The man behind the Anonymous mask

In recent years, Guy Fawkes has become the poster child for anti-establishment protests, with activists donning masks of the 17th century British rebel at marches and demonstrations.

Activist group Anonymous has been at the forefront of the push to wear the masks as an anti-capitalist statement, but this specific mask's history dates back to the 1980s.

Courtesy of DC Entertainment ©

Writer, Alan Moore and illustrator, David Lloyd joined forces to create "V for Vendetta", a graphic novel painting the U.K. as a post-apocalyptic dystopia ruled by a corrupt government. The hero "V" is the force for change.

V takes on the persona of famous failed revolutionary Guy Fawkes through his mask. However, this time V succeeds in taking down the tyrannical government. By adopting the mask, V becomes the revolutionary symbol, prompting society to question its policymakers.

And that's exactly what the mask has done. Not only in written form, but in today's society.

The "Project Chanology" protests against the Church of Scientology in 2008 were seen as one of the turning points that brought hacktivist group, Anonymous, and the mask to people's attention.

Since then, the image of Guy Fawkes has become a key symbol for protests across the globe.

Anti-capitalist protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks hold placards at the start of the 'Million Masks March', organised by the group Anonymous, in London.
Jack Taylor | AFP | Getty Images
Anti-capitalist protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks hold placards at the start of the 'Million Masks March', organised by the group Anonymous, in London.

While many associate the Guy Fawkes mask with Anonymous rather than "V for Vendetta", the graphic novel's illustrator, David Lloyd is content with this development.

"I'm very happy with all circumstances where the mask is being used by people who are trying to do what they believe is the right thing — to combat any tyranny they happen to want to confront," Lloyd, now publisher of on-screen comic art magazine, "Aces Weekly", told CNBC via email.

"How many knew then, or know now, what it represents from the book or the movie is an unknown number; but as the key motivation of V in both is to free people from tyranny, the mask is being used appropriately by protesters, whether they know about the story or not."

"From what I know, they (Anonymous) are trying to do good in the way they think they can do it best. For that I applaud them."

"V" in V for Vendetta (left) | David Lloyd, illustrator of "V for Vendetta" (right)
Courtesy of © DC Comics (left) | Photo credit: Etienne Gilfillen (right)
"V" in V for Vendetta (left) | David Lloyd, illustrator of "V for Vendetta" (right)

According to Lloyd, since the film release of V for Vendetta in 2006, interest and readership in the novel itself has increased "significantly."

To coincide with the film, Rubie's Costume Company became an official manufacturer of the mask, which now reportedly sells more than 100,000 of these annually.

As part of his contract with publisher, DC Comics, Lloyd told CNBC he received some economic benefits from the official mask's sales, but declined to comment in further detail.

The use of Guy Fawkes in the original novel was seen as a "happy accident", as both Lloyd and Moore were looking for a resistance fighter who could take on the world's necessary evils.

By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi