The Cartoon Museum re-opens (no advance booking required) with an exciting new exhibition which celebrates the cultural impact of V for Vendetta from the classic graphic novel to the cult film classic
The exhibition is now open and will be running until 31st October 2021
V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask will chart the rise from graphic novel, to hit film and now global phenomenon as a symbol of protest.
Securing rare loans from the art department of Warner Bros, The Cartoon Museum will present a history of this modern classic with original artwork and covers,
as well as costumes and designs that have never been seen in the UK before.
“Stunningly executed and movingly relevant”
Radio Times – Film Review
The exhibition comes at an appropriate time when interest in V for Vendetta continues to rise. Original pages of David Lloyd’s work have been sold at auction for over £20,000, while the graphic novel continues to top bestseller lists four decades after its original release. As well as the high-profile loans from Warner Bros, The Cartoon Museum will also display three original V for Vendetta covers from the initial run in Warrior magazine.
Illustrated by David Lloyd and written by Alan Moore, the central character of the masked and mysterious ‘V’ became an iconic symbol of comics, cinema and the hacker group, Anonymous. Its cultural impact, spanning nearly 40 years, is explored through 36 original artworks by David Lloyd, including black and white pages and colour paintings. These will be displayed alongside the original mask worn by Hugo Weaving in Warner Bros.’ blockbuster 2005 movie adaptation, one of only three that were used during production, as well as costume designs and storyboards. V for Vendetta first ran as a black-and-white strip between 1982 and 1985, in Warrior, a British anthology comic published by Quality Communications. It was one of the comic’s most popular strips, but Warrior was soon cancelled after only 26 issues due to low sales. Three years later, DC Comics – famously the publishers of Batman and Superman titles – persuaded Moore and Lloyd to let them give V a new home.
From then, Lloyd’s illustrations and Moore’s storylines – portraying a moody and bleak futuristic vision of Britain, suffering from an almost apocalyptic nuclear destruction and the ravages of a neo-fascist state – became one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time. It is in this setting where V wages a seemingly solo war against the totalitarian government and is eventually aided by Evey, a young woman who is victimised by the regime and decides to take action.
The exhibition launches at a time when, perhaps inspired by the fears and anxieties of the time in the UK, audiences may see V for Vendetta in a new light, following a pandemic year that recharged debates over rights, Government control and citizenship. Visitors will also be able to get up close to the real mask that Hugo Weaving wore in his role as V in the 2005 film. The mask is one of only three that were made for the film and perhaps was the turning point which transformed the Guy Fawkes-inspired disguise from recognizable pop culture to global phenomenon, seen around the world in all manner of protests from across the political spectrum.
V for Vendetta, adapted by the Wachowskis fresh from the completion of The Matrix trilogy, became a box office smash and led a new generation to the comic. Original costume designs by Sammy Sheldon Differ, who subsequently worked on Marvel’s Ant-Man and the upcoming Eternals, will also be on display, showing how David Lloyd’s creations were interpreted for the screen. These will also be accompanied by the original storyboards for a scene in which V plans a daring raid on a TV station, designed by long-time Wachowski collaborator Axel Eichhorst. The iconography and themes of V for Vendetta, and how they have spread from the page and screen into people’s lives, will also be a major focus of Behind the Mask. In the movie, the mantle of the mask passes from V to Evey but in the finale we see thousands of ‘ordinary people’ don their own masks. This prompts the exhibition to explore the idea of self-expression through protest – anyone can be V, so where does the line between anarchism and protest sit for the individual? The exhibition explores the voices of protesters in the real world, all under the looming presence of the 21st century’s most recognizable protest art – the mask of V.
Joe Sullivan, Director of The Cartoon Museum says: “We’re delighted to re-open following the lockdown and to do so by inviting people to look behind the mask and explore how a British comic strip became a global phenomenon. The Cartoon Museum’s mission is to celebrate and conserve our British comic tradition and this exhibition will take visitors on a journey beginning with the original 1980s artwork of the masterful David Lloyd, to the early 21st century interpretations of Hollywood, and finally with the effect the comic still has on global culture today. V for Vendetta shows us a near-future world, that is borne out of fear and anger following a potential catastrophic event. That’s why it still speaks to us today and I look forward to welcoming the public back as we continue to celebrate the art, culture and comics that try and make sense of the world we live in.”
· Tickets for V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask are available online from The Cartoon Museum Box Office Ticket Prices: £8.50 adults, £5 concessions, £3 students
· V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask merchandise: can purchased from The Cartoon Museum Shop
· The Cartoon Museum opening times: Mon | Closed, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10.30am – 5.30pm Thu | 10.30am – 8pm
· No advance booking is required to visit the Museum or the Exhibition
· The Cartoon Museum address: 63 Wells Street, Fitzovia, London, W1A 3AE- Tel: 020 7580 8155
The Cartoon Museum champions cartoon and comic art, highlighting its value to culture and society. Through our programme of exhibitions, events and workshops, we aim to:
· Conserve & provide access to Britain’s cartoon and comic art heritage
· Encourage participation in and raise awareness of a popular art form
· Support new work by cartoonists and comics artists
We are a registered charity, run by a small team of staff and a Board of Trustees.
