Eruditorum Press

The struggle in terms of the strange

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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.

23 Comments

  1. Anton B
    June 1, 2012 @ 2:04 am

    I agree, Good though these comics undeniably are they don't actually need the Doctor in them and arguably might be improved by not having him there. This, plus that fact that it's not even a rendition of the Doctor's character that we know. Yes Ridgeway gets the costume right and even manages to make it work but the Doctor, despite what JNT seemed to believe, is not just a 'costume' that has 'adventures'. As you point out Parkhouse had very little to go on regarding how Colin Baker would play the role and so creates what in retrospect is a rather jarringly well balanced and thoughtful Sixth Doctor, which has the odd retrospective effect of rendering Baker's subsequent onscreen portrayal even less enjoyable than if you haven't read the comic. (See also the ret-conned 'blue coat' sixth Doctor).

    Anyway what I wanted to say was the two lines that I loved in this post were –

    'The Grant Morrison ones will get a look when we cover The Invisibles, which will be next year'

    Really looking forward to that!

    and the sheer poetry of

    'The mid-80s were a heyday of demented Narnias.'

    Yes, yes they were.

    Reply

  2. Matt Sharp
    June 1, 2012 @ 2:38 am

    'Ridgeway'

    That's 'Ridgway'.

    People seem compelled to add an extra 'e' onto my name as well, I don't know why.

    I blame Sean Bean.

    Reply

  3. Kit
    June 1, 2012 @ 5:17 am

    Also, he has a first name: John.

    Reply

  4. Iain Coleman
    June 1, 2012 @ 5:56 am

    Generic Doctor is preferable to Arsehole Doctor, which is what was on screen at the time. It is also nice to have an entertaining companion with some degree of agency and personality.

    Another welcome aspect of the comic medium is that it allows a visual landscape and colour palette in which That Coat can make some kind of sense.

    Reply

  5. daibhid-c
    June 1, 2012 @ 6:52 am

    Or, better yet, can be uncoloured so we don't have to look at That Coat at all 8-).

    Reply

  6. BerserkRL
    June 1, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    takes the beloved Wizard of Oz and makes a horrifically dark and creepy movie out of it

    Which just means it was more faithful to the books. I never much liked the original movie, because I'd been spoiled by the books. (I never liked the first book as much as the later ones either — partly because I was charmed by Neill but bored by Denslow. I appreciate Denslow now more than I did as a kid, but still prefer Neill.)

    Reply

  7. Russell Gillenwater
    June 1, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    However, in the demented world that the Voyager saga takes place in the coat fits in rather well. Oh, while good points were made about the Voyager saga, I still love this series.

    Reply

  8. Henry R. Kujawa
    June 1, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    BerserkRL:
    "I never much liked the original movie, because I'd been spoiled by the books."

    You know, the funny thing most people are completely unaware of is, there were probably dozens of "OZ" movies made before the MGM one with Judy Garland. I saw one or two of the silent ones on TCM. Some were pretty bizarre, and had far less to do with the books than MGM's! But MGM's is like Lugosi's DRACULA, Karloff's FRANKENSTEIN, Rathbone's HOLMES, and (God help us) Weismuller's TARZAN. It's the only one most people know, so to them, it's the "real" one.

    I wonder how many people consider Disney's PETER PAN "the real one"? We never did in my house, as for some reason my Dad refused to ever take me to see it, and after I went myself (around age 29) and bought the tape, he still refused to see it. Then, after asking to watch the Mary Martin stage play again, had the nerve to complain to me afterward with the simple exasperated statement… "It's– for KIDS!!!" (What did he expect?)

    I mention that because Disney's tried to follow MGM's "OZ" by having the ending try to make it seem the whole story never happened, but was all a dream. I think kids HATE that sort of thing. When you're a kid and your imagination can still run riot, the last thing you want is to have a wonderful fantasy adventure world and suddenly be told IT'S NOT REAL.

    I must re-read those WHO comics some day. I must admit, I preferred the Dave Gibbons-Tom Baker ones. They seemed to capture the character better.

    Personally, my favorite Steve Parkhouse comic remains NICK FURY #12 (May'69), "Hell Hath No Fury", art by Barry Smith. It was the one post-Steranko issue to really try to recapture what was lost when he jumped ship, focus again on the cast of characters, and bring back Hydra as a recurring menace. Damn shame Smith got kicked out of the country by Immigration, the remaining parts of the story were an almost total disconnect from part 1– evev more that "THE ULTIMATE FOE" was between Parts 1 & 2.

    Hey, does a videotape of Bonnie Langford's PETER PAN exist anywhere? I'd love to see THAT!

    Reply

  9. BerserkRL
    June 1, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    You know, the funny thing most people are completely unaware of is, there were probably dozens of "OZ" movies made before the MGM one

    Yeah, that thought ran through my mind as I wrote "the original movie."

    Likewise people don't usually remember that the famous version of The Maltese Falcon was not only a remake, but the second remake. (The lead in the first remake was oddly reminiscent, for me, of Tom Baker as the Doctor.)

    I agree on the all-a-dream ending; such endings are nearly always a cop-out.

