Eruditorum Press

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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.

14 Comments

  1. Jeff Heikkinen
    July 3, 2015 @ 2:20 am

    "in his understanding at least, [Watchmen was] a creator-owned work on which he was given heavy editorial freedom."

    Seriously? I know Moore overestimated what rights he had regarding things like merchandising, but I can't imagine he was ever under any illusions that he owned Watchmen. Even in the unlikely event he ever entertained such a notion, surely a quick look at the legal text of the first issue would have dispelled it.

    Reply

  2. Daru
    July 3, 2015 @ 2:48 am

    As a kid I remember somehow I found it fun that the 2000AD artists were displayed as robots, but now looking back it just seems like such an awful and disrespectful way to represent talent.

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  3. Kit
    July 3, 2015 @ 3:21 am

    Your imagination could be expanded by reading more or less any interview Moore has ever given on the topic between 1985 and now.

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  4. Kit
    July 3, 2015 @ 3:21 am

    (should be a reply to Jeff.)

    Reply

  5. Carey
    July 3, 2015 @ 3:25 am

    The topless Halo Jones print and its story seems to be more pertinent than comes across in the brief mention from above: it even made the Guardian! http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/mar/21/halo-jones-topless-row-ian-gibson

    The lack of respect from 2000ad's publishers wasn't only toward writers, but artists as well. The print appeared two months before the latest reprint edition of The Ballad of Halo Jones, the first to appear without a cover by Ian Gibson. Gibson had been growing increasingly vocal about the level of pay in comics and from Rebellion. I am fascinated by your revelation that royalties only came from writing an introduction to the volumes: was this from Titan publishing, or does it continue to today? Rebellion's justification of using a different cover artist was to try and reach out to a different audience.

    Suffice to say, for all the unpleasantness regarding a topless Halo Jones, by that point selling prints was one of the few ways Gibson had of making money, as Rebellion, a company that had long profited from many of his works (he was the co-creator of Robo-Hunter as well as Halo Jones) were no longer interested in commissioning any more work from him, even for a reprint copy of his most famous creation. In that respect, I can well believe what started out as a print of a topless woman was changed to become a topless Halo Jones, as that would likely sell more.

    In some respects, Moore should have congratulated Gibson for taking back control of his creation!

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  6. Kit
    July 3, 2015 @ 3:26 am

    Having never seen that "final" 2000AD page, the last panel amusingly foreshadows the Nude Halo disagreement.

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  7. Daibhid C
    July 3, 2015 @ 9:21 am

    Context, innit? Until just now, I thought of it as a bit of self deprecation by the creators themselves. Learning the background, and that Sanders really did see them as interchangeable content generators (and himself, presumably, as The Mighty Tharg) puts a different spin on it.

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  8. Daru
    July 3, 2015 @ 9:30 am

    Oh yeah for sure, as a kid and a teen I thought they were unflattering, as you say self-deprecating self portraits. I guess as a creator myself, I can see how after a while it would cease to be a pleasure to be regarded as easily replaceable. I don't know how well I remember Tharg treating his staff.

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  9. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 3, 2015 @ 10:49 am

    The running theme of "John Sanders is a massive cockgargler" in this chapter is one of my favorite aspects. Literally any time I went "man, I could really use an instance of someone at IPC saying something absolutely horrible right now," there he was, happy to provide.

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  10. Jeff Heikkinen
    July 3, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

    @Kit, perhaps that's true. It's not a topic I've researched in depth. A link to such an interview would be appreciated, if you've got one handy.

    In any case, even if he did think that, I'd be inclined to look at that as straightforwardly a mistake. And not one I would expect someone of Moore's self-evident intelligence, not to mention knowledge of the history of his industry, to make. Notwithstanding the grifter thing Phil raised a few episodes ago, that's the sort of thing you get in writing. Period.

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  11. Kit
    July 3, 2015 @ 10:24 pm

    It really wasn't; the rights were (and still are) in writing to return to Moore & Gibbons a year after publication, which was expected at that point to be a year after #12 was published. No American comic had ever stayed in print permanently before, so DC still controlling the rights three decades later was unforeseen by any party involved.

    You can find both Moore and Giordano describing the then-generous rights situation in the TCJ coverage of SDCC panels from 1985.

    Moore (and, apparently but less vocally, Gibbons) believes it would have been appropriate to renegotiate in good faith when the situation changed.

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  12. Jeff Heikkinen
    July 3, 2015 @ 11:43 pm

    That is interesting. Most of what I know about creator's rights in comics, which (obviously) isn't a hell of a lot, has been learned in a post-Watchmen world. Apparently it was a game-changer in even more ways than I'd realized.

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  13. Jeff Heikkinen
    July 4, 2015 @ 3:12 am

    Wait a minute, isn't that at least roughly the same arrangement DC has had with the Marston estate since probably before anyone involved in this discussion was born? That hadn't resulted in DC losing Wonder Woman despite being in effect for probably at least as long (as of 1987) as DC has had Watchmen as of now.

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  14. elvwood
    July 4, 2015 @ 3:38 am

    I don't know the details of the WW agreement so this comment may be irrelevant, but there's a substantial difference between "if we stop using this character for a year you get the rights back" and "if this particular story goes out of print for a year you get the rights back". If the Marston estate had had the same deal, they would have got the rights back long ago!

    Reply

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