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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. Ice
    July 31, 2015 @ 4:47 am

    "And for a man who wants to conquer the world, there is nothing quite so cruel as inheriting the throne."

    That's a great line.


  2. Spoilers Below
    July 31, 2015 @ 5:11 am

    One funky bit of ephemera: Moore did approve of three supplements for the DC Heroes RPG that was coming out at the time: "Who Watches the Watchmen", "Taking Out the Trash", and "The Watchmen Sourcebook". Moore even contributed an essay to one about the history of the universe, detailing many events that aren't mentioned in the comics, and Gibbons provided brand new art. Moore was an absolute prince throughout the entire process, taking the writer's phone calls and batting ideas back and forth with them about the comic (which hadn't even come out yet).

    There's a great interview with the writers Daniel Greenberg and Ray Winninger on CBR that's worth your time if you're into this sort of thing:

    Winninger reveals that, in the beginning, Alan Moore didn't plan for "Watchmen" to be a self-contained book: "very early on I remember that Alan was excited about extending 'Watchmen' in various directions. I remember him mentioning a couple of things he was interested in — a 'Tales From the Black Freighter' comic with Joe Orlando and some of the other old EC artists and maybe a 'Minutemen' miniseries," says Winninger. "Obviously his falling out with DC killed any possibility we'd ever see these projects but I also got the sense he was starting to believe that perhaps 'Watchmen' was better left alone."


  3. Jarl
    July 31, 2015 @ 6:05 am

    Moore might fairly have asked himself, after all, how it was that the Charlton characters, created by Steve Ditko, Joe Gill, Pete Morisi, Charles Nicholas, and Pat Boyette, were initially available for his use at a completely different company from either of the two they had originated at, with none of their creators even remotely involved. Had he done so, the ways in which writing Watchmen would eventually turn sour for him might have come as somewhat less of a surprise than they in practice did.
    As the great commentators of our era say, #REKT

    Also, lightning in the Dark Knight image followed quickly by Ozymandias gazing out into a stormy night, very nice juxtaposition.


  4. Heath
    July 31, 2015 @ 6:22 am

    The inclusion of Morrison, as sought-after successor to Moore's success, makes this chapter feel like the first true foray in the actual "War".

    I wasn't expecting it here, and it is a nice means of bringing the focus of this whole project into sharper relief.


  5. Neo Tuxedo
    July 31, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

    there is a crucial tangible oversight within Watchmen: it almost completely ignores the way in which superheroes are, historically, generally corporate owned franchises.

    Relatively few superhero works have engaged with that. In one of the earliest Superman stories, Kal-L battles an unscrupulous entrepreneur who's planning to cash in on the Superman name. At the dawn of the Marvel Age, Spider-Man got his start going on the Ed Sullivan show and Iron Man was openly an employee of Stark Enterprises.

    Aberrant, the middle Storytelling game in White Wolf's "Trinity Universe" trilogy, engaged this concept as part of a more general (and satirical) analysis of the relationship between the superhuman and the world around them. As one early review on Usenet pointed out: "It's not THAT different from [a] traditional comic-book superhero set-up… it just adds in the fact that modern media personnel are starving piranahs." The difference between superheroes and supervillains, in the Nova Age, is mostly about spin management.


  6. Spoilers Below
    August 1, 2015 @ 6:08 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. Spoilers Below
    August 1, 2015 @ 6:10 am

    Morrison will try during his run 2011-2013 run on Action Comics, in a nice little story (issue #9) about Clark Kent, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane creating the character of Superman and, with the help of Super President Calvin Ellis, battling against an evil corporation that wants to take Superman away from them (among other things, it's a Morrison issue, there's plenty going on).

    Unfortunately (and synchronistically), Morrison's point will be completely undercut by the gigantic, two-page "Before Watchmen" ad right in the middle of the issue.

    I loved the Adventure!/Aberrant/Æon game line. That's one that's due for a revival, don't you think?


  8. Neo Tuxedo
    August 1, 2015 @ 7:11 am

    That's one that's due for a revival, don't you think?

    Yes I do, and it is, and it's getting one on the model of the new World of Darkness, with a core rulebook and the Æon setting-book aiming for a release next year, new versions of Aberrant and Adventure! intended but not yet officially announced, and more milieux in the offing.


  9. Daniel
    August 3, 2015 @ 3:32 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  10. Daniel
    August 3, 2015 @ 3:36 am

    Moore is always complaining about comic companies misusing his characters, but at the same time freely uses public domain characters like Alan Quartermain, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan for example, in ways that their original creators would never have approved of, if they'd been alive to have a say in things.


  11. Deep Space Transmissions
    August 7, 2015 @ 2:11 am

    "And so DC set about looking for one, approaching the task of finding potential Alan Moore replacements with blunt literalness by flying Karen Berger to the UK in early 1988 to conduct a talent search."

    It's probably a typo but the talent spotting jaunt to the UK where Berger recruited Morrison and Gaiman (and Delano maybe?) was much earlier than this, at UKCAC in September 1986 – at that point only the first 4 issues of Watchmen had come out.

    By January '88 Morrison had finished writing the first 4 issues of Animal Man (it would hit the shelves in May that year) and was already positioning himself in opposition to what Moore had done in Watchmen –

    "I found I was really sick to death of super-heroes, particularly 'realistic' ones. I don't think there's a lot of mileage left in trying to show what supeheroes would be like in the real world so I'm going off in the opposite direction from Watchmen. Rather then trying to drag super-heroes into the real world, I'm going to examine what it would be like to live in the bizarre environment of four colour comics"

    (from an interview in Arkensword #23 here –


  12. Daibhid C
    August 7, 2015 @ 3:17 pm

    I remember once reading a comics blog where someone pointed that out in the comics, and the blog's author came back that this was completely different because these characters were in the public domain.

    And I thought (but decided against getting involved because, present company excepted, internet comments): No. That's a legal difference (and not, as it was being presented, a moral one), and an entirely irrelevant one because DC have the same legal right to publish Before Watchmen as Moore does to publish Lost Girls, just for different reasons.

    It was at that point that I decided that, while I strongly agree with creator rights, the situation here was murky enough that I didn't feel I could boycott Beyond Watchmen on principle, and instead would boycott it because I had absolutely no interest in reading it whatsoever.


  13. Daibhid C
    August 7, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

    I should add, I'm sure that an argument could be made as to why the legal situation of Lost Girls is more morally pure than the legal situation of Before Watchmen. But this guy wasn't interested in making it, or even seemed to be aware it needed made.


  14. Daru
    August 8, 2015 @ 3:35 am

    Brilliant piece of writing that encapsulates so much.


  15. Daru
    August 8, 2015 @ 3:38 am

    I boycotted Before Watchmen because it was terrible.


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