Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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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.


  1. Robot Devil
    August 7, 2015 @ 1:37 am

    Not linked to Watchmen, but this seems the best place to put this interview with Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus:

    "Did you have any other literary influences, as you were writing the rock opera?
    My biggest literary influence on this album was the comic book Miracleman, by Alan Moore. Miracleman, and Watchmen to a lesser extent, was an introduction to me for a lot of Nietzschean concepts. He was my other biggest influence, but I came to understand most of his ideas and how they applied to my own life through Alan Moore. Alan Moore was my Nietzschean interpreter. That's really pretentious."

    Watchmen does feel like a trap. I leant it out before 9/11, and was handed it back after… I didn't want it. My copy was much later signed at a comic con by Dave Gibbons, who was mostly ignored in favor of TV stars.


  2. Neo Tuxedo
    August 7, 2015 @ 6:41 am

    Doctor Manhattan's blue cock does not appear until Watchmen #4

    Actually, it appears in Chapter 3, as he walks into the Bestiary to get the photograph which is being taken 26 years into the past and lying in the sand at his feet an hour into the future.


  3. Aylwin
    August 7, 2015 @ 6:45 am

    Is there no escape from the Labour leadership contest?


  4. phuzz
    August 7, 2015 @ 7:09 am

    A blue cock would be more of a Tory insult surely?


  5. Alex Thomas
    August 7, 2015 @ 10:54 am

    You hit the nail on the head with Moore's frustrating fatalism. I'm eagerly awaiting Jerusalem, but I have a feeling my copy is going to look like Blake's annotations to Swedenborg, full of cranky marginalia like "Predestination after this Life is more Abominable than Calvins & [Moore] is Such a Spiritual Predestinarian." Moore's Hermetic Calvinism galls me more than I can say, especially given how sympathetic I am to so much of his spiritual project.


  6. Evan Forman
    August 7, 2015 @ 11:53 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. Evan Forman
    August 7, 2015 @ 12:17 pm

    So are all the Book Two titles from Kieron Gillen Talks Watchmen? I recognise this entry's, but I don't remember a lot of the others.


    About 3/4 minutes in, Moore tells the story of his great-grandfather Ginger Bernard, who was offered one third of the directorship of what would become a successful company owned by his friend if he wouldn't enter a pub for one week. What his friend failed to understand was that Ginger Bernard was not so much a combatant in the Bet as he was a static topographical feature of the battlefield itself.


  8. Dave
    August 7, 2015 @ 12:33 pm

    Initially read as "Spiritual Pedestrian," which I rather identify with.


  9. Alex Thomas
    August 7, 2015 @ 1:06 pm


  10. Daibhid C
    August 7, 2015 @ 3:42 pm

    For some time now, I've been debating whether or not I should comment on the TV Tropes discussion page for Multiversity that the idea Captain Allen in Pax Americana is a stand-in for Moore in a huge metaphorical point about what's wrong with deconstructionism is perhaps a bit of a stretch. I finally decided to do it a couple of hours ago.

    …And then I come here and learn that Morrison directly compared Moore to Dr Manhattan in a huge point about what's wrong with deconstructionism. Oops.


  11. Sean Dillon
    August 7, 2015 @ 8:43 pm

    From what I can tell, each chapter is going to be like the chapters of Watchmen: Named after a quote that is thematically linked to the chapter, but not necessarily from the same source. I could be wrong, but I think the quotes might all be related to Watchmen in some fashion (which is going to make Chapter 5 very interesting).


  12. Daru
    August 8, 2015 @ 2:52 am

    Just catching up on reading the previous posts as been away working outdoors for days at time.


  13. Daru
    August 8, 2015 @ 3:56 am

    Great essay! Really enjoying seeing the first volleys in The War kick off.


    Awesome passage.


  14. Evan Forman
    August 8, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

    It's only slightly outside the realm of possibility that upon reaching Fearful Symmetry LWiA's narrator actually just explodes in Blakean Delight.


  15. Matthew Blanchette
    August 11, 2015 @ 6:23 pm

    " It is not quite that Moore, like Manhattan, is deficient in empathy and ability to understand people. Quite the contrary, one of Moore’s great strengths as a writer has always been his ability to depict rich psychological nuance for his characters. Rather, it is that Moore and Manhattan both have a strangely fatalist lack of belief in their own agency."

    Not to get ahead of the War retelling, here, but I think this is sort of personified in the comic by Dan not giving (if you'll pardon the swearing) a shit about what happens to Rorschach after he walks out of Karnak. It struck me as out-of-character that this man, who had been through thick and thin with Rorschach, however disgusting a figure Rorschach could be, did not care enough about a man who called him his friend to follow him out into the snow and make sure he was all right — or even care whether he lived or died.

    The film adaptation tried to fix this — a bit clumsily, I'm afraid, because it adds in the moment without fully laying down its consequences (while also robbing us from hearing/seeing the entire wonderful "nothing ever ends" sequence in person) — but I have to say, however flawed a fix it might be, it does improve on the blind fatalism Moore instills in his characters at that point — too blind, to a fault.


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