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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. Eric Gimlin
    June 5, 2015 @ 11:53 am

    "the realization without which no aspect of his career or his actions during the War make the slightest bit of sense: he’s a con man."

    I of course read this a couple months ago, when the chapter came out for the Kickstarter backers. This, and the three paragraphs elaborating it, were roughly equivalent to a kick to the head. Brilliant.


  2. Chris Andersen
    June 5, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

    Years ago I remember reading a piece that might have been by either Moore or Dave Sim in which the author said that all artists are liars. It may have been in an old issue of Fantagraphics. Either way, it fits very well into what I am taking away from your work.


  3. camestrosfelapton
    June 5, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    The 11-plus is an interesting generational marker. The great shift away from the old secondary-modern/grammar school split was in the early 1970s. The shift acquired such momentum that during Margaret Thatcher's short tenure as education secretary (and probably to who everlasting horror) was the peak transition of schools from selective entry to comprehensives.
    Moore was a grammar school boy who end up writing for people who had met (briefly) a more egalitarian world.

    Of course it didn't last – the creep back to selection has drip-drip-dripped its way through British education.


  4. John Higgs
    June 6, 2015 @ 2:08 am

    This is not particulaly relevant, I admit, but Matt Smith also went to that very same Northampton grammar school.


  5. elvwood
    June 6, 2015 @ 3:51 am

    Yes, a great observation, and totally in keeping with him later choosing to worship a snake god that had historically been shown to be a con…


  6. Hobus Maguire
    June 9, 2015 @ 12:52 am

    This post takes all of the same conclusions that I have come to make about Alan Moore (and, to an even greater extent, Grant Morrison) over the last few years and wraps them all up on one eloquent post.

    Bravo, Phil!


  7. Daru
    June 9, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    I find this a brilliant place that you have reached Phil, and I'm really fascinated in seeing where the story will go from here, or especially after the "one final beat to the buildup of this mad caper".

    As far as the reference to Moore being a 'con man', I find it deepens his character for me, as well as making his work more interesting. It has been suggested and reported that figures such as the Icelandic shamans themselves often had an element of con man to their work and regularly employed sleight of hand to wow their audiences – even using techniques such as ventriloquism (which they themselves admit to) – as their work was often 'performed' for the whole (or part) community, so as well as doing whatever healing work that was needed, those watching needed to be dazzled somehow. Ronald Hutton in 'The Shamans of Siberia' says:

    "the presence of a sympathetic, admiring audience was an important component in the shaman's success. Time and again accounts portray a performance as being like an electric circuit of humanity in which the shamans provided the charge."

    Of course shamanism isn't only stage magic, and for me neither is Moore's work.


  8. Anton B
    June 10, 2015 @ 1:06 am

    Not relevant? This is psychochronography!


  9. Spoilers Below
    June 10, 2015 @ 7:41 am

    I'm reminded of a bit from Warren Ellis' Extremis arc of Iron Man. I'm paraphrasing from memory, but right before launching into a big thing about how technology and DMT are basically the same thing, Tony's old mentor Sal Kennedy talks a bit about its use by tribal cultures, and says "Do you know what their word for Shaman was? The clever fella."


  10. Anton B
    June 10, 2015 @ 1:05 pm

    'To Moore, “artist” and “con man” are in effect synonyms; it is not merely that he views himself as one, but that the idea that there might be any other way to view one’s self as an artist simply does not register.'

    I'm reminded of the quote by Robert-Houdin
    "A conjuror is an actor pretending to be a magician"


  11. Daru
    June 11, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

    Great quote, like it!


  12. Daru
    June 13, 2015 @ 8:13 am

    Yes, conjuring/ magic/ shamanism is largely about performance.


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