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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
    January 8, 2016 @ 10:32 am

    I’ve got nothing to add other than that was brilliant. Thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning.


  2. Evan Forman
    January 8, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    “Oh, shit. He isn’t actually- He is, he’s doing this. Oh, shit.” – me, reading the first sentence. Two sentences of that reaction could be applied to the last sentence as well. How fearfully symmetrical.


  3. Evan Forman
    January 8, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    “Oh, shit. He isn’t actually- He is, he’s doing this. Oh, shit.” – me, reading the first sentence. Two of those previous sentences could be applied to the last sentence as well. How fearfully symmetrical.


  4. Chris
    January 8, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

    Bravo, Phil. Bravo!


  5. Sean Dillon
    January 8, 2016 @ 2:44 pm

    I think the most interesting part is the moment you realize the panels are deliberately out of order. It took me looking into the copy of Watchmen I have to notice this, though I think it’ll be more obvious in the collected form.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      January 8, 2016 @ 7:57 pm

      Originally I wrote it with issue chronology but not Moore’s life chronology, and it just felt shapeless and messy. Wasn’t until this week that I finally realized the order I should be doing it in and edited.

      (This is a non-zero part of why this chapter was delayed.)


  6. Al Martorano
    January 8, 2016 @ 5:54 pm

    I think Wein has something of a point on Moore’s “Before Watchmen” stance, although saying he never would have had a career at all might be a bit of an overstatement. I really, really love the “Last War in Albion” essays, they’re the reason I first read Moore’s Swamp Thing, which I instantly fell in love with. Thanks again for another awesome installment, Phil. Can’t wait for more.


    • Devin
      January 9, 2016 @ 8:52 am

      Well, let’s be clear: Moore could have done a lot more than he did to stop Before Watchmen. What he in fact did was say, in essence, “Go ahead and do what you’re gonna do, but make no mistake: I hate it.” He didn’t sue, he didn’t make any effort to tie up any aspect of the project or apply any leverage against it, he didn’t take out ads urging his fans to boycott the book, and he certainly could have attempted those things. (Hell, I don’t even recall him suggesting in interviews that he thought you shouldn’t buy it, just that he thought it wasn’t real Watchmen, definitely wasn’t real Moore, and probably wasn’t very good.)

      So in this context, since Moore had options to try and stop the project* and chose not to use them, “if I’d had Moore’s attitude towards the book” seems to me to mean that Wein would told his friends how sad he was to see the book in other hands, while otherwise acting as an editor in the best interests of his employer: to wit, calling Moore and offering him the book.

      *Sure, DC’s rights are on pretty solid ground. But he could make it a lot harder, and he might have options if he wanted to fight dirty enough. And by the same token, it’s not clear that Len Wein having a sudden change of heart in early 1983 would have prevented some other editor at DC from calling and offering Moore a different book. Or, for that matter, that it would have meant anything other than DC moving Swamp Thing to a different editor and having them call Moore.


  7. Mark Pontin
    January 9, 2016 @ 12:36 am

    Good job, Mr. Sandifer.


  8. Anton B
    January 9, 2016 @ 11:08 am

    Nicely done. A clockwork homage with a cliffhanger.
    Nitpick – I think it was probably Geat Yarmouth not Yarmouth where young Alan took his seaside hols. Great Yarmouth is a traditional holiday town on the Norfolk coast, not too far from Moore’s home in Northampton. Yarmouth is a port and harbour much further to the south on the Isle of Wight.


  9. Daru
    January 9, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    Brilliant Phil, just brilliant. I felt like Evan above – “oh my he’s actually doing it!”

    Bringing us all the way back to the table in the restaurant with Moore and Morrison, lovely stuff. Love the allusion to Blake in the last panel too, and the way the two protagonists felt woven into Watchmen suddenly.


  10. Camestros Felapton
    January 10, 2016 @ 6:33 pm



  11. Danny Johnson
    January 21, 2016 @ 10:05 am

    I have an old Comics Journal interview where Moore talks about the intent or intention behind Watchmen. He mentioned an anthropologist who said “the society that faces extinction is the society that has forgotten fear.” Then he said “the intention behind Watchmen was to make everyone (especially in America) a little bit uneasy.”
    I think he was trying to scare the world away from acceptance of the cold war mutual assured destruction status quo much like Kubrick was with Dr. Strangelove.
    Of course there were many, many other motivations behind the work. That would just be one theme in the work. There’s also the Who Watches the Watchmen? question that hangs over the story and mark his consistent questioning of government power in the form of the military and intelligence communities undemocratic power over our lives.


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