    Reply

  10. Eric Gimlin
    June 1, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    I think part of the problem with Denslow is that his art was incredibly tied to the physical layout of the book, but after the earliest editions they just used it at semi-random. I still prefer Neill's version by miles, but seeing the Annotated Wizard of Oz restore the Denslow art to something resembling its original state was a revelation. It may still not feel "right" after 35 books by Neill, but it certainly got rid of the "boring" issue.

    Reply

  11. Adam Riggio
    June 1, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    Until you realize that your entire act of watching the movie was actually all a dream!

    Reply

  12. Jesse
    June 1, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    I think the dream ending is appropriate: The Scarecrow had his brain all along, the Tin Woodman had his heart all along, the Lion had his courage all along, and Dorothy was home all along.

    Anyway, if the MGM movie's conclusion in which it was all a dream bothered you, I wonder how you felt about Return to Oz's conclusion, in which it was all…well, you know.

    Reply

  13. Zapruder 313
    June 1, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    For those interested in seeking them out, a good sample of the pre-MGM Oz films can be found on the superb 4-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD set.

    Reply

  14. Henry R. Kujawa
    June 1, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    BerzerkRL:
    "Likewise people don't usually remember that the famous version of The Maltese Falcon was not only a remake, but the second remake. (The lead in the first remake was oddly reminiscent, for me, of Tom Baker as the Doctor.)"

    Crazy but true: the 2 guys who starred in the 1st and 2nd versions of THE MALTESE FALCON also both played Perry Mason! I became a big fan of Warren William, who was in 4 MASON films of drastically varying tone & quality. The 1st is the best, as it shows him running a big legal firm where he only handles the top cases (the ones that pay the most). And he epitomizes the word "shyster". He bends the law at every opportunity in order to see that justice is done (pardon my partially quoting "Arnold" from THE VILLAIN). Warren's Mason also chases the girls himself, as his sidekick Allen Jenkins is too busy with other things. I just don't know why they went thru 4 different Della Streets in 4 movies… and they were married in the 4th one!

    Ricardo Cortez, who almost always played sleazy villains, took over in the 5th film, but is so different it's impossible to think he's supposed to be the same character. Ditto for Donald Woods in the 6th film. So, how many TV fans would ever imagine that Raymond Burr was the 4th Mason? (And there's only been 5 on film to date.)

    Reply

  15. breyerii
    June 1, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    Henry R. Kujawa wrote:
    "You know, the funny thing most people are completely unaware of is, there were probably dozens of "OZ" movies made before the MGM one with Judy Garland."

    Aaand, at least four of them were made under the watchful eye of L. Frank Baum himself:
    The land of Oz (1910),
    The patchwork girl of Oz (1914; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmv4tnbPVi0),
    The magic cloak of Oz (1914; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhH5EheGOSY), and
    his own directed His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfa-0TNKr4Q)

    Reply

  16. Flynn
    June 1, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

    The Return to Oz ending implies everything was real, doesn't it? Or am I missing something?

    Reply

  17. Jesse
    June 1, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Watch the mirror scene again. The implication is that Dorothy really is crazy but has learned to keep quiet about her hallucinations, and that Ozma is a sort of dissociated fantasy version of herself.

    Reply

  18. Anton B
    June 2, 2012 @ 1:08 am

    Sorry. I didn't notice the spelling. My bad. Kit, I believe it's accepted practice to refer to artists by their surname only.

    Reply

  19. Flynn
    June 2, 2012 @ 5:21 am

    I think with that, though, it's ambiguous enough that you can choose to view it that way or that it was all real (in the same vein as Labyrinth, I think).

    Reply

  20. Kit
    June 2, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    If it were so, that might work fine with Tezuka or Kurtzman or Sienkiewicz, but not so well with Campbell or Lee or Smith. (Philip has revised the entry to introduce both creators in the first par – Matt and I were responding to the blogpost.)

    Reply

  21. 5tephe
    June 3, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    But if we are talking Demented Narnias in the early to mid eighties, why has nobody mentioned Ridley Scott's Legend?

    I remember going to see that with my younger brother when I was 12, because "it was a fantasy" so I'd probably like it, having read all the Narnia books.

    Oooh, or The Dark Crystal?

    Man, both of those films PERMANENTLY scarred me, and in the best way.

    Reply

  22. John Seavey
    June 3, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. Not only is this a problem, it's actually a problem of Steve Parkhouse's entire run on DWM; 'The Tides of Time' is also very fondly remembered, but when you get right down to it, it's "Sir Justin and Shayde do lots of awesome things while the Doctor tags along." Parkhouse was all about big cool ideas and fantastic widescreen concepts…he was decidedly less interested in that whole "Doctor" guy.

    Reply

  23. Froborr
    May 8, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    The film of The Neverending Story has nothing on the book. Reading that at the age of, uh, somewhere around seven or eight probably? Anyway, scarred me for life in all the best possible ways. Sparked a lifelong fascination with nested and layered narratives, interactions between different narrative levels, and malicious unreification. I probably wouldn't be a Whovian without it.

    Reply

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