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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.

42 Comments

  1. Carey
    July 11, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    'Even Grant Morrison, whose relationship with potential influences can be strained, defends Talbot in a 2002 interview, crediting him over Alan Moore for comics’ abandonment of thought bubbles, and defending him when the interviewer proclaims, “I don’t rate Luther Arkwright,” saying that “I just thought it was fantastic” and “I like Bryan Talbot’s work. It kinda resonated with stuff I was into.” '

    Morrison, back at he end of the 80's, also reviewed The Adventures of Luther Awkwright in an issue of a British comics fanzine: I believe it was Ark (formerly Arkensword) in an issue when contributors were invited to write about their favourite comics/biggest influences. But I have to admit my memory is hazy, and the review could have appeared in the contemporary Fantasy Advertiser or Speakeasy.

    Suffice to say Morrison uses the review to aim a dig at Alan Moore, and says Luther Awkwright is far superior to V For Vendetta.

    Once again, both writers careers mirror each other in their contributing to fanzines in the early parts of their careers: Morrison with a column in Speakeasy, Moore with one in Escape magazine.

    Their antagonism is such that sometimes I have to wonder if anyone has ever written slash fiction about Moore and Morrison?*

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  2. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 1:09 am

    I've always been puzzled by Moorcock's acceptance of Talbot (and others who picked up the Cornelius ball and ran with it) and his openly hostile rejection of Morrison. Is it simply a matter of aesthetics or did Morrison commit some deeper faux pas ? Actually both Morrison's Stargrave and Talbot's Arkwright owe as much of a debt to the original Jerry Cornelius comic strip serialised in International Times in the late sixties. Written by Moorcock but illustrated by the late Mal Dean. These can be found reproduced in the Cornelius anthology 'The New Nature of the Catastrophe'.

    Glad to see you spotlighting the Pertwee Doctor/Cornelius shared aesthetic. I suspect this was a second hand influence via The Avengers and Adam Adamant. It did amuse me when the Cornelius Anachronistic Dandy Spy trope finally filtered through and was totally embraced by mainstream culture in the form of Austin Powers.

    As to Bowie – YES! This is my world. I spent the early seventies listening to Bowie while reading Moorcock. Heady stuff. I was surprised to see, at the V&A Bowie exhibition, that his Pierrot image goes right back to the late sixties. There is a sketch by Bowie of Pierrot walking along a deserted beach with an old lady (pure Moorcock) that is part of a cover design for the 1969 'Space Oddity' single. This image finally turns up in the 1981 'Ashes to Ashes' video. Cornelius doesn't put on the Pierrot suit until 'The Condition of Muzak' published around 1976 so who influenced who here?

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  3. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 1:11 am

    The "War in Albion" is in fact the battle for who gets to be the top.

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  4. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 1:18 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 1:19 am

    "I've always been puzzled by Moorcock's acceptance of Talbot (and others who picked up the Cornelius ball and ran with it) and his openly hostile rejection of Morrison. Is it simply a matter of aesthetics or did Morrison commit some deeper faux pas ?"

    I suspect that there is something deeper than simply the work, something personal. I'm not a fan of biographical readings or even bothering much with that area, but I think Morrison is a proper huckster, someone who not only believes his press but writes it himself, and this sort of person, Morrison or anyone like him, just doesn't sit well with the beardy, woolly sort that listen to (and write) Hawkwind albums. Can you imagine Grant Morrison, outside of his teenage years, listening to Hawkwind? At his heart, Morrison is a punk, and Moorcock/Moore are into space prog.

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  6. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 2:29 am

    I agree that Morrison is a consummate huckster and self publicist in the mode of Malcolm McClaren but it is also the case that Moorcock was offered and accepted the job of adapting the screenplay of the McClaren/Sex Pistols movie 'The Great Rock n Roll Swindle' and attacked the task with relish. First published in the form of a tabloid newspaper, Moorcock's novelisation also managed to shoehorn Jerry Cornelius and his extended family into the narrative in quite a successful way; recognising the link between Punk's 'Anarchy in the U.K.' and his own time travelling Dandy Agent of Chaos. The sequence of Cornelius and Steve Jones cruising down the Thames firing rocket grenades at the Houses of Parliament is priceless. Don't make the mistake of confusing the 1960's Carnaby Street' Peace and Love' Hippies with their more anarchic Kings Road/Notting Hill 1970's iteration. Case in point – Lemmy from Hawkwind went on to form Motorhead a proto-punk/metal biker group who used to fund themselves by selling dodgy speed to the Pistols and their entourage.

