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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. Carey
    February 20, 2014 @ 12:41 am

    Gah! Don't you hate it when something written as a reply to a post is eaten by your browser! My apologies for the brevity of the following, but I'm having to summarise from memory.

    I think we can take Moore's run on Future Shocks as not so much a critique of him as a writer but quite the opposite. He remained as their primary writer for so long precisely because he was good at writing them, and they were vital for 2000ad at the time for their use of filling in between other continuing stories, and making sure other artists were kept busy while waiting for other scripts or stories to begin. This is reinforced by the way that few, if any, of the artists assigned Moore during this period were try out artists. they were predominantly tried and tested IPC artists with long histories of meeting deadlines. And the ones that were new to 2000ad were experienced in their own right (Talbot already working on Luther Awkwright, and Neary being a former Editor in Chief of Marvel UK, and the person responsible for Alan Davies Captain Britain commission).

    Moore's value as a writer is further underscored by some of his strips being assigned the all important and valued colour centre spread, something that traditionally was given to the most popular comic strip in 2000ad of the time (usually Judge Dredd). And because of the colouring process, these strips had to be prepared in advance of the black and white strips, so they were not last minute replacements.

    In this light, I think we can say that Moore's belief that Skizz was given as a placatory measure because of his growing popularity elsewhere is probably correct.

    It's also interesting to note, when the whole "plagiarism" aspect of the War is taken into account, that The Reversible Man was cited by some reviewers in the early 90's as being the basis of Martin Amis' Booker Prize runner up novel, Time's Arrow. (A novel that adopts the same idea of investigating a mans life when lived in reverse, but in the context of Time's Arrow being used to explore the Holocaust). Of course, both stories themselves can probably be traced back to F Scott Fitzerald's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


  2. Sean Case
    February 20, 2014 @ 2:04 am

    Lots of people have written stories about living backwards. I found a list at io9 that is probably far from complete.


  3. C.
    February 20, 2014 @ 4:35 am

    while there have been a lot of "living backwards" stories, Amis' "Time Arrow" has a lot of similarities to Moore's story—regurgitating food, visiting a dying old person in hospital who slowly recovers, etc.


  4. Anton B
    February 20, 2014 @ 4:46 am

    Yes, as that list proves, hardly an original concept but, as in so much of his work, it's the skill and unpredictable turns of phrase which Moore employs that make it special. It's also unlikely that younger readers of 2000AD would have encountered the reverse time narrative before so, again, it does a good job of introducing a mind expanding premise within an ostensibly juvenile milieu.

    This magpie approach to creating narrative is worthy of note as it becomes, as I'm sure Phil will detail, Moore's primary concern over the next stage of his career. There is nothing startlingly original about a retired hero regaining his memories and powers or a masked vigilante fighting an oppressive regime, it's the style and precision of Moore's prose that makes Marvelman and V for Vendetta the game-changers they undoubtedly were.


  5. Anton B
    February 20, 2014 @ 4:55 am

    Whether it was plagiarism or not what I found particularly galling at the time of publication of Time's Arrow was not only the sycophantic attitude of literary reviewers praising his 'startlingly original concept' (the same type of reviewer who would regularly dismiss Science Fiction novels as juvenile) but also Amis's disingenuous acceptance of that praise with no acknowledgement that he had appropriated the idea from any number of possible sources.


  6. Daibhid C
    February 20, 2014 @ 8:22 am

    "SF's no good," they bellow 'til we're deaf,
    "But this looks good." "Well then, it's not SF!"
    -Martin Amis's dad


  7. Daibhid C
    February 20, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    To be fair to IPC, it is not clear they had a choice. Artist Robin Smith recalls that “Tully was one of those blokes who had this deal whereby they were entitled to have a story in so many titles,”

    The next obvious question is why? Clearly this wasn't standard procedure, so someone at IPC must have decided Tully was worth this arrangement.


  8. Robot Devil
    February 20, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    “All of Them Were Empty,” in which a siege on a American truck stop is revealed to be conducted by sentient cars wanting a fill-up, is similarly uninspiring"

    This sounds like the Stephen King short story 'Trucks', filmed as 'Maximum Overdrive". I think the original Swamp Thing artist did some art for King's Dark Tower books, which got increasingly metafictional.


  9. IG
    February 20, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

    Tully was presumably on the staff at IPC, and as the main writer of such seminal 60s/70s British comic strips as The Steel Claw and Roy of the Rovers would probably have had some clout. Certainly a lot of the stuff he wrote was a part of my own childhood, however bad some of it might turn out to be in hindsight.


  10. Carey
    February 21, 2014 @ 12:13 am

    And yet Martin's dad was a huge James Bond fan, even going so far as writing a Bond novel under a pseudonym.

    But knowing Kingsley, it was the masculinity/misogyny that appealed (the same that appalled Moore).

    I realise the point regarding plagiarism and Time's Arrow, but thought t pertinent considering the accusations directed toward Morrison from Moore.

    Phil, I know there's no such thing as a Pop between Realities for the last War in Albion, but are you going to explore the cultural impact of Alan Bleasdale's Boys from the Blackstuff and it's influence on Skizz?

    "I've got me pride"/"Gizzus a job."

    (Of course, the same exploration of cultural influence needs to be born in mind when we reach Morrison's Zenith, especially John Byrne's Tutti Frutti and Richard Wilson's manager, Eddie Clockerty.)


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