Long before V for Vendetta this newspaper seller wore a mustached mask

Illustration for article titled Long before emV for Vendetta/em this newspaper seller wore a mustached mask

Alan Moore's comic V for Vendetta (and the subsequent film) inspired members of the group known as Anonymous to cover their faces with Guy Fawkes masks. Back in 1929, this newspaper seller hid his identity with a similarly mustached mask.


This photo, which was taken in Paris, appeared in the Dutch weekly magazine Het Leven. Geïllustreerd (Life. Illustrated), which was famous for its daring (and sometimes shocking) photojournalism. The site Het Geheugen van Nederland (The Memory of the Netherlands) has an enormous collection of photos from the Het Leven archive, and includes a bit of speculation about this man and his mask. The caption suggests that this newspaper seller might be an impoverished member of a royal family, which would imply that he's hiding his identity out of shame rather than because of his politics.

It's not V for Vendetta; it's V for Vendor.

Krantenverkoper met masker [Het Geheugen via Retronaut]

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This reminds me of this photo of Alan Moore meeting "his" characters at a rally. There is a slight family resemblance.