    No, there's something else going on in this war and I'm hoping Doctor Sandifer the Chronogeographic Detective will uncover it.

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  7. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 3:23 am

    But wasn't Lemmy kicked out of Hawkwind for using speed, the quintessential punk drug?

    Reducing things to "punk" and "prog" isn't accurate, of course, but it is useful, I think, at least in a generational sense. I know Moore and Morrison are only six years apart in age, but those six years, when we are looking at shifts within cultures in the sixties and seventies, are huge.

    I suspect that Morrison was close enough to be seen, in some ways, as an annoying younger brother, rather than a peer or a progeny.

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  8. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 3:48 am

    I think that's arguably the persona he adopted initially to cause friction (cf. Bowie – 'All the Young Dudes' "My brother stays at home with his Beatles and his Stones. We never got it off on that revolution stuff. Such a drag. Too many snags" and John Lydon's 'I hate Pink Floyd' T-shirt) but there just isn't a clean cut-off point between Anarcho-Hippy and Anarcho-Punk (apart from trouser width and hair length) which is a useful delineator as far as comic books or indeed any literature goes. Punks were as prone to reading Moorcock and Burroughs as hippies were. It does of course shade into the whole Traditional Golden Dawn/Crowley ritual versus the 'any old pantheon will do' mix n match Chaos Magick schtick. So I agree with your point but I'd be surprised if it boils down to anything more than image-posturing and wouldn't account for the hostility between the camps.

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  9. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 4:00 am

    Oh and Phill…As we were talking about guessing what you might cover last time do I get a no-prize? –

    'Anton B July 4, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Okay then, gauntlet thrown and accepted…hope you can track down the 1971 movie of 'The Final Programme' to watch as well. It's interesting to view Jon Finch's portrayal of Cornelius as a way the Pertwee era Doctor might have been played.'

    😉

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  10. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 4:22 am

    Simply not getting along is often ignored as a reason why stuff happens or doesn't happen. People like to look for bigger, deeper reasons, but sometimes people just rub you the wrong way and that can be enough, particularly when you are dealing with people with larger than average personas and personalities. It could be that simple. Could be.

    BTW, I've started into Dancers at the End of Time, it is a hoot so far (if I can use that maybe strange phrase). Thanks for the recommendation!

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  11. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 4:31 am

    'Simply not getting along is often ignored as a reason why stuff happens or doesn't happen. '

    So true. You're welcome re Dancers at the End of Time. Are you imagining Matt Smith as Jherek?

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  12. Darren K.
    July 11, 2013 @ 4:39 am

    Oh yes. Works a treat!

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  13. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 11, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    I'm aware of the Morrison review – I mention it briefly, but could not for the life of me find it. It is in Ark, specifically in Ark #28. But I couldn't find a copy at a price that made sense given the amount I actually needed a quote from it.

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  14. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 11, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    Somehow I'd totally missed, in all my reading on the matter, that Cornelius first appeared in an IT strip. Will go track that down immediately. Bugger. Well, may be time for my first major addition to a post.

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  15. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 11, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    The No-Prize is yours!

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  16. Eric Gimlin
    July 11, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    I don't think Cornelius actually first appeared in an IT strip, but it was definitely early in the game. The strips were reprinted in the HARDCOVER edition of the New Nature of the Catastrophe; all I have is the paperback, unfortunately. (Insert general rant here how the Eternal Champion omnibus series has a total of 16 books: 14 in the British edition and 15 in the American, so neither is complete; and that's before you figure out it's missing the Cornelius novels in either edition…)

    A more general offer: these have probably already been scanned somewhere, but if you need pages for some reason I have a complete run of Daredevils, the Alan Moore issues of Mighty World of Marvel, most of the Alan Moore issues of Marvel Super-Heroes (I'm missing 391 and 392), and all of Zenith Phases 1 and 4 (and the interludes) in the original issues of 2000 AD. And, of course, a scanner. Daredevils has a LOT of Alan Moore content beyond Captain Britain and Night Raven, in particular.

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  17. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 11, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    My collection is pretty solid – I've got near complete comic works of both Moore and Morrison, and am nearing similar comprehensiveness for most of the other writers I want to cover in depth. But I appreciate the offer very much.

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  18. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    As soon as you see those strips you'll see the debt that both Morrison and Talbot owe to Mal Dean's artwork. Some of it's almost traced. I have a paperback version of 'The Nature of the Catastrophe' which includes all the strips. I can scan and email them to you if you can't track them down.

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  19. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 9:20 am

    I'll display it with pride!

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  20. Eric Gimlin
    July 11, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    According to the bibliography in the back of the paperback "The New Nature of the Catastrophe", "The Nature of the Catastrophe" only has part of the strips. Not having that edition, I don't know how complete that is.

    Excuse me while I go pound my head against a wall as I once again am amazed at just how convoluted trying to put together a complete set of the Eternal Champion and related books is. Not even counting new stories that Moorcock is still writing I keep finding out about things I missed, or editions that have stories that aren't in other editions…

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  21. Spacewarp
    July 11, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    I love "The Final Programme". Although it has it's flaws (and there are a lot of them), it's absolutely dripping with the style of it's time, and for some reason I like watching it back-to-back with the 3rd Harry Palmer film "Billion Dollar Brain".

    It's even got Hawkwind circa 1972 in it, in a literally blink-and-you-miss-it couple of frames. Look behind the roller-skate girls in the arcade when Jerry goes looking for Shades, and have your pause button handy.

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  22. C.
    July 11, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    Phil, obvs you have enough to do but it would be nice at some point (maybe at the end of the project or in the book version) to have a bibliography of sorts (like where one could find these strips now, or if they're out of print), esp. for this early, obscure material

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  23. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 11, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    When we get into in-print material my intention is to provide information on how to acquire a given comic.

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  24. BerserkRL
    July 11, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    before you figure out it's missing the Cornelius novels in either edition

    I don't think I've read any Moorcock book that doesn't hook up with the Eternal Champion mythos one way or another, so a true Eternal Champion omnibus would just be the Complete Works. Which would be fine with me.

    I keep finding out about things I missed, or editions that have stories that aren't in other editions

    I feel your pain. And add to that all the different versions of the same stories (including all the stories Moorcock has revised by renaming the main character Bek or Beck or Begg). Or the fact that the first and second Jerry Cornell [sic] books are actually the second and third Nick Allard books ….

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  25. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    Yeah my mistake, I used to have 'The Nature of The Catastrophe'in hardback published by (I think) New English Library but have since replaced it with 'The New Nature of the Catastrophe' published in paperback by Millenium. This does include ALL the Mal Dean strips plus many other illustrations by various artists and a very comprehensive Cornelius readers guide appendix.

    Collecting a full set of Moorcock is almost as impossible as achieving a full set of Doctor Who.

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  26. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    While we're talking casting 'Dancers at the End of Time'…Matt Smith as Jherek of course but Jenna Coleman as Mrs Underwood, David Starkey (Strax) as Captain Mubbers, Alex Kingston as The Iron Orchid and John Pertwee as Lord Jagged of Canaria works too.

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  27. Eric Gimlin
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    Jerry Cornell & Nick Allard? Are you talking about the sub-series with The Chinese Agent, or am I getting confused yet again?

    One of these years I need to try to put together a list of exactly what I have; it's at least 30 books and at least 18 of those are omnibus editions. The only stories I can think of that don't tie into the Eternal Champion are Mother London and King of the City. Not to mention albums by Hawkwind and songs by Blue Oyster Cult. (I assume we'll be at least briefly back here at some point with DC/ Helix/ Vertigo doing more comics written by Moorcock at the same time Morrison is working on the Invisibles.)

