stories to children than me; they could be crazy enough to take the job. And I suppose that they couldn't do my kind of heavy and dramatic stories. You know... May be that I would have to do such stories tomorrow to earn a living. I am an author after all, but that's not my chosen water, y'know.

David Lloyd

Photo from Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

CB: Have ever you read Tales from the Crypt?

Lloyd: Sure. Of course I did. [looking at the book book Materia Oscura published by Nicola Pesce] This: Fool's gold, that's the spot, a classic one! Absolutely, I have. I have many strong influences from ToC. If you read the introduction to my book, you'll discover that while I tried to be published I drew stories like these, inspired by many English and American artists. I could give you a whole list of them, and movies too.

I could describe myself as a composer: very few artists from the 20th century onwards could be fully original. We all saw too much things from other artists or something else to be in such a situation. We became composers a bit more than authors.

CB: About V for Vendetta. We think that the movie may be not the best in recreating your dark settings, blurred shadows, choking situations and so on... It was too bright, clean, neat. What do you think about?

Lloyd: That's true. Sure, the movie is not so dark, but... that's Hollywood! I think that they have had to catch a vast audience by my own imaginary world. They did a good job: that was a hard thing to do. There were many changes in it. It's not the original; it's a different kind of thing, another version, but not the original. It's not a horrible thing. I think that they were careful, and that Hugo Weaving did a great job, y'know. I think that the most important thing about a movie or any adaptation is to save the core message, the central message of a story. In V for Vendetta it was the value of individuality.

CB: When we saw the movie a mature friend of ours kept the sense of V's actions: anarchy! Young people think that it was simply a noisy, bursting action-full protest against a kind of dystopic, wrong, abusive, power, not agaiunst the whole idea of power in itself. Mere rebellion without anarchy. What do you think?

Lloyd: Oh you can't preach anarchy in an Hollywood movie! [we smile] Ok, I think that we could talk instead of complete freedom; Alan [Moore] believe in anarchy, but – personally I had never believed in anarchy as a mean to run society – I think that people needs somebody to follow, a kind of leader, not in the oppressive sense, indeed.

CB: At the start of your career, many of your pages were darker, full of black. Did you have any problem asking the publisher to print them? You know.... the funny tale about the cartoonist Reed Waller (author of Omaha the Cat Dancer) that received from his publisher a complaint about his work: "I cannot publish this."; "Why? Too much sex?"; "No, too much black ink. That could be expensive!"

Lloyd: No, such a thing has never happened to me, never.

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