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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. Douglas Muir
    October 7, 2021 @ 8:15 am

    “the overall aesthetic is unmistakably one of a performative transgressiveness reveling in how edgy it’s being.”


    Ennis sets my teeth on edge. There’s a real talent there. But he comes across as twisted at a deep level. Not so much the gross-out stuff as the fascination with masculinity and violence, particularly the fetishization of the Hard Man. It might not seem surprising that a Northern Irish writer should be fascinated with the Upright Man Of Violence, but it actually is kind of weird given that Ennis is obviously smart and wise enough to see that Hard Men brought abomination to Northern Ireland, over and over again.

    And yet he may be the one guy most responsible for the proliferation of Punisher skulls as an alt-right symbol across North America. Not that he ever supported it himself (I have no idea what his position is), but if there’s one writer who moved the Punisher from being a throwaway C-list character to one with visceral and lasting appeal, Ennis is the man. In one sense, it’s nothing more than what other Invasion writers did with Swamp Thing, Sandman, Animal Man et al. But nobody’s putting a Swamp Thing decal on their pickup before they go out to run down Black Lives Matter protesters.

    Again, the edgelording is grafted on to a real talent. The last thing I read of Ennis was his “Code Pru” serial in Cafe Paradiso. That’s a very slight and minor work, about EMTs working the supernatural side of town. But by damn it made me laugh out loud (the Outlander / Highlander / Terminator story. “Ah won’t be coming back.”) But of course he had to include a shit demon and some Grand Guignol body horror. By his standards it was very mild stuff, but it still made me sigh. Like… could you just /not/?

    Anyway: I did not know that Ennis and Moore were so friendly. Did they remain so?

    Doug M.


  2. Douglas Muir
    October 11, 2021 @ 8:37 am

    Also: I only just made the connection between V for Vendetta masks and Punisher decals.

    It’s quite easy to imagine a car with the latter running down people wearing the former. Not just for kids anymore!

    Doug M.


  3. Samson Balishag
    October 11, 2021 @ 10:21 am

    My intro to Ennis was his run on Hellblazer, which contained both his tendencies outlined here. I then saw a Vertigo one-shot, Heartland, with featured characters he obviously cared about which he’d used in Hellblazer and told a slice-of-life story of early Celtic Tiger-era Ireland. It was great; vanished without a ripple.

    After, every Ennis comic I read was characterized by juvenile cruelty and a raging contempt for his imagined audience of comics readers, and a fascination with hard-man asshole masculinity. This visible in Goddess and The Boys, the latter a comic I’ve barely looked at after establishing it was more of the same.

    These qualities absolutely ruined Preacher, which I finally read last year and was just the most frustrating exercise in pointlessness, completely wasting a potentially interesting premise and a handful of good character beats and ideas.

    I found the tv show of The Boys subtly changes the focus and tenor of the comic and is superior, imo.


  4. Samson Balishag
    October 11, 2021 @ 10:24 am

    Douglas Muir, I should have read your comment before posting as you stated everything I wanted to say better than I did. But I still would have commented cause I just needed to get that out. Such a talent, wasted on hateful crap.


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