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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.

24 Comments

  1. Daru
    July 17, 2015 @ 12:37 am

    Not read it yet, but real excited you've reached this point and really looking forwards to reading book 2.

    Reply

  2. iWill
    July 17, 2015 @ 1:16 am

    Excellent essay, looking forward to examining Watchmen again- it's been half a decade since I last read it. Really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the nine-panel page structure, as I remember finding it a bit weird when I first started reading it.

    Reply

  3. Daru
    July 17, 2015 @ 2:07 am

    I was studying design and illustration when I first read this and I remember – and still am – a fan of the nine-panel structure and the way it is played with. For me it feels like it set a rhythm, a changing tempo and a kind of music through the whole piece.

    That's got me wondering what kind of soundtrack the book has – apart from the songs mentioned and quoted in the text. Thinking of something like Carpenter and Morricone's soundtrack for The Thing (1982) mashed up with something more beat driven.

    Reply

  4. Daru
    July 17, 2015 @ 2:08 am

    Anyone else got any other thoughts on music?

    Reply

  5. Chrshea
    July 17, 2015 @ 3:33 am

    The music was one of (many) things that really hurt the Watchmen movie for me. I can't see that world making the same or even similar music to our 80's. Despite being set in the 80's, it's more of a never ending late 70's. I hear a radio at that news stand playing a some new punk band that are an even angrier Sex Pistols.

    Reply

  6. C.
    July 17, 2015 @ 3:54 am

    very much agree the music of the movie was dreadful and one of its many tonal miscues.

    The underlying music of the comic seems to be an extended "2nd generation" punk and new wave (Pale Horse is like what if Sid Vicious had lived and formed a band with Billy Idol in 1983). Iggy Pop's "Neighborhood Threat" is heard blasting from a radio in the 1st issue and of course Laurie's into Devo.

    Reply

  7. Daru
    July 17, 2015 @ 4:02 am

    Yeah the music in the movie didn't work for me either. With the rhythm of the book I got a vibe of something the had a beat that was really driving and continuous throughout.

    I've got a kind of Phillip Glass electronica punk moving through my head.

    Reply

  8. Dave
    July 17, 2015 @ 4:47 am

    "What we demand is the unity of politics and art, the unity of content and form, the unity of revolutionary poltical content and the highest possible perfection of artistic form. Works of art, which lack artistic quality, have no force, however progressive they may be politically." -Mao, 1942

    Reply

  9. Heath
    July 17, 2015 @ 5:06 am

    This is great. The Watchmen analysis the world has been waiting for. Can't wait for the next installment.

    Reply

  10. Scott
    July 17, 2015 @ 5:23 am

    Y'know, I think it's time to crack open Watchmen again…

    Reply

  11. arcbeatle
    July 17, 2015 @ 6:46 am

    I think the trailer made a fairly convincing argument that Billy Corgan would have made a very appropriate soundtrack to the tone of the film:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUjMO_k9IF8

    Reply

  12. Spoilers Below
    July 17, 2015 @ 7:26 am

    I'm sure this will come up in later chapters, for for those interested in picking up their extended reading lists early, the "real" Before Watchmen is the Action Heroes Archive vol. 2, detailing all the early adventures of the Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom, and other Charlton Heroes that the Watchmen characters are based off of. Volume 1 is all Captain Atom, and therefore not quite as interesting to the project, but vol 2 has all the relevant Steve Ditko.

    We'll no doubt get to Moore's absolutely brutal tear down of Ditko and his system of values and ideals in time, but for those interested in the where's and how's, this volume is indispensable. Should be available via interlibrary loan from any library, if they don't already have it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Action-Heroes-Archives-Vol-Edition/dp/1401213464/

    Reply

  13. camestrosfelapton
    July 17, 2015 @ 11:23 am

    I know there is only one Elvis Costello reference in the book but it is an Elvis Costello sort of sound that I associate with the book.

    Reply

  14. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 17, 2015 @ 11:31 am

    I've been using the two mixes Alex made me for the Swamp Thing chapter so far, though Alex is going to make me a Watchmen-specific mix when he gets around to it.

    https://play.spotify.com/user/salexanderreed/playlist/2HejzyyGutscoHE0SDVVL5

    https://play.spotify.com/user/salexanderreed/playlist/3966Ic1au3fkA3vc4wv2F7

    Reply

  15. Daru
    July 17, 2015 @ 11:56 am

    I'm on route down to Shropshire for a long weekend with my partner, so can't follow up all of the links right now.
    But love the sound of Elvis Costello and will definitely have s listen to the link from Alex Phil – sounds great!
    Got a soundtrack of Barry Adamson & the Velvet Underground going through me right now.

    Reply

  16. Dan Abel
    July 18, 2015 @ 11:17 am

    I'd like to see the trailer cut to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5l6BdUviQE

    In fact I think i need to read Watchmen again listening to this: http://www.discogs.com/Various-Nervous-Systems/release/50661

    Reply

  17. FrF
    July 19, 2015 @ 12:09 am

    Sometimes, in order to provide compressed information, one has to ask the reader to suspend disbelief or not to look too closely. Cases in point are the first panels of Watchmen #1: As crime evidence the smiley face button has no business of laying there in the gutter, unless you want to have proof for a seriously careless police investigation! The shop owner hosing down a huge puddle of blood like a butcher in a slaughterhouse, endangering potential evidence in process? These are iconic, powerful images which work very well on one level but maybe less on another, in this context less important one.

    Reply

  18. Chris Andersen
    July 19, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    The imperfectly symmetrical nature of the layout of the chapters is evocative of the Rorschach pattern. The blots are always uneven and imperfect.

    Reply

  19. John
    July 19, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

    Is it wrong that I kind of liked the montage set to "The Times They Are A Changin'"?

    Reply

  20. Spoilers Below
    July 20, 2015 @ 9:54 am

    I think it's probably the best part of the entire movie.

    Reply

  21. Daru
    July 20, 2015 @ 11:08 pm

    Yeah I do love "The Times They Are A Changin'" section too – and will have to try to have a listen to the playlists on the links you posted Phil another time as I've got an out of date browser just now (but thanks!)

    Reply

  22. Daru
    July 20, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

    Yeah that's the interesting thing about Rorschach ink blots, they never really are symmetrical exactly, but our perception wants to reconcile them into something that is not only balanced, but also since they seem symmetrical, turn them into an image that makes sense to us.

    Reply

  23. Cat Rambo
    August 3, 2015 @ 7:15 am

    This is near and dear to my heart, having written a paper in grad school on Dr. Manhattan and the nuclear sublime – really looking forward to reading through the rest of your pieces on this.

    Reply

  24. Neo Tuxedo
    August 7, 2015 @ 6:21 am

    I was rereading Chapter One on my Nook the other day, and this passage jumped out at me:

    if a graphic novel such as Watchmen could have its beginning edited to better match its end like a traditional prose novel would be.

    If the rights had reverted to Moore and Gibbons, they might have made that change. Rick Veitch made several changes to Bratpack for its TPB, including a vastly different ending that made explicit a reveal one could have blinked and missed, as well as maing the series more explicitly the climax of the King Hell Heroica (which I think you ought to cover, but given that it's incomplete and hard to find, I'll understand if you don't).

    Reply

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