About The Cartoon Museum:
The Cartoon Museum champions cartoon and comic art, highlighting its importance to culture and society. Since 2006 it has received 420k visitors, and built a nationally important collection of 4,300 cartoons, comics and caricatures, and a library of 18k items. It runs a well-attended school programme and sell-out school holiday workshops, and over 50k children and adults have attended cartooning, comics and animation workshops at the museum.
The museum has faced a difficult 12 months, with the doors closed for 10 months and the loss of a beloved, long-term staff member, Alison Brown, to COVID-19 in January 2021. Facing the threat of permanent closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Museum started a fundraising appeal, which saw an outpouring of support from Friends, cartoon and comics fans, and the cartooning and comic artist community, raising £127, 000 towards the Museum’s survival. The museum also saw significant funding support, including £98,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, £96,000
from Arts Council England and DCMS. Reopening on 18 May, with two fantastic new exhibitions, the Museum is looking forwards to a brighter 2021 and is excited to welcome visitors back.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products:
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, part of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, HBO, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes ground-breaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
Fabulous Films is proud to announce the UK Premiere release of
Starring David Bowie & Sydne Rome
Being released on Blu-ray for the very first time from the 16th August 2021
Available to pre-order now from Amazon – Limited Edition Media Book Presentation
“Captures the disillusioned flavour of the era well”
David Bowie & Sydne Rome star in this forgotten period movie gem, which has now been digitally remastered from original sources. Presenting the film for the first time ever in high definition in a wonderful, limited edition Media Book presentation, featuring the digital restored film on Blu-ray along with the Original Soundtrack.
This premiere release also comes complete with a 54-page booklet and with bonus features including The Making of Gigolo with Producer/Writer Joshua Sinclair and Assistant Rory Maclean to the Director David Hemmings, as well as audio commentary with Rory MacLean.
Just a Gigolo also stars two Hollywood Icons Marlena Dietrich in her last movie appearance and Kim Novak (Vertigo).
The film was Directed by David Hemmings who also appears in the film. The film also features James Bond Villain Curd Jürgens (The Spy who loved me).
Paul von Przygodski (David Bowie), a young Prussian gentleman, arrives in the trenches in time to be caught in the final explosion of the Great War. After recuperating in a military hospital, where he is mistaken for a French hero, he returns to Berlin. His family home has been turned into a boarding house, his father (Rudolf Schündler) is paralyzed, and his mother (Maria Schell) is working in the Turkish baths.
Attempting to find a new purpose, his childhood friend, Cilly (Sydne Rome), abandons him for fame and fortune; his former commanding officer, Captain Kraft (David Hemmings), tries to persuade him to join his right-wing movement and a widow, Helga von Kaiserling (Kim Novak), briefly seduces him with the finer things in life.
In a society where the individual comes first and anyone can be bought, he is recruited by Baroness von Semering (Marlene Dietrich) as one in her regiment of gigolos. The cynical and decadent world of entertaining rich widows leads an increasingly disillusioned Paul to a poignant, chilling end
It was David Bowie’s first movie role after Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). As Roeg’s film had played upon Bowie’s earlier identification with science fiction and alienness so Just a Gigolo fitted his then-current interest in pre-war Berlin, pricked by meeting Christopher Isherwood, whose Goodbye to Berlin had inspired the musical Cabaret. The city had also been the recording location for Bowie’s latest studio album, “Heroes” (1977).
· The Making Of Gigolo with Writer/Producer Joshua Sinclair and Assistant To The Director Rory MacLean
· Audio Commentary with Rory MacLean
· Original Trailer
· Original Soundtrack CD
· 54 Page Companion Booklet
Blu-ray Product Details
· Cat Number – FHEB3763
· Barcode – 5030697044341
· Discs – 2 (1 x Blu-ray, 1 x Original Soundtrack CD)
Steeped in his influences, and a modern take on the ‘Yacht Rock’ genre, the track has that Californian feel that has spawned some of the finest music of our times. Think Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Christopher Cross and you’ll be in the right ballpark. And that West Coast sound is no accident, as Michael explains: –
“In 2018 I was invited to join US singer songwriter Ben Folds at a retreat in Ojai, California. I jumped at the chance, being a huge fan of Ben and his music and having never been to that part of America before. It was a truly life changing experience – I literally came home a different person. We spent several days writing new songs, finishing old songs, and generally just having a great time.”
“I fell in love with the quaint town of Ojai and the whole vibe and sound of the West Coast, where so many of my musical heroes made music which stands the test of time.”
Having previously worked with top record producers Keith Bessey & Warren Bennett on his earlier albums, Michael decided to take on all the production duties alone for this record, which was completed during the lockdown of 2020. But, using the wonders of modern technology, he was still able to continue his tradition of utilising some of the finest musicians in the world to play on the tracks. Once again, US No.1 saxophonist Ed Barker takes the horns, and string arrangements are courtesy of the legendary Simon Lockyer. For the first time on Michael’s recordings, fans are introduced to French guitar maestro, Antoine Saults, recently described by The Who’s Pete Townshend as ‘the future of music’.
The Brand-New Album
Released 25th June 2021
About Michael Armstrong
Michael Armstrong was born in South London in November 1973. His parents were not in the slightest bit musical, although they did listen to music frequently. Michael remembers car journeys singing along and harmonising with his brother to The Beatles Greatest Hits. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to express himself through music and song.
At around the age of 11 he began to seriously tackle learning the guitar and as soon as he was able to play 3 chords he had written his first song. Once he had mastered the guitar he taught himself to play the piano during Games lessons at school stating ‘I just couldn’t hack Rugby, not in the cold wet weather’. Luckily his lack of interest and ability in the sport was confirmed by his teachers who were happy to leave him tinkering away in the music room.
At the age of 15 he entered a song writing competition on BBC’s Pebble Mill At One, coming in second place to a 16 year old Mancunian called Gary Barlow. Take that! By 18, he had his own band and performed his original material across the country eventually playing several nights at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London.
By the age of 23, having toured incessantly, Michael became disillusioned with the music business and joined his father at the family construction company. For 15 years they grew the company to huge success and Michael lived a happy and fruitful life with his wife and three children.
In 2011 a string of events suddenly sent Michael on a new but familiar path. His father’s health led him to retirement and Michael’s own health scare led him to assess his situation. Some might call it a mid-life crisis! Coupled with the failing UK economy and a chance encounter with music biz guru Lisa Davies, Michael felt the world of showbiz beckoning him again. He had also amassed some 200 songs that had never been released. Seeing his talent, and amazed by his music, Lisa became Michael’s manager and set about raising his profile across the business.
After receiving great reactions to an EP, Michael set about recording his debut album ‘Michael Armstrong’ which was eventually released on 29th June 2015. It was met with resounding success, championed by the late Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 and gaining airplay across the globe. The album featured guitar giants Albert Lee (2 x Grammy Award Winner), Elliott Randall (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) and Phil Palmer (Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams) and was produced by Keith Bessey (10cc, Cliff Richard, The Ramones).
As a result of the album’s success, Michael has since been interviewed and has performed on just about every radio station in the land several times over. He has additionally gained major airplay across the globe including the UK’s BBC Radio 2, and mainstream stations all over Europe, USA, Australia and South America, where his single ‘The Radio Years’ was a Top 10 hit. This has further led to numerous appearances on national TV such as ITV’s Lorraine, Sky News, BBC News, ITN plus he is a regular on Vintage TV.
A dedicated touring artist, Michael has performed with some of the biggest names in the business. He has spent over two years ‘on the road’ headlining his own shows as well as appearing as a special guest on major tours with Leo Sayer, Vonda Shepard, T’Pau, Beverley Craven, Dean Friedman & The Hollies’ Peter Howarth. He has also collaborated and worked alongside massive global stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Mark Knopfler, Glenn Fry, Chris de Burgh, Russell Watson, Hank Marvin, Michael Ball and countless others.
In 2016 Michael released the official 60th Anniversary commemorative single for Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and performed it on stage at the venue during a very special celebratory party which included many associated local and national dignitaries. That same year he was invited to open the Great British Radio Reunion with his anthem ‘The Radio Years’ and was selected by his local authority to perform and present an award at their Annual Local Heroes Awards Ceremony in conjunction with BBC radio.
In 2018 Michael released his second album #LookingForTheWorld, again to great critical and commercial acclaim. Singles from the album including the title track were played on radio across the globe, as Michael set out on his biggest promotional tour to date. During the USA leg, Michael was invited to spend some time with one of his great musical influences, singer songwriter, Ben Folds. They spent a week together in Ojai, California, where much of what was to become Michael’s third studio album was conceived. Following the promo tour, Michael returned to the UK for a sell-out London show, which was to kick start a full UK and European tour, only to be scuppered by the global pandemic.
Unable to perform and in isolation, Michael set about recording the songs he had written on the West Coast in his home studio and the result, ‘Ojai’, the brand-new album will be released on 25th June 2021. Plans are afoot to tour the album with his international band in 2022, Covid-19 permitting.
“Sharp, harmonious and lyrically spellbinding, this is music delivered by a proper musician who takes chances while paying homage to a golden past in songwriting.”
– Lesley-Ann Jones (Music critic & biographer)
“An incredible talent.”
– David Wigg (Daily Mail)
“This guy is seriously good!”
– Richard Madeley (BBC Radio 2)
“This has got to be included in my favourite albums I’ve ever purchased”
– Sir Paul McCartney
“I had a feeling he had something special…I was right!”
– Elliott Randall (Steely Dan)
“It’s almost as if he’d heard my entire music collection and picked up on the best bits.”
July 30, 2021 1818 Emily Bronte 1863 Henry Ford 1940 Sir Clive Sinclairi 1944 Frances De La Tour 1947 Arnold Schwarzenegger 1958 Daley Thompson 1958 Kate Bush 1962 Squadron Leader Andy Green 1963 Lisa Kudrow
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