Valerie Page… and a lesson about integrity

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Jul 13, 2009 in Comics, Rants


One of the most important documents in all comic book history was written in toilet paper: the diary of Valerie Page, from the astounding Graphic Novel “V for Vendetta“, by David Lloyd and Alan Moore (here scanned from the original WARRIOR edition, that was gently given to me as a gift by David Lloyd himself):


The text in this scan with the wonderful drawings by David Lloyd is readable, but I will type the words anyway, because I love each fragment of this text:

An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world that’s worth having.

We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

I don’t know who you are, or whether you’re a man or woman. I may never see you. I will never hug you or cry with you or get drunk with you.

But I love you.

I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again.

I wish I could kiss you.



This lesson was branded with fire in my soul. The value of that inch. The only thing in the world that’s worth having.

Unfortunately, many people sell that inch, many people trample over coworkers, steal email content claiming the credit was from them, deny help to coworkers to claim the credit of what was done. We see people selling their integrity all over. What for?

I have no idea. But unfortunately I know people like that.


Um dos documentos mais importantes da história da Banda Desenhada foi escrito em papel higiénico: o diário de Valerie Page, da estonteante Novela Gráfica chamada “V for Vendetta“, por David Lloyd e Alan Moore (aqui digitalizada a partir da edição original publicada na WARRIOR, que me foi gentilmente oferecida pelo próprio David Lloyd):


O texto em inglês é legível, juntamente com os maravilhosos desenhos do David Lloyd, mas para quem tenha dificuldade em ler inglês, segue aqui uma tradução deste texto, que eu quase decorei palavra por palavra:

Uma polegada. É pequena e é frágil e é a única coisa no mundo que vale a pena possuirmos.

Nunca devemos perdê-la, ou vendê-la, ou dá-la. Nunca devemos deixar que no-la tirem.

Eu não sei quem és tu, ou se és um homem ou uma mulher. Provavelmente nunca te irei ver. Nunca irei abraçar-te ou chorar contigo ou embebedar-me contigo.

Mas amo-te.

Espero que consigas escapar deste lugar. Espero que o mundo gire e que as coisas melhorem, e que um dia as pessas possam ter rosas novamente.

Gostava de poder dar-te um beijo.



Estas palavras gravaram-se a fogo na minha alma. O valor dessa polegada. A única coisa no mundo que vale a pena possuirmos.

Infelizmente, muita gente vende essa polegada, muita gente pisa os colegas de trabalho, rouba conteúdo de emails para ficar com o mérito do texto apresentado, nega ajuda aos colegas para ficar com os louros do que foi feito. Parece que vemos todos os dias pessoas a vender a sua integridade. Para que?

Não faço a menor ideia, mas infelizmente, conheço pessoas assim.

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Book Review: KICKBACK, written and drawn by David Lloyd

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Jun 19, 2009 in Comics, Polysyllabic Spree


I grew up in the tradition of nice Arthur Conan Doyle stories and the Sherlock Holmes mythos.

I had fun with Arsène Lupin and the Countess of Cagliostro and Raffles and Rocambole.

But, now that I think of it, I am not really a big fan of most of the crime comics I’ve read… until recently. The usual crime story opening, stuff like: “The night’s as hot as hell. It’s a lousy room in a lousy part of a lousy town – I’m staring at a goddess. She’s telling me she wants me. I’m not going to waste one more minute wondering how I’ve gotten this luckymight bore me, unless the artwork is virtuoso enough. I enjoyed Frank Miller’s SIN CITY (one of the most widely known noir comcis), for example, but some of those speech balloons, being read aloud, just sound somewhat silly. The stories are entertaining, true,  but we cannot find much depth there. Graphical virtuosity and entertainment, but not many content layers.

And probably that is one of the reasons why crime comics are considered “inferior” to crime prose novels.

However, there is one notable exception: KICKBACK, written and drawn by David Lloyd, creator of V for Vendetta!

The first words of that Graphic Novel are unlike the usual beginning of a crime comic. No lousy rooms, no lousy parts of a lousy town, just a talk about a dream, from an unseen narrator: “Okay. I will tell you about it. I’m in a dark warehouse… at least., that’s what it feels like… there’s ironwork — spears of metal — all around me… I’m on a catwalk that’s too narrow to turn around on, so I start to make my way along it in the direction I’m facing… ahead of me, it seems to grow narrower… I can’t see to the end of it… then, as I move along it, I see someone coming towards me… I try to make out who it is, but there’s a kind of mist…“. I thought it was a great way to begin a crime novel. With the description of a dream that is also an essential part of the story in many ways.

First, because this dream is like a metaphor of what the protagonist is going through. Joe Canelli feels he is going in one direction, but would that be the correct one? The pathway in his dream offers no other choices. After all, the protagonist of KICKBACK is a corrupt policeman – because everyone else in that town with a position of authority seems to be corrupt… but to say that KICKBACK is a story about a corrupt cop in a corrupt city would be an understatement, because the story is much more complex and interesting than that. This dream is just a small segment of one of the several layers of meaning and complexity that form the narrative of this very entertaning work.

In the beginning of this review, I said that I was not a big fan of crime comics, because many times, they feel hollow and clichéd (even when virtuously drawn) – but KICKBACK is different, it is not only a crime comic, it is a intrincate story, about guilt, about dreams, about progres


s, about corruption. And that is curious, because in a way, the content has some parallells with V FOR VENDETTA – mostly when we talk about corruption, even if we are talking about a different kind of corruption.

There is much more going on in KICKBACK and I do not want to talk too much about some of those layers, to avoid spoiling part of the relevant content of the book. However, it is a great story that offers us lots of food for thought: about listening to our conscience, about the value of old people’s wisdom, about the moral value of doing what everyone else does – and much more, all wrapped up in a nice mystery with lots of action drawn in the magnificently detailed and deep style David Lloyd had already shown us in previous works like V FOR VENDETTA, but with digital improvements this time. And they make quite a difference in the storytelling: from the rain to speed blurs, the nice classical touch of Lloyd’s artwork just blends naturally with some of the digital touches.


So, to conclude this small review, the world of KICKBACK feels like a believable place, where not everything (or everyone) is just black and white and each character feels like a real, complex person. This is not your usual crime comic. This is a crime comic that a thinking man will enjoy, as rich and deep and entertaining and complex as any prose novel. I’ve always been a fan of David Lloyd, and this work, drawn and written by him is a worthy addition to the collection of anyone – comic collector, demanding reader or crime novels aficionado. An Unmissable Book, without a doubt!

I recommend…
The Crime Comic for the Thinking Man!
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Programa de Actividades da Livraria Sétima Dimensão para a Feira do Livro 2009

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on May 17, 2009 in Comics, TV and Newspapers


A Festa do Livro 2009 do Funchal começa na próxima quinta. Aqui segue o calendário de festividades para os dias compreendidos entre 21 e 31 de Maio:

21 de Maio, Quinta-feira:

* Inauguração da Feira do Livro. Visita das autoridades competentes.

* Sessão de Autógrafos com Roberto Gomes, autor da obra “O BOI NO TELHADO”, com argumento de José Carlos Fernandes.

*Apresentação do primeiro postal da série “FESTA DO LIVRO 2009” desenhado pelo Roberto Gomes e editado pela Sétima Dimensão.

22 de Maio, Sexta-feira:

* Sessão de Autógrafos com Roberto Gomes, autor da obra “O BOI NO TELHADO”, com argumento de José Carlos Fernandes.

23 de Maio, Sábado:

* 10:00 às 13:00 – Workshop de Desenho de BD com Roberto Gomes na Pousada da Juventude. Lugares limitados. Inscições AQUI.

* Sessão de Autógrafos com Roberto Gomes, autor da obra “O BOI NO TELHADO”, com argumento de José Carlos Fernandes.

* 15:00 – COSPLAY! O ponto de encontro dos diversos participantes é no Stand da Sétima Dimensão (Nº 13). Haverá teatro, dança, música e muitas coisas divertidas!

24 de Maio, Domingo:

* 10:00 às 13:00 – Workshop de Desenho de BD com Roberto Gomes na Pousada da Juventude.

* Sessão de Autógrafos com Roberto Gomes, autor da obra “O BOI NO TELHADO”, com argumento de José Carlos Fernandes.

25 de Maio, Segunda-feira:

* Sessão de Autógrafos com Roberto Gomes, autor da obra “O BOI NO TELHADO”, com argumento de José Carlos Fernandes.

29 de Maio, Sexta-feira:

* 13:00 – 21:00 – Sessão de Autógrafos com David Lloyd (desenhador de “V FOR VENDETTA” e criador de “KICKBACK”)

*  Conversa com… Marco Avoletta e David Lloyd

*  Lançamento do Livro “No Funchal, o Maquinista”, com argumento de António Fournier e desenho de Marco Avoletta.

30 de Maio, Sábado:

* 13:00 – 21:00 – Sessão de Autógrafos com David Lloyd (desenhador de “V FOR VENDETTA” e criador de “KICKBACK”)

* 10:00 – 22:00 – 12 horas de BD, com a presença de David Lloyd e Marco Avoletta.

* 10:00 – 22:00 – Conferência “How I Got Into This Crazy Business And Ended Up Bringing V For Vendetta Into The World” por David Lloyd

31 de Maio, Domingo:

* 13:00 – 21:00 – Sessão de Autógrafos com David Lloyd

* 21:00 – Encerramento da Feira do Livro.

1 de Junho, Segunda-feira:

* FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, na Livraria Sétima Dimensão, nas galerias 5 de Outubro, com a presença do David Lloyd para quem perdeu a oportunidade de falar com o autor durante a feira do livro.

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