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.

7 Comments

  1. Carey
    April 10, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    One thing that does need saying regarding D.R. and Quinch is just how indebted the strip is to Alan Davis, and how I seriously doubt it would work without his art. Davis has the ability (especially this early in his career) to balance realism with pure cartooning, and this is very much in evidence in the panels you selected.

    He shared with Dave Gibbons the ability to adhere to the detail required from Moore's scripts: the central joke of the land mass spelling out expletives in the first D.R. and Quinch story is foreshadowed by Davis adding all the land mass shaped lettering throughout the strip without them either dominating, being obscured or simply looking like an artistic fudge. The gun made of soap in D.R. and Quinch Get Drafted is similarly delineated– it genuinely looked like it was carved from soap (something bloody hard to draw, and I can say that from experience)! In a lesser artist's hands it would likely look like a gun, or soap, but the ability to draw such an abstract concept benefited Moore immensely. By D.R. and Quinch Go To Hollywood you really got the idea that Moore could write what he liked and Davis would be up to the challenge. All the while drawing Captain Britain in a more realistic style, and Marvelman in a yet more photographically realistic style.

    Something that should be raised in the Last War is how Moore was incredibly lucky with his artistic collaborators, while Morrison was never always as fortunate. Moore had Davies, Gibson, Gibbons, Bissette, Totleben and Bolland drawing his DC work. For all that Morrison had Yeowell and McKean* as collaborators, he also had Truog, Case and Porter– all reasonable artists but not even approaching the same league as Moore's collaborators here. Even Moore's lesser efforts at DC, such as the Tales of the Green Lanterns or the Vigilante, had art from people such as Kevin O'Neill and Jim Baike.

    *Although some would say McKean was as much a hindrance to Arkham Asylum as anything. Dreamlike art accompanying dreamlike narrative rarely works in my opinion. I've always found Arkham Asylum lacking contrast. But I think I'm getting way ahead of the narrative here.

    Reply

  2. Daibhid C
    April 11, 2014 @ 12:22 am

    And Quitely, an artist I've never been sure about. I mean, he's good, but sometimes I think people confuse "this looks different from anything else" with "this is better than anything else".

    Reply

  3. BerserkRL
    April 12, 2014 @ 5:45 am

    Moore notes that he declined to rat out his accomplice, who he says went on to become a police officer.

    So, an argument for ratting out, then.

    Reply

  4. Alex Wilcock
    April 12, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

    A pleasure to read, and the sternest lesson surely in the sociopathic headteacher (who should have been first against the wall, etc).

    Slightly confused at the sequential critiques that it's run out of ideas by referencing itself (I blink and think of Mr Moffat?) and then that it's gone wrong by doing something different. I still find 'Hollywood' hilarious, and after the punchline that extremely rich kids can afford to be the counter-culture and literally get taken out of wars, where else more excessive could have been appropriate?

    Besides which, he was right. Prussian blue is, like, totally more stylish than cerulean blue, man.

    I was reading 2000AD weekly at the time, so I wasn't very familiar with the thinner, unistory US reprint series except from occasional forays into comic shops, but something occurs to me about them. As most of them were really naffly coloured in a way that lost all the black and white subtleties in a limited but garish range, just as Moore was writing (as Carey says) in the knowledge of Davis' talent, his scripting the distinction between two similar but distinct (and one, like, clearly totally superior) shades of blue could also be a landmine sight-gag for the inevitable reprint colorist [sic] who would splat everything in indistinguishable Air Force Blue.

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  5. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 12, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

    Well, the critique is based in a large part on the assumption that Moore, when writing in 2000 AD, is trying to emulate the satirical tradition that first drew him to the magazine. To me (and perhaps more importantly to Moore) the series steadily goes from being biting satire with a point to being cheerily socially irresponsible humor not entirely unlike The OC and Stiggs.

    But more on this next week, as it happens.

    Reply

  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 12, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

    Solid chunk on Davis to come next week, and even more in the chapter that'll start after that, which isn't quite done yet, but is shaping up to be quite a monster.

    I admit, I'm not convinced that the list of Moore collaborators is without exception stellar. In many cases, their work with Moore is their sole major work. Often, I suspect, what looks like Moore getting better artists is more accurately described as Moore being better at getting top notch work out of his artists. This is probably something I'll expand on at some length with From Hell, since Eddie Campbell just did that big companion volume where he talks about Moore's scripts, although with the whole of the Killing Joke script floating around, that could end up being a place to talk about it too. Not like there's a ton else to say about that comic.

    Reply

  7. Daru
    February 17, 2015 @ 7:09 am

    "Mind the Oranges, Marlon!"

    My mid-teens rally cry…

    Seriously, Alan Davis is simply amazing.

    Reply

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