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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. CJM123
    May 26, 2020 @ 11:54 am

    Hard to tell who comes off worse in Before Watchmen. Wein might be deluded, but he seems genuinely deluded-convinced that DC is an unequivocal force for good, so therefore DC’s philosophy must be good, so therefore Wein can truly consider himself to be a major part of Watchmen. Straczynski just comes across a hypocrite working for a project that he must have been financially able to turn down. How does a former TV showrunner with a bunch of creator-owned comics decide it’s a good idea to work on a dodgy, poorly-managed set of prequels to a work that could never possibly need them, and then produce nothing of value?

    The actual issue was very good. Loved learning about something I didn’t realise I didn’t actually know about. And the panels match so perfectly. Only question I have is where Twilight of the Superheroes fits into this, seeming that it’s hard to imagine Moore ever pitching a crossover, but then again, there’s still quite a few chapters left to read.


    • Tom B
      May 26, 2020 @ 6:07 pm

      The glib answer to how they got Straczynski to work on the sequels probably was that he had already been around DC doing the Superman Grounded storyline, so had been doing work for hire for DC already. It doesn’t explain why he thought he should do Watchmen though or why he didn’t do better with it. Then again, his previous work for hire comics at DC didn’t set the world on fire either. Given the history of Alan Moore and the Watchmen though, and how Straczynski himself had been treated eventually on the Spiderman title, it’s surprising he didn’t have second thoughts about doing any Watchmen prequels.


      • CJM123
        May 26, 2020 @ 6:31 pm

        Yeah, I’m not surprised DC let a respected(ish) writer onto the project. Certainly he was the only one of the writers to have a similar level of fame to Alan Moore outside the comics sphere. Just have no idea why he’d take the job, especially since even in nakedly careerist terms, it was a bad move that got the writers involved (apart from Cooke and Connor) worse reputations.

        That’s the silly thing about the project. You can see why DC thought it was a good idea, but almost every writer should be able to see that it was a bad move for them. Whilst everyone else was in the tough position of probably needing work, and possibly having bad contracts, JMS had no reason to get involved.


  2. Tom B
    May 26, 2020 @ 5:57 pm

    Good article/chapter.

    “Moore’s run on Swamp Thing was followed smoothly by Rich Veitch taking over the writing while continuing on art, creating an easy transition and remaining in the same basic style.”

    In hindsight it seems amusing to say that Veitch taking over writing as well as continuing artwork was smooth, considering the troubles that Veitch himself ran into with DC that caused him to leave DC without finishing his time travel arc. It might also be worth a note that Veitch was the artist on Miracleman #9, that caused all of Buddy Saunder’s conniption fits. It might be that Veitch was ultimately seen as being tainted by Moore, even though they kept him going on the series at the start.


  3. Roy
    May 27, 2020 @ 1:54 am

    “Straczynski casually overlooks the fact that the characters in Lost Girls and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were all in the public domain”

    This isn’t entirely true though. Black Dossier included at least versions of James Bond and Big Brother, neither of which was even arguably in the public domain. Sure, he writes them with just enough vagueness to stay on the safe side of a copyright infringement lawsuit but also with enough concreteness to complicate his own moral line between using public domain and protected characters.


    • D.N.
      May 28, 2020 @ 10:58 am

      But surely Moore’s use of pre-existing literary characters in Lost Girls and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is mitigated by the fact these works aren’t marketed as official “sequels” to the books these characters came from, nor would anybody take them as such. I don’t think it’s comparable to DC flogging official prequels and sequels to Watchmen.


      • Roy
        May 28, 2020 @ 7:03 pm

        D.N., I agree with you that it isn’t comparable, but it also isn’t exactly the same thing as using purely public domain characters.


  4. LovecraftInBrooklyn
    May 27, 2020 @ 9:11 am

    Reverberations of the War: Len Wein, Dave McKean, Grant Morrison at a panel at the Sydney Opera House. Len Wein talks about Hugh Jackman thanking him for creating Wolverine and giving him tickets to his broadway show. Gerard Way, Morrison’s acolyte, more famous then the rest of the War’s participants combined, hovers around the tiny room, standing on the balcony and watching the Sydney Harbour.

    A recent African sci-fi novel describes a Watchmen smiley mug without naming it.


  5. LovecraftInBrooklyn
    May 27, 2020 @ 9:45 am

    I have angrily argued that anyone reading Before Watchmen or seeing the tv show is an enemy of art. People call Moore, and me, crazy for arguing a principled stand.


    • (Not That) Jack
      May 29, 2020 @ 2:38 am

      I’m just gonna suggest that maybe exercising in extreme hyperbole over a relatively unimportant issue in the greater scheme of things might be why people would think you’re crazy. Assuming they actually would at all. Lighten up, Francis.


  6. Daru
    July 4, 2020 @ 1:30 pm

    I read one issue of the Before Watchmen: Ozymandius and found it utterly banal. I had paid so little attention to it that I had not noted that Straczynski had written it ! (I never paid money for it by the way – a friend had bought it for me as a gift thinking I would like it!)


  7. fredkuney
    November 23, 2020 @ 9:17 pm



  8. fwerfwe
    November 23, 2020 @ 9:21 pm



  9. fredkuney
    November 23, 2020 @ 9:22 pm


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