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  28. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    I can't find it but I'm sure I remember 'Doctor Who' getting a name check as a walk-on in a party scene in one of the Cornelius books. I recall it might have been part of one of those interminable guest lists that Moorcock was so fond of inserting into chapters. Anyone else able to track this down?

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  29. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Mother London has Joseph Kiss who could arguably be a distant relation to the Champion. Also don't the Beggs have connections to the Cornelius family?

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  30. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

    Wait of course Von Beck and Begg and Zenith the Albino detective etc etc. There's connections all over the shop. Jerry Cornell was the Harry Palmeresque anti-hero of both the 'Chinese Agent' and 'The Russian Intelligence'.

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  31. Spacewarp
    July 11, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    I think it's the Peace Talks at San Simeon in "The English Assassin", featuring another of those elements that creeps into the whole Champion mythos – the little black & white cat that harbours people's souls.

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  32. Eric Gimlin
    July 11, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    sees a comment a couple steps back
    checks Amazon

    What on earth is Luther Arkwright doing out of print!?!

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  33. BerserkRL
    July 11, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    Jerry Cornell & Nick Allard? Are you talking about the sub-series with The Chinese Agent, or am I getting confused yet again?

    See this.

    The only stories I can think of that don't tie into the Eternal Champion are Mother London and King of the City.

    Isn't Denny Dover in King of the City another avatar of Jerry Cornelius?

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  34. Kit
    July 11, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    What on earth is Luther Arkwright doing out of print!?!

    It's available in digital.

    I'd be happy to see a new print edition that takes the world balloons away again – I've never bought a collection because they're so "wrong" in the text.

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  35. Anton B
    July 11, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

    Love that cat. I recall Jerry saying its name's Tom at some point. Making 'Tom and Jerry' a meta-narrative of the balance.

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  36. Monicker
    July 12, 2013 @ 12:18 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Jonathan
    July 12, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    Where did you get the Moorcock quotes from, Phil?

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  38. Daibhid C
    July 12, 2013 @ 6:17 am

    Pirates of the Second Aether, wasn't it?

    (Runs away)

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  39. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 12, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    Couple different interviews I found online – I've got a big Evernote database full of interviews with people at this point, and a lot come from Moorcock interviews I mulched into that. A few more come from forums at multiverse.org, and one or two are from an essay on Cornelius in Elric at the End of Time. In most cases I would expect that Googling the quote will uncover the original source.

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  40. Callum Leemkuil
    July 13, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    This isn't exactly relevant, but do you think you'll talk about Thomas Pynchon as an influence on psychogeography when you get to it?

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  41. Andrew McLean
    July 16, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

    "I've always been puzzled by Moorcock's acceptance of Talbot (and others who picked up the Cornelius ball and ran with it) and his openly hostile rejection of Morrison. Is it simply a matter of aesthetics or did Morrison commit some deeper faux pas ?"

    As I recall it from when I kept up with the multiverse.org forum, it started with someone posting an out-of-context panel of Gideon Stargrave in Invisibles for Moorcock's consideration and basically saying "hey, this guy's ripping you off – what do you think of that?"

    I gather that from there Moorcock asked Alan Moore what he thought of this Grant Morrison guy and received some dismissive comment to the effect that Morrison frequently ripped off Moore's work. This seems to have cemented Morrison in Moorcock's mind as nothing more than a literary thief.

    As far as I can recall from Moorcock's own statements, he has never read any of Morrison's work, being content to form his opinion based on what trusted friends have told him. This is a shame, as I would like to know what Moorcock would have thought of Invisibles if his attention hadn't been drawn to it in such a combative manner.

    (Apart from the initial Multiverse post, which has since been lost due to a total crash and reboot of the website, this information is drawn from interviews with both Moore and Moorcock which I read at least a decade ago – as a consequence I may have misremembered some aspects. Apologies for the lack of more detailed references.)

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  42. Alexander Caroline
    September 15, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    I am also agree that Morrison is a consummate huckster and self publicist in the mode of Malcolm McClaren,Tesla and Elon Musk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrzMdoKPPaA

    Reply

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