Eruditorum Press

That’s not the voice of god, that’s just a ring modulator

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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.

22 Comments

  1. Eric Gimlin
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:24 am

    I wish I could remember where I saw the quote, I seem to recall Alan Moore once saying something along the lines that he made a point of burning bridges when he walked away from something, so his later, more reasonable self couldn't change his mind and go back later. Walking away from Doctor Who differs from that in that he didn't (then) burn bridges with the company. (Then again, it seems like Marvel has spent a good part of the last two decades trying to get back in Moore's good graces- and to some degree succeeding, in that he's at least allowing reprints of his stuff.)

    Just the existence of UK created stories in Empire Strikes Back Monthly seems odd. I remember a mention of the UK stories at some point in the US Star Wars comic's letter page (or maybe Bullpen Bulletins), saying that new material had to be created because, unlike most of the Marvel universe reprint series, there wasn't years of backlog to fit the weekly schedule in the UK. But if the series had dropped to monthly, the need for original material should have faded as well. And if the reason for the frequency change was poor sales, then commissioning new material doesn't really make sense either. I suppose it's not impossible Marvel UK was just cutting down on their number of weekly books around then; given that Doctor Who went to monthly as well and I think it's roughly around then that Mighty World of Marvel became Marvel Super-Heroes and went to weekly as well. (It wasn't an outright end of weekly titles; Spider-Man and Zoids was weekly a few years later- and another important front in the war.)

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  2. matt bracher
    December 13, 2013 @ 3:29 am

    The "Wild Space" omnibus from Dark Horse Comics contains these UK-only stories in their entirety, where those that made it to the States were usually chopped up to reformat them as novel-sized volumes.

    A fascinating, and much of the time fun, read.

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  3. matt bracher
    December 13, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    I'm curious about the delay due to lack of images.

    The pictures have often increased comprehension for me, from an era where I know little of the people or titles.

    What are the reasons that they're omitted from the ebooks?

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  4. Jordan Murphy
    December 13, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    Great cliffhanger ending to this installment. I could almost the scream sting in my head.

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  5. Eric Gimlin
    December 13, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Hmm, that looks like it could be a fun volume. My oldest original owner comic is Star Wars #21, from when I was 7; I've long ago stopped caring about the movies for the most part but still have a fondness for the comic. I did very recently pick up the two Devilworlds issues reprinting the Moore material, though.

    I may be wrong, but I think this about the only point where Dark Horse actually publishes (or even reprints) anything by Alan Moore. They seem to avoid the British Invasion quite thoroughly, with only a few adaptations of Neil Gaiman short stories coming to mind. (I'm probably missing something obvious…)

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  6. BerserkRL
    December 13, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    I remember that comic — my first clue that the upcoming film "STAR WARS" I'd seen a handmade sign for at the movie theatre was going to be science fiction rather than about Hollywood stars.

    And I remember puzzling over the cover: Vader in green (and with his mask wrong, looking like a WWI aviator), Han in beigey-orange, Leia in black (with red hair and, for some reason, closed eyes), and Luke and Ben with red lightsabres. These errors were only on the cover, not in the inside art.

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  7. BerserkRL
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    I also remember picking up the novel and thinking "wow, for a movie director this George Lucas guy writes pretty well; he writes just like Alan Dean Foster." Which, it later transpired, was just the right name to think of.

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  8. BerserkRL
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    The Empire Strikes Back Weekly (later The Empire Strikes Back Monthly)

    The joke writes itself.

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  9. BerserkRL
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    I would guess it's because fair use arguments are regarded as weakened when the product is sold than when it's offered for free.

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  10. matt bracher
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Which makes sense… I can just think of so many things — granted, before digital — where it wasn't an issue.

    I'd interpret this more as a scholarly work, where occasional illustrations are necessary to supplement the text. Oh well.

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  11. Daibhid C
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    This highlights the second interesting part of the dispute, which is the nature of the objection. It is manifestly not that McKenzie was using Steve Moore’s characters without his permission. Steve Moore was well aware that he didn’t own Daak or his fellow Star Tigers.

    But … but all disputes between creators and comic book companies must be about character ownership and creator rights! And if Alan Moore's involved they must be even more about it!

