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Today is Guy Fawkes Day, and what used to be an occasion for bonfires and begging pennies from the neighbors has become a day of protest thanks to Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel V for Vendetta; the Guy Fawkes mask worn by their anonymous revolutionary V has become a symbol of protest worldwide. The protest group Anonymous plans a march on the British Parliament this evening to re-enact the final scene from the graphic novel. The event, dubbed “Operation Vendetta,” will be live-streamed here.
Meanwhile, Moore will be marking the occasion with the release date of his first single “The Decline of English Murder.” The song can be downloaded from Occupation Records, the record label that came out of the Occupy movement; it’ll set you back a quid, but he also released a video, which features clips of Occupy protests. (Ironically, it starts with an ad.) The Guardian calls the song “a gloomy and at times opaque ballad that likens the stark economic inequities challenged by Occupy to the work of a killer … The song, with Moore half-speaking, half-singing his words to a musical backing by Joe Brown, is as mournful as you might expect from something that namechecks a motorway service station near Preston in its first line.”
Archie Comics have been more topical than ever lately, but when we heard that the Occupy movement was coming to Riverdale in an upcoming issue, we just had to get the details. Here’s writer Alex Segura on how they got the idea and where this comic is going.
Robot 6: OK, first of all—why? Whose idea was this, and why does it seem like a logical story for the Archie crowd?
Alex Segura: It came up while I was sitting and talking to our Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. We had just finished an interview to discuss the wedding of Kevin Keller and the reporter—I believe it was the AP’s Matt Moore—said “What’s next, Occupy Riverdale?” We all kind of chuckled at the idea, but once we got off the phone we stopped and thought “Why not?” Jon’s vision of Riverdale has always been of a modern city that reflects what’s going on around the world. So, once we decided we wanted to do it, I threw my hat in the ring and wrote up a proposal.
I really wanted it to be about Occupy but also not to stray too far from what an Archie comic should be, which is light-hearted, entertaining and, most importantly, funny. It wasn’t easy, but I think we got it. I looked back at a lot of the classic Archie stories from the 60s and early 70s that showed the gang dealing with current topics in an honest, but still “Archie” way. Not to mention our current, topical output, like Kevin Keller.
Time magazine named its person of the year—not this year, but the year that just ended last week—“The Protestor.”
2011 was the year of the Arab Spring, in which protestors took to the streets throughout the Middle East—often peacefully, sometimes not—and toppled regimes, threatened others, provoked responses that may ultimately lead to the downfall of regimes this year or in the next few. In the United States, the Occupy movement quickly grew from something the American media tried to ignore for a week or two into something no one could ignore, becoming part of the national conversation, revealing some of the savage urges of repression among our own police forces and outing Frank Miller as cranky old nutcase.