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.

5 Comments

  1. ttf_fydofp
    March 29, 2021 @ 6:26 am

    Sorry if you have already answered that question, but I wondered if you had definitively finished with the V for Vendetta section of the Last War in Albion or if it has been split in two part like Marvel/Miracleman.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      March 29, 2021 @ 12:57 pm

      I’ll be doing the DC years, as it were, in Book Three when it transitions back to Moore.

      Reply

  2. CJM123
    March 30, 2021 @ 6:34 am

    The fate of the scientist in ANIMAL MAN 4 was one of the most terrifying things I’d read at age 12 when I read it. Something about it still unnerves me in a way Swamp Thing doesn’t, even though that was the horror comic.

    (PS. Loving the Blake atop the website!)

    Reply

  3. Douglas Muir
    March 31, 2021 @ 11:42 am

    One thing I remember about this: the lurid descriptions of feverish illness. Those would be a Morrison staple for years to come. The Morrisonian rhythm of language is also already on full display; i.e., compare the description of the screaming to the opening page of Justice League #4, written ten years later. (“Alarm bells, sirens, ringing… he can hear them.”)

    But anyway: I’m going to push back a little on Chuck Truog. You describe him as “a relatively inexperienced artist who, while never objectionable, was also far from destined for bigger things.” That’s… kinda dismissive.

    To be fair, lots of people have dismissed Chuck Truog! Inker Mark Farmer famously said, “I was a little bit arrogant and vain in thinking I could make Chas Truog’s artwork look better than it had before. I failed, I now admit.” Few people are on record as saying this run had amazing art. And, yeah… mullets. Truog had a thing for mullets, it’s true.

    But Truog’s art was actually a really good match for the series! He drew wide-eyed faces that were great for showing awe, puzzlement or horror. He wasn’t great at action scenes… but this wasn’t a comic with a lot of action scenes. He /was/ good at showing emotion through posture and expression, thereby keeping exposition scenes interesting — and this run had a lot of exposition scenes. And his somewhat cartoony, Sunday-morning-comics line helped subtly sell the idea that this was not an ordinary superhero comic — that it was about something other than costumed guys punching each other.

    Consider this series’ single most famous panel. Now imagine “I CAN SEE YOU!” done by (let’s say) Totleben or Bissette. It wouldn’t work! The cartoony simplicity of Truog’s line is exactly what sells it.

    Also, Truog’s art got steadily better over the course of the series. It’s not that impressive in the first four issues — scenes that should be horrific are merely descriptive, and overall it’s somewhat meh. But Truog’s art, like Morrison’s writing, really starts to stretch in issue five. The splash panel, with the desert sun like a halo around Crafty’s head, and his wild, pin-pupiled eyes, and the circling vultures? Or that little lump in Toon-Crafty’s throat when he petitions God? That’s some good stuff.

    Also-also, say what you like, but Truog’s layouts were always solid and often excellent, especially in the later issues. Look what he does with panel shapes and panel borders, or with repetition of panels, or with gutter breaks. It’s not in-your-face, but it’s very competent craftsmanship.

    (Honestly, I think Truog suffered in part because of those amazing Brian Bolland covers. Those things were so damn good! And then you’d open the issue and there’d be this seemingly simplistic, kind of cartoonish art. With mullets. Brian Bolland: just a hard act to follow.)

    Finally, WRT Truog as a “relatively inexperienced artist”: that’s true, but he was already well past the journeyman stage. He had been the main artist on Steve Englehart’s “Coyote” for some time, and his work had been well received. (Coyote is one of those Eighties indy comics that are barely remembered now but really seemed groundbreaking at the time.) Truog was a bit like Morrison himself: an eccentric young talent, with limited experience but a lot of potential promise, worth taking a flyer on.

    As to “far from destined for bigger things”… well, it’s true that Truog gradually drifted away from comics. After Animal Man, he did some issues and short runs here and there, but by the turn of the century he’d mostly left the industry. Animal Man remains by far his largest single body of work. But he has gone on to have a perfectly okay career as a commercial artist, painting and sculpting. His online footprint is pretty limited, but as far as I can tell, he seems to be doing just fine.

    Doug M.

    Reply

  4. Daru
    April 12, 2021 @ 5:19 am

    I do, I realise have quite a few of the issues of Morrison’s Animal Man, but not (for some reason) got into reading them yet. I’m sure I will now! I found too, the covers by Brian Bolland very striking and they were probably a good sell for the comic.

    Reply

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