    This is a key facet in Moore’s disputes, and one that is often lost on his critics. Moore rarely objects to specific practices so much as he objects to people who change the rules on him when he feels he’s upheld his side of a bargain.

    As the above sarcasm is intended to convey, it's occasionally been lost on some of his supporters as well…

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  12. matt bracher
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    In elementary school we had the occasional book fair, and one time the novelization was part of the collection. Of course it went on my purchase list. My best friend, though… his mother didn't believe it existed. Which, in a way, it didn't — I, who took at face value the author's name, was mightily surprised to find out that it was Foster's work instead.

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  13. Daibhid C
    December 13, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    Locally-written backup strips in the media-franchise titles was just what Marvel UK did — they did the same thing with Transformers (Simon Furman – who was eventually hired to write the US book), and I think The Real Ghostbusters ran for several years before they reprinted any American comics.

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  14. BerserkRL
    December 13, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    Part of the problem with copyright law, even if the basic principle were justified (as I don't think it is), is that there are few predictable guidelines for fair use. People just have to take their best guess as to what will hold up in court.

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  15. Eric Gimlin
    December 13, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    I know who Simon Furman is; I actually found out after winning the auction that he was the one selling one of the issues of DAREDEVILS I have. I know the UK did the new stories in media tie-in titles, but I thought that was normally because they didn't have the backlog from the US to maintain their output. I suppose it's entirely possible that's why it started but it became standard after a while. Empire Strikes Back came out after the UK produced Hulk Comic, so they had definitely reached the point where they were producing more material on their own.

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  16. Dan Abel
    December 14, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    Yes, transformers quickly ran out of material, between the mini-series and the series proper if i recall correctly – it was a long time ago. I always assumed a lot of the production of local material post Dez Skinn was for those reasons.

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  17. Iain Coleman
    December 14, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

    The actual influence of Joseph Campbell upon Star Wars is greatly exaggerated, not least by George Lucas himself.

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  18. Matthew Blanchette
    December 14, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    Quite correct; for more info, I suggest you look up (or, indeed, purchase) The Secret History of Star Wars, by Michael Kaminski, because it's invaluable on that topic and many others.

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  19. Matthew Blanchette
    December 14, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    I'm very glad to own an omnibus reprint copy of the original films' novelizations, because it's invaluable to getting some measure of what the films may have been like before cutting.

    For instance… George Lucas worked very closely with Alan Dean Foster in providing him story-related information for his novelization, because if Star Wars didn't work out (and there was every chance, before release, of that being the case), then the Star Wars universe was going to continue on in a trilogy of books by Foster, with Star Wars being the first and Splinter of the Mind's Eye, also written by Foster with input from Lucas, being the second.

    The third book, obviously, never got written due to the massive success of the first film creating need for a bigger, more expensive sequel than what Splinter of the Mind's Eye could offer, but Foster's closeness to Lucas in the 1975-78 period subsequently resulted in story information that could not have fitted into the original film going into the novelization; for instance, the first time the Emperor's name, Palpatine, was used in print was in Foster's novelization.

    Scores of scenes deleted from the film also made their way into the novelization, but the most important thing to note is that, when Foster wrote the novelization, he was working from a version of the film somewhat different from what was released — the release version of Star Wars had been DRASTICALLY (and I emphasize that word) re-edited from its original cut, and, indeed, the original screenplay, by a team of editors including Lucas's wife.

    The novelization, therefore, shows us a Star Wars that might have been.

    The other two novelizations don't have as many drastic differences, though deleted scenes still wind up appearing in each. It took another thirty years for the actual footage from those scenes to see the light of day… so that, like the Target novelisations of Doctor Who, they preserved the potentiality of those versions in the imaginations of its readers; a potentiality that otherwise might have been lost, with no one awaiting its rediscovery.

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  20. Iain Coleman
    December 14, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    That is indeed my source, and I second your recommendation.

    Reply

  21. Matthew Blanchette
    December 14, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Bravo, my good man! Excellent source, no? 🙂

    Reply

  22. David Weir
    January 25, 2021 @ 3:37 pm

    Cover to The Empire Strikes Back Monthly #151 is by David Lloyd. His signature can be seen to the left of the cover.

    Reply

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