Alan Moore started writing in the late 1960s, but it wasn't until the 1970s that he began producing work professionally. In 1977 he created the tales of Anon E Mouse and St Pancras Panda for the Back Street Bugle, a local counter-culture paper. His initial work for the Bugle was unpaid, and his first professional sales were to the famous rock magazine NME, which actually bought several of his drawings. Moore followed his work for NME with his private detective series Roscoe Moscow for NME's rival magazine Sounds, published under the name "Curt Vile". In 1978 he began work on Maxwell the Magic Cat, using the pseudonym "Jill de Ray". Maxwell quickly established a cult following, and Moore continued the comic strip until finally retiring Jill de Ray in 1986. Maxwell the Magic Cat's success gave Moore the confidence to start focusing on his writing over his admittedly somewhat limited art skills, and he submitted several scripts to the prominent magazine 2000AD. He wasn't able to work on Judge Dredd as he had hoped, but editor Alan Grant was sufficiently impressed with Moore's work to offer him short stories in their Future Shocks backup series.
Rise to Prominence
In the 1980s, Moore began refining his storytelling ability, and building up a great deal of respect with various publishers. He continued to produce work for 2000AD, writing short stories for their Future Shocks and Time Twisters series, as well as creating Skizz, DR and Quinch, and The Ballad of Halo Jones. His steady output of work at 2000AD led to Marvel UK accepting several of his short stories for Doctor Who Weekly, and ultimately recruiting him to write their Captain Britain series. In 1982, he created The Bojeffries Saga, Marvelman and V For Vendetta for Warrior Magazine. These series were the forerunners of what would later epitomize his style and thematic interests. When Warrior ceased publication, Moore was allowed to finish out his story lines for Marvelman (re-titled Miracleman for Eclipse Comics) and V For Vendetta (DC). Both series were completed by 1989. In 1983 Moore was given the opportunity to write DC's flagging second tier title: Swamp Thing. He completely restructured the book re-imagined the character and revived a number of long-neglected supporting characters. The series proved incredibly popular both critically and commercially. Moore continued to work for DC throughout the 1980s, producing a number of popular and critically well-received works, including For the Man Who has Everything, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, and The Killing Joke. In 1986 Moore and artist Dave Gibbons began work on what would eventually become one of the most critically lauded comics series of all time, Watchmen. Moore ultimately fell out with DC over a litany of creators' rights disputes and ceased working for them in 1989.
Independence Part 1
Having sworn to never again work for DC, and still sore at Marvel over the Marvelman/Miracleman debacle, Moore went independent in the late 1980s. He established his own publishing company Mad Love, alongside his wife Phyllis and their girlfriend Deborah Delano. Mad Love marked a shift from Moore's usual subject matter, focusing more on stories drawn from real life. His first publication with this company was an anthology work produced with a number of other popular writers and artists, entitled AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia). Moore's second outing for Mad Love, Big Numbers, a semi-autobiographical story about the effects of big business on a small Northampton community, proved short lived, lasting only two issues before Moore's relationship with Phyllis and Deborah ended, effectively dissolving Mad Love Publishing. Moore created a few other works during this time, including A Small Killing, which was published by Victor Gollancz Ltd. He also started work on From Hell and Lost Girls, both originally published in the comics anthology Taboo. Both stories outlasted Taboo, and went through several other publishers before being completed in 1996 and 2006, respectively. In 1996 Moore wrote his first prose novel, Voice of the Fire.
Image and America's Best
In 1993 Todd McFarlane responded to widespread criticism that his fledgling Spawn series was not well written by asking several prominent writers including: Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dave Sim, and Alan Moore to fill in for a few issues. Moore accepted the job and wrote one issue. Unbeknownst to Moore, this single issue of Spawn would eventually mark his return to mainstream comics. The Image founders coerced him back, allowing him complete creative freedom, and the result was 1963, which was intended to appeal to what he saw as a changed comics market. Still reluctant to fully commit back to life in the comics mainstream, Moore worked on several Spawn mini-series, and was eventually given creative control of Jim Lee's WildCATS title. Moore also took over Rob Liefeld's Superman knock-off Supreme and his work on both series proved incredibly successful. When Liefeld split from Image to form Awesome Entertainment, Moore created a detailed backstory for the Awesome universe. Ultimately Moore split form Awesome as he was growing increasingly frustrated with Liefeld's inability to adhere to a stable publishing schedule. Moore was offered his own imprint by Jim Lee, and formed America's Best Comics under WildStorm Productions. With America's Best in full production, Jim Lee brokered a deal to sell WildStorm to DC. Moore nearly backed out due to his past history with DC. However, with Jim Lee's assurance that he would remain insulated from DC's executives, he stayed on to honor his commitment to the other creators involved in America's Best. Under ABC he created The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Tom Strong, and Top 10, as well as the anthology Tomorrow Stories. Eventually, Moore became disenchanted with increasing executive meddling in his creative decisions, and he again parted ways with DC in 2009.
Independence Part 2
Moore brought only The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with him in his split from DC, publishing a new volume in 2009 with Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Also in 2009 he published a treatise on pornography and art. In 2010 he began the publication of Dodgem Logic, a bi-monthly underground magazine. Also that year he began work on the Neonomicon for Avatar Press, which concluded publication in 2011. In 2011 the second volume of the new League series was published. The third was published in 2012.
Moore was born and raised in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, spending most of his early life in a poverty-stricken region of that city. An avid reader, Moore attended school until he was expelled for dealing drugs in 1970. He worked a number of different jobs before entering comics. He has received dozens of awards for his work, including several Jack Kirby Awards, Eagle Awards, Harvey Awards and Eisner