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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. Alan
    June 12, 2014 @ 1:16 am

    I don't read Marvel anymore (I quit after Civil War), but I do try to stay abreast of their big storylines. From the wiki plot summary, Original Sin looks like it may be the dumbest, most incoherent thing Marvel has put out in recent memory. Your thoughts?


  2. Nick Smale
    June 12, 2014 @ 2:24 am

    Seriously, there's a comic called "New Avengers" and it's not about Steed, Purdey and Gambit? Disappointing.


  3. Andre Salles
    June 12, 2014 @ 3:22 am

    Interesting that your better week for non-Marvel things includes one non-Marvel book you bought and one sent to you as a review copy. You're a Marvel kid, Phil, and that definitely surprises me.


  4. Kit
    June 12, 2014 @ 4:26 am

    From his writing, Phil appears to almost exclusively prefer assembly-line comics to comics by single cartoonists, and he obviously also enjoys shared worlds; so when he's buying current American comics they're extremely likely to lean towards two publishers. His writing also shows a huge preference for, within these tastes and across media, stories that can be attributed to ~a writer~. The other publisher presently, under Didio & Nelson, actively discourages this latter trait – in both authors and audiences.


  5. Carey
    June 12, 2014 @ 7:14 am

    Dumb, certainly, but only if followed by the word fun. primarily worth checking out for reusing Oubliette and Dr Midas from Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy; and having the Mindless Ones gain sentience, quote Gertrude Stein and attempt suicide via the Ultimate Nulifier.

    It's not brilliant, and let down primarily for the current vogue for dismemberment, but when one of your villains has a giant eyeball for a head you know it's not for taking seriously.


  6. Tom
    June 12, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    The comic it reminds me most of – in a very compressed way – is DC's 52 weekly from 2006, where part of the aim seemed to be a shaggy dog travelogue of the wackiest areas of a fictional universe. Where Original Sin is fun it's fun in a similar "embrace the strange" way – The Orb, the Mindless Ones, Ego the Living Planet, Oubliette, lots of cool creations you don't always see much of. And come to think of it, where OS isn't fun is in its wayward tone – cosmic weirdness one page, dismemberment the next – which it also shares with 52, though that was a function of the four-writer setup.

    Marvel is an old universe now, it's older than DC was when Crisis came out, and it's had a lot more comics consciously published 'within' its shared boundaries – it's no surprise there's a generation of writers keen to use all that stuff as a playground (particularly as there's zero commercial percentage in contributing much that's new). In a way it's a surprise we haven't seen an event series take the weird romp approach before – but then this is really the first one since House Of M not to be obviously driven by the universal metaplot. Though it is also very much the kind of crossover that fits the All-New phase of Marvel Now, where broad cross-universe themes have been replaced by gleeful bets on a diversity of storytelling styles (and the one stab at a universal metaplot – Inhumanity – looks from the outside something of a personnel and scheduling trainwreck). Here you get all that confusion and tonal shifting in one giddy, messy comic.


  7. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 12, 2014 @ 11:10 am

    I think calling United States of Murder Inc. a Marvel book is ultimately unhelpful in this context – notably the word "Marvel" appears nowhere on it. It's not a book that being a Marvel fan is ultimately going to affect one's preference on – I similarly don't tend to think of Vertigo books as DC, or, at least, I didn't while Vertigo was still a remotely vibrant line.

    More broadly, I don't really pick up licensed properties, so a wealth of publishers just fall through for me: IDW, for instance, may put out some great stuff, but I'm never going to pick up the Angry Birds comic, nor even the Transformers comic.

    So most of what I pull is Marvel or Image, and Marvel get some extra sales through a combination of usually putting out 50-100% more books a week than Image and the fact that the shared universe can cause me to buy a book out of fondness for characters (Original Sins for the Young Avengers) or out of grudging concession to the realities of the shared universe (Original Sin itself).

    For the most part, I buy for writers. I was buying more DC a few years ago, but a few years ago DC was publishing comics by Grant Morrison and Greg Rucka. Now I buy a lot more Marvel, and notably, Marvel is publishing comics by Greg Rucka, Kieron Gillen, G Willow Wilson, and Warren Ellis, all of whom I would buy on any property whatsoever. If you put Scott Lobdell, Tony Bedard, and Peter Tomasi on Marvel books and Jonathan Hickman, Brian Michael Bendis, and Kieron Gillen on DC ones, I'd be buying DC again. And notably, those are all writers I excitedly follow to their indie books, regardless of publisher. (Although I confess I have no idea what the hell is going on in East of West – at this point I buy it because Jill reads it.)


  8. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 12, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Someone pointed out that it is a comic that's unusually well-designed for the purposes of having a crossover. Its main hook – big secrets come out – is one that can be integrated into any ongoing title without rancor. It doesn't screw up anyone's storytelling meaningfully, because "a secret is revealed" is such a useful plot beat. Which is a good point, I think.


  9. Chicanery
    June 12, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    There was an Avengers comic published in 2012/3 called Steed and Mrs. Peel. No idea if it was any good, but Mark Waid did the first four issues and he's usually excellent.


  10. timber-munki
    June 13, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Must admit Hickman's Marvel work hasn't impressed me, drifted away from his Secret Warriors & Fantastic Four runs and haven't bothered with his Avengers work either. I love his work with Image, especially Manhattan Projects. East Of West is intriguing enough to keep reading for the world-building, and it helps having Nick Dragotta's art work.

    Have to agree with you about Uber and Avatar's output. Personally I would prefer if they went for a more primitive/punk aesthetic rather than the shiny over-coloured style. I'm uncomfortable criticising the art work but it takes me completely out of the story if you're drawing very famous real life people and they are obviously 'off-model' so to speak.


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