The bodies on the gears of the culture industry

Skip to content

Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Tom
    June 19, 2015 @ 2:02 am

    As well as the American Flagg influence, the last time I read the "letter to Rodice" chapter it reminded me a lot of the "Mechanics" segment of Love And Rockets, where Maggie is off in Africa with Rand Race and writing back to her friends in Hoppers. Moore was certainly reading that too – around the time of Watchmen one of the things I liked about him was how eagerly he'd evangelise for some of the great 80s independent books: it definitely worked on me.


  2. Daru
    June 19, 2015 @ 3:02 am

    Man, Love & Rockets was one of my absolute favourite books in the 90's when I was reading graphics heavily. Loved Maggie and Hopey so much and what a brilliant diversity of story-lines and characters too.


  3. Daru
    June 19, 2015 @ 3:05 am

    Yes it is pretty sad that IPC just didn't get Moore and what he was capable of and trying to do. Well done on Moore for carrying on, one thing I always appreciated about him was, barring conflict, the way he would get on with work and his ethics related to working.


  4. Shane Cubis
    June 19, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

    As much as we all love the narrative of suits keeping the visionary creator from making his art with their narrow-minded corporate demands, it's not unreasonable for editors to have input on what they'd like to see more or less of in work they've commissioned.

    Irrespective of what other clients are letting you get away with, you're being paid to provide a specific, bespoke product. I'm speaking mainly about the tone taken about editors in this chapter more than Alan Moore's specific experiences, but IPC was a different company to DC, with a different audience. Their primary goal is to maintain and grow that audience, so artists keep a place to share their stories.


  5. Tony Morris
    June 19, 2015 @ 6:19 pm

    Calling the actions of Steve McManus (2000AD's editor at the time) "plainly disrespectful" seems a bit overstated. At the time that Moore was writing Future Shocks for 2000AD it was written almost entirely by Pat Mills and the team of John Wagner & Alan Grant (with Rogue Trooper scribe Gerry Finley-Day the last of the old-school 70s writers, and he'd be gone before book three of Halo Jones saw print). Considering those three are generally considered the best writers 2000AD's had, and giants of the UK comics scene beside, there probably wasn't a whole lot of pressure to ease them out in favour of new writers. Especially as Wagner / Grant were productive enough to also be writing large swathes of IPCs other titles at the time.

    It seems more likely that it was recognition of Moore's obvious talent and ability that enabled him to successfully break into what was at the time basically a very successful closed shop – especially considering he was up against more established and (arguably) equally talented writers.


  6. Carey
    June 22, 2015 @ 10:40 pm

    From my understanding at the time, the criticism's of Halo Jones book 1 came from the readers, not from editorial. 2000ad in at least it's IPC days took account of the readership reaction, and had a cut out survey form in each issue asking you to list your favourite stories. IIRC, Halo Jones wan't favourably exceed to begin with, and it was, as you correctly say, editorial that gave it more support and commissioned the second series. For all that accusations may be made of editorial interference, it was during the second series that came out of those recommendations that Halo Jones became a success.

    I'd also agree with Tom that Love and Rockets was a huge influence on Halo Jones, with Moore in conteporary interviews saying how much he liked the series. The relationship between Halo, Rodice and Toy, as well the mother figure of Brinna, very much echoed that of Maggie, Penny Century, Hopey and Izzy from the earliest Love and Rockets stories.


  7. Carey
    June 22, 2015 @ 10:46 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  8. Carey
    June 22, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

    Blogger hates iPads. Sorry.

    That should read "Halo Jones wasn't favourably received, btw.


  9. Dialectomitch
    June 24, 2015 @ 1:32 pm

    Glyph – just remembering that particular Halo Jones storyline tears me up. Halo Jones was a real gateway comic for me – Bojeffries, V for Vendetta, Cerebus, Charles Burns, Maus/Raw and of course, Love and Rockets were all to follow, but it all began on the Hoop and the Clara Pandy.


  10. Karl Thomasson
    July 2, 2015 @ 6:57 am

    Huh, I just realised how much the ball of design in the lower half of that Swamp Thing page reminded me of the initial evolutionary sequence in Light Comitragedies ( More specifically it put me to mind of an alternate ending from the rather bleak place that comic goes to.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.