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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.

54 Comments

  1. Scott
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:13 am

    oh. oh my.

    I'm looking forward to this.

    Reply

  2. Multiple Ducks
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    This is going to be fun.

    In very related news, this is happening:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1288561702/alan-moore-and-mitch-jenkins-his-heavy-heart

    Reply

  3. Eric Gimlin
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:38 am

    Oh my, indeed. You've been hinting at this for a while, but it's great to see it finally start. It will be interesting to see what audience this winds up with and how it overlaps with the TE followers; I'm far more familiar with Moore & Morrison than I am with Doctor Who.

    Not much to say yet, other than to note it feels like I just got in on the ground floor of something major. Onward!

    Reply

  4. Darren K.
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:50 am

    Should we get Team Grant and Team Alan shirts made up?

    (wow. I had never noticed how underwhelming their first names were)

    Reply

  5. Multiple Ducks
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:54 am

    How about Team Bald and Team Beard?

    Reply

  6. Anton B
    June 18, 2013 @ 1:04 am

    Yes count me as inordinately excited and looking forward to this. To those already drawing up sides remember – There are no sides and in the end everyone gets what they want.

    Reply

  7. Pádraig Ó Méalóid
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:01 am

    I do like a work writ on a huge canvas! Yes, I'm hugely looking forward to seeing this progress, as I've done a little poking into these dark recesses myself. Well done for doing this.

    Reply

  8. Daibhid C
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    If I wear both T-shirts, can I be in Team Alan Grant?

    Reply

  9. overflowontology
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:47 am

    This sounds great! I've just been reading through all your old posts on magic and psychedelia and I loved The Filth. How did you get to know so much about the occult?

    Reply

  10. IG
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:50 am

    340 miles is a pretty big distance in UK terms 😉

    Reply

  11. elvwood
    June 18, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    You get to name your own team. Granted, some people might complain; but I'm sure you can do so with alan. Sorry, élan.

    (Count me in as part of Team Beard, though.)

    Reply

  12. Froborr
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:13 am

    Oh, this is exactly what I was hoping your Twitter and Tumblr hints were about!

    Alas, it seems to have broken the site formatting, at least in IE. (Yes, I know, but it's my work computer. I have no choice in the matter.)

    Reply

  13. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:22 am

    E-mail me a screenshot, would you? I'll see what I can do. I decided not to force this through plain text and lose all the italics, and I may need to abandon that.

    Anyone else having formatting issues?

    Reply

  14. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:32 am

    Well, it may take a bit to attract audience, especially since I'm running it in sporadic runs – this is more the workshopping period where we see how writing in this style works. (And it is a consciously different style of "four year sprawling critical history" than Eruditorum.)

    Reply

  15. Neo Tuxedo
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    nods We are not at war. This is a rescue mission.

    Reply

  16. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:41 am

    Thank you! Your poking has, unsurprisingly, been terribly useful in writing this – your interviews start getting quoted in the next installment. 🙂

    Reply

  17. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:42 am

    I read things Alan Moore and Grant Morrison talked about in Promethea and The Invisibles, and read past the first chapter of Disinformation's Book of Lies.

    Reply

  18. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:42 am

    You know, there was supposed to be a side comment there on that aspect, or, at least, relating it to US terms. /fixes post a bit

    Reply

  19. Theonlyspiral
    June 18, 2013 @ 6:27 am

    This looks awesome. As in inspiring of awe. I wish I had the patience to create something like this. Also you got me into the casual study of modern occultism so this is really just another step down the path.

    Question: Are people who are not publicly occultists (Gaiman for example) going to feature? One would be hard put to say that Gaiman's works haven't had magical effect regardless of intent.

    Reply

  20. Theonlyspiral
    June 18, 2013 @ 6:30 am

    Thanks for the heads up.

    And I had almost gotten the Kickstarter monkey off my back…

    Reply

  21. Froborr
    June 18, 2013 @ 6:43 am

    Sent the screenshot, but it actually appears to be a Blogger thing–my own blog is similarly messed up. (Worse, actually, probably because it's actually on Blogger instead of what I assume is a Blogger feed hosted on another site.)

    Reply

  22. Grant, the Hipster Dad
    June 18, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    "This is almost as improbable as Morrissey and Robert Smith hating each other’s guts."

    I remember some fun quotes from Smith in the late 1980s indicating that he did indeed hate Morrissey's guts, and, then, was eating meat just to spite him.

    Reply

  23. BerserkRL
    June 18, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    If I wear both T-shirts, can I be in Team Alan Grant

    Wearing two t-shirts? That would be anarky! I dredd the judgment.

    Reply

  24. encyclops
    June 18, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    Yes, I was just going to say that this must be a joke because there's absolutely nothing improbable about that at all.

    In fact, there's nothing improbable about Morrissey hating anyone's guts. Or, from what I can tell, Alan Moore hating anyone's guts.

    Reply

  25. encyclops
    June 18, 2013 @ 8:11 am

    As Morrissey sang, "I can have both" and I will. I refuse to be forced to choose between Morrison and Moore. 🙂

    That said, I'm very much looking forward to reading this project!

    Reply

  26. Josh Marsfelder
    June 18, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    Congratulations on the blog launch!

    I am, of course, massively looking forward to this being as I am fascinated with mysticism and mythology. I'm more familiar with the "old magics" then the works of Moore and Morrison themselves (well, Morrison at least: I've read quite a bit of Alan Moore both on my own and for a future project of my own). I'll be looking forward to reading this and seeing just how far you take the echoes and reverberations of the conflict 😉

    Reply

  27. Anton B
    June 18, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    Yes, a bit of double irony as Smith and Morrissey are from two very different parts of the country, both geographically and culturally. Respectively middle class green-belt Sussex in the south of England and working class grim post-industrial urban Manchester in the north.

    Reply

  28. Assad K
    June 18, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply

  29. Assad K
    June 18, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    Wearing two t-shirts? That would be anarky! I dredd the judgment.

    There oughtta be a law against such comments, and I wish I had made it first.

    And how do i put things in italics around here??

    Reply

  30. Nyq Only
    June 18, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    I can't wait to see who wins…
    1. Alan Moore – a victory for creator control (but cursed forever as his past material is rendered into bad movies)?
    2. Grant Morrison – a victory for commercial relevance (but cursed forever to be writing the canon of America's superheroes)?

    3. DC and Marvel – the war was just a plot so they could continue their duopolist control over sequential art?
    4. Neil Gaiman – he seems like a nice chap but was it all an evil plot to divide and rule?

    5. Comic book fans – seriously, how could we lose?

    Reply

  31. encyclops
    June 18, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    HTML tags (some of them, at least) seem to work.

    Italics are < i > what you want to italicize < / i > but without the spaces.

    Reply

  32. encyclops
    June 18, 2013 @ 10:07 am

    cursed forever as his past material is rendered into bad movies

    What's frustrating is that while From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were horrible, V for Vendetta and Watchmen turned out way better than anyone had a right to expect. Not perfect by any stretch — V tampers with the politics, Watchmen botches the "villain" and a few matters of taste — but anyone who's at all realistic about the movie industry has to give them some credit for not fucking up completely.

    Reply

  33. David Anderson
    June 18, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    It has been said that the fundamental difference between the US and the UK is that in the US two hundred years is a very long time, and in the UK two hundred miles is a very long way.

    Reply

  34. Daibhid C
    June 18, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    Attempts to come up with an appropriate pun on Strontium Dog. Completely fails.

    Reply

  35. BerserkRL
    June 18, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    Also, without the V4V movie I don't know whether the book would have had nearly so much influence on this sort of thing. So even though the movie deletes the anarchist message, I think it's had a beneficial result on the whole.

    Reply

  36. BerserkRL
    June 18, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    There's an analogous difference between the east and west coasts of the u.s.

    Reply

  37. Dave Simmons
    June 18, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

    When I told my wife about this post, for some reason she thought you meant Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis. I've no idea what cognitive leap led her to that, but the mental image of those two having some kind of magical rivalry over the decades amuses me. Despite them being friends, I can only picture any kind of confrontation between them involving broken bottles.

    Reply

  38. Cleofis
    June 18, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    Incredibly psyched for this, although I should like to take a minute at the beginning here to lobby that, amongst the writers not explicitly mentioned, Kieron Gillen be acknowledged in due course in this tale; between Phonogram and his Journey Into Mystery I think a case can be made.

    That aside, I think linking somehow to your previous Pop Between Realities post on The Invisibles, where the seeds for this project can first really be seen, might be a good idea, as a sort of prologue or somesuch?

    Reply

  39. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    Gillen will be acknowledged at some point. Lots of people will, really. I'm sure there will be some things missing that people will want, but the aim is to be pretty terrifyingly comprehensive.

    Reply

  40. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 18, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    Yes, Gaiman will be covered heavily, as will Warren Ellis. And many other people will be covered in varying degrees of heaviness, though with some hedging in order to ever finish. (It would, after all, be fairly easy to get sucked into covering 2000 AD for an entire year.)

    Reply

  41. BerserkRL
    June 18, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

    Kieron Gillen was great as Amy Pond.

    Reply

  42. Froborr
    June 18, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    Also, there is one straight-up excellent adaptation of Moore's work, to the point that he himself acknowledged it: the Justice League Unlimited episode "What Do You Get For the Man Who Has Everything?"

    Reply

  43. Theonlyspiral
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    It's a shame he's not more consistent in his writing.

    Reply

  44. Cleofis
    June 18, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    It seems that he always ends up with one book that seems reserved for your run-of-the-mill superhero crap and one where the real magic (if you'll pardon the expression) is happening. Uncanny X-Men and Journey Into Mystery (although his Mr. Sinister arcs for the former are amongst the best X-Men stories ever written, and generally some of the best cape comics I've read in ages), and now Iron Man and Young Avengers respectively.

    Also, odd coincidence: I was just reading a post on his tumblr earlier where he jokes about having pastiched the opening scene of Moore's From Hell at least thrice over various works, which in turn reminded me of your friend and mine Paul Cornell's hilarious tip of the hat to same in his highly underappreciated Captain Britain and MI-13 series, and then you begin to realize how heavily the influences between the British writers of note actually are. Speaking of which, I eagerly look forward to Phil's thoughts on From Hell, as it's easily the best thing Moore's ever written.

    Come to that, it'll be interesting to see this series end up finally engaging with cape comics, especially where Morrison is concerned.

    Reply

  45. Spoilers Below
    June 19, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    For those wishing to skip ahead to the end, in medias res,one can point you to the ComicComic's book club entries on the brutality and cruelty of Moore's last letter to the comics industry, Neonomicon, book and bridge burner Matt Seneca's seminal trashing of All-Star Superman and Super Gods, and Abhay Khosla's annotated evisceration of Grant Morrison's "Last Interview" about Alan Moore.

    Moore won, but it cost him his career and his prestige, reduced to a one note joke whose comics are far too full of rape to be truly worth notice, and who really ought to just get over that whole Watchmen thing. Morrison won, but it cost him his soul, his comics now soulless recitations of the same transition-less stories he was writing back at the start of his career, coupled with corporate apologia and "burying Homer so he can write The Odyssey, part 2". It is debatable whether either man realizes it, however.

    http://comicscomicsmag.com/2010/08/cccbc-alan-moores-the-courtyard-part-1.html
    http://comicscomicsmag.com/2010/10/cccbc-alan-moores-the-courtyard-part-2.html
    http://comicscomicsmag.com/2010/10/cccbc-neonomicon-nos-1-2.html
    http://comicscomicsmag.com/2011/01/cccbc-neonomicon-3.html

    http://mattseneca.blogspot.com/2012/05/1-november-16th-2005-september-17th.html
    http://mattseneca.blogspot.com/2012/05/life-on-earth-q-love-childhood-and-all.html
    http://mattseneca.blogspot.com/2012/05/life-on-earth-q-love-childhood-and-all_18.html

    http://www.tcj.com/things-dont-look-so-bright-and-chummy-round-here/ (scroll downwards, past Tucker Stone's reviews)

    Reply

  46. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 19, 2013 @ 6:28 am

    If one assumes that the nature of the war is a battle for the mainstream, then yes, it's fairly easy to demonstrate Moore's phyrric victory. Morrison more complexly, but yes, I have serious problems with his corporate apologia. Though I wonder if we've reached a new phase there, given the degree to which Morrison ultimately balked at the New 52.

    The choice of the word "Albion" is not, however, incidental. It is a little known fact that an earlier draft of Milton: A Poem did not talk about dark satanic mills, but about DC Comics, though Blake wisely reworked it to get it to scan better.

    (Mind you, Khosla is spot-on in his objections to Morrison's argument about Moore. But while Last War in Albion will deal with the gossip column aspect of this feud, it's just about the least interesting part.)

    Reply

  47. Nyq Only
    June 19, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    V4V seems like the best go at getting the feel of an Alan Moore comic. I didn't enjoy Watchmen as a movie – but I'll concede that maybe just a case of I-liked-the-book-to-much. While not on the same scale as Philip K Dick I'm reminded of his strange movie after-life in which he ended up being a prolific inspiration for movies that just aren't very like the tone, theme or spirit of his books (A scanner darkly being an exception)

    Reply

  48. eternaly relyneat
    June 19, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    Ha! Love you, Philip.

    Reply

  49. Andrew McLean
    July 6, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

    I feel that, while Khosla does make some good points about Morrison's response, there are ways in which he mischaracterises or ignores some of what Morrison wrote – Morrison did (in my opinion) make some good points himself to which Khosla is blind.

    This probably isn't the time to have that discussion, though, and as you point out it's much less interesting than looking at the work of both of these extremely talented writers. I look forward to re-experiencing the works of my two favourite comic writers through your perspective.

    Reply

  50. Jenda
    August 8, 2013 @ 1:05 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply

  51. Jenda
    August 8, 2013 @ 1:10 am

    Yeah from an Irish / UK perspective that line reads a bit strange, Liverpool and Manchester are only 33 miles apart and they hate each others guts!

    If anything, from a UK perspective, the closer you are in physical proximity to one another, the more contempt you're likely to have for one another. 😛

    Reply

  52. David Gerard
    November 23, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Not quite magic per se, but actually sort of magic per se – it's been alluded to in some places how Scientological The Ocean At The End Of The Lane was (as a somewhat unwilling expert, I had heard it was and was still somewhat shocked just how much), but it would take a far more concise writer than me to (a) demonstrate this (b) comprehensibly to someone who isn't already familiar with what I'd be comparing it to, even in a Phil-length post.

    Reply

  53. m50d
    May 26, 2014 @ 5:52 am

    Is there an RSS feed for just this project, or any other way to follow it?

    Reply

  54. Daru
    February 13, 2015 @ 12:34 am

    Over the last year and a half I have pretty much missed a lot of this (time issues), but I have speed-read a lot of it. Now I aim to catch up on old posts and get back to the present.

    Reply

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