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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
    June 24, 2020 @ 9:41 am

    “She did not alter its course in any definable way—at best one minor, albeit beloved Alan Moore work can be said to exist largely because she did.”

    definable != significant.

    Delano lived with Moore for several years, was intimate with him, and was almost certainly one of the most important relationships of his adult life. So she surely had some sort of influence on him. “We don’t know what influence, and probably never will” is very different from “there was none / it wasn’t important”. We should consider the frustrating but very real possibility that it was unknowable, but important anyway.

    On the flip side, “what visibility her life has extends from him. Her two books exist within the public sphere because [of Moore]. Take him out of the equation and the whole structure that grants insight into Delano’s life crumbles. As, perhaps, does her life, ended in 1981 with a single flash of misogynistic violence by her girlfriend’s jealous ex.”

    Well, how could we possibly know that? Delano might have died, sure. Or she might have remained completely obscure. Or she might have written her memoirs anyway, and had them published. Are you really taking the position that this could never have happened without her connection to Moore and Jamie Delano? Without some link to the great man, she would have surely remained mute and inglorious? Because people do get their memoirs published without being involved with Alan Moore — yes, even working class gay people.

    Which goes to another point: “He is responsible for why it is possible to discover the rich, lush tapestry of working class queer life in the 1980s”. — There are so many works about being gay in the 1980s that there is literally a wikipedia page for them. Also, millions of people who were working class and gay in the 1980s are still alive. Are you really taking the position that without Alan Moore, it would not be possible to discover anything about their lives?

    The 1980s was the first great golden age of gay publishing, with the first gay-friendly publishing houses, gay publishing lines, and gay newspapers and magazines. If I wanted to rediscover the rich, lush tapestry of working-class gay life in the 1980s, I could literally pick up some back issues of The Body Politic, the Bay Area Reporter, or Fugue. Queer people of all sorts — including working class — were writing about their lives with considerable energy and detail. If Alan Moore had never existed, it would have made very little difference to that.

    Doug M.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      June 24, 2020 @ 3:40 pm

      I’ll cop to the flaws of the line you quote towards the end—I need to be more specific about what Moore enabled, which is not a portrait of working class queerness at all, but of a very specific place and time. (One that I can confirm is not well documented as I tried to find a single photo of the Princess Royal.)

      In the more general case, however, I stand by my assessments of the probabilities. Delano’s literary work exists because of a specific community that formed around Moore. At every stage, from “who encouraged her to write” to “who published her first two books,” the answer is “someone she met through Moore.” I’m thus confident that a universe where she never met Moore would be wildly different in terms of that.

      More or less the exact opposite is true of Moore and his comics career, which really does seem to have established itself independently of Delano. Yes, you’d lose Mirror of Love. Maybe a few other changes—is Laurie’s secret parentage plot inspired by the fact that Moore’s girlfriend once found out the man who raised her wasn’t her father? Maybe! Probably Moore doesn’t even know the answer to that. But I really can’t see how you’d make the case that Delano was integral to the career as a whole.

      Ultimately there are a lot of causal links between Delano’s career and knowing Moore. There are not a lot of causal links between Moore’s and knowing Delano. Butterflies flapping their wings and all, but I reject the idea that this asymmetry is meaningless.


  2. LovecraftInBrooklyn
    June 24, 2020 @ 9:49 am

    This blog is stunning, possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been following it from the beginning. There’s so much in this one entry that I want to write a companion/connection to, like the ‘Curt Vile’ pseudonym being picked up by a musician who ended up trying into my mythology, the name stuff, fashion gothic, Velvet Goldmine.

    I am a bit surprised there’s no mention of McLaren also hiring Micheal Moorcock to do is own adaptation of The Great Rock & Roll Swindle, Gold Diggers of..some year, that has the Sex Pistols attacking London from a dirigible and brings in the Eternal Champion mythology, as Moorcock seems key to the War…


  3. CJM123
    June 27, 2020 @ 3:07 pm

    I’m late to the party, but this was an exceptional chapter. Bryan Bolland really, really isn’t acquitting himself is he?


    • Daibhid C
      July 1, 2020 @ 8:49 pm

      “What can I say that doesn’t make me seem stupid?” he asks, and a first-approximation answer would be “Not that.”


  4. Mike Rooney
    July 4, 2020 @ 12:47 pm

    Good article, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting.
    Dragon Ball Z Jacket


  5. Daru
    July 12, 2020 @ 3:44 pm

    “Elsewhere in the period he penned “Act of Faith,” a four page backup feature for Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli’s indie classic The Puma Blues.”

    Oh man, I had not figured that there would be a mention of The Puma Blues! I frequented the long-dead ‘Science Fiction Bookshop’ (which had an early mention in the War) and this goldmine of a place had superb stocks from the more indie publishers, and it was there I found this comic. damn it was such an influence for me and tbh I have not thought about it in so long – but I adore so much about this comic. I received a lot if my creative and ecological inspiration and poetic influences from it. I think I’ll go hunt it out again.

    “The most notable piece within AARGH! by far, however, is Alan Moore’s own contribution, the eight-page illustrated poem “The Mirror of Love.””
    “It is furious and beautiful all at once, its final proclamation that “I’d burn throughout eternity with you” feeling wholly and entirely earned and honest. ”

    Blimey. I can’t read those lines at the end of ‘The Mirror of Love’ without tearing up. they pierce my heart and touch so deeply on my own sense of expression of love as being queer and beyond. I found AARGH! in my early days at college, during the time of my burgeoning queer life, coming out and getting involved in activism in Scotland. Moore’s piece and others by artists like Kate Charlesworth were highlights – and even though there are problems, the book has kind of a special place in my life for having happened when it did as it punctuates my memory of marches and writing against Clause 28 and set a whole mindset in motion for me.

    El, thank you for writing what you did about the differing perspectives of sexual violence between Moore & Deborah Delano – it was really important to bring in Deborah, and her work and it was really moving for me to read. In fact because of when the key works discussed here fell at formative periods for me, this whole chapter has really touched me. Thank you.


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