David Lloyd has long been one of my all-time favourite comic artists. Ever since reading V for Vendetta as a kid I’ve always enjoyed getting sucked into the worlds that were crafted and coloured by this man, so today I want to write up a bit of history about this man and a bit more about his works. Enjoy!
Lloyd was born in Enfield, London in 1950 taught himself how to draw people, and how to draw strips. He began his career in comics in the 1970’s drawing for Halls of Horror and for Marvel UK where along with writer, Steve Parkhouse Lloyd created the pulp character; Night Raven.
Looking very smug and rightly so.
David Lloyd started his first project with comic’s legend Alan Moore in 1980 when they worked on several issues of Doctor Who, featuring such issues as ‘Black Sun Rising’ and ‘The 4-D War’, where the Doctor is pursued by the dreads Special Executives.
Lloyd and Moore’s relationship grew after their time on Doctor Who, and they decide to collaborate on something wholly original. Moore came up with the idea of a quintessential British anti-hero, who leads a one-man rebellion against the totalitarian government (heavily inspired by the less favourable parts of Margert Thatcher’s policies) as well as seeking revenge on those who mutilated him. This story became V for Vendetta.
Using the established logic that in Science Fiction you are not talking about the future, you are talking about an exaggeration of the present – Lloyd and Moore set out to create a heavily surveyed police state were London is covered is camera’s and privacy and government interference are rampant (imagine that.)
It was Lloyd who had the idea of the iconic Guy Fawkes mask to be worn by the books central protagonist – only ever known as V.
'That's the emergency channel!'
Lloyd suggested it as a joke to Moore over a few drinks one night, but Moore loved the idea and after seeing the sketches for the character, Moore got his pen to work. It played into a very British mythology and gave the audience the haunting ghost like image of the spirit of Guy Fawkes returning from the grave to seek revenge on those who has wrong him. V for Vendetta was published by DC and the comic was such a huge success for its time that the comic company giants gave Lloyd the gig on horror anthology, Wastelands, which lead him to his work on Hellblazer.
It looks good, doesn't it?
John Constantine’s gun shoots and cigarette drags have never looked better when penned by the hand of David Lloyd. He had the fortune of working with two more great British comic writers; Grant Morrison and Garth Ennis, during his various runs with the series. Lloyd's pen would continue to create greatness, going on to Sandman Mystery Theatre, the one-shot War Story and his own graphic novel project, Kickback.
Lloyd's artistic talents are extensive and far reaching, but when asked in an interview with wizards-keep.com who his artistic influences are one of his biggest is Turner. He specifically sites, "Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus”, which stayed on his bedroom wall for years and never fails to feel inspired by the ‘atmosphere made of light’ that the painting creates. His own influence goes on to inspire many others.
Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus, by William Turner
From a time travelling doctor to a demon battling Londoner, David Lloyd has always captured the essence of every character he has drawn and given the backgrounds to his environment as much life and atmosphere as possible, through light or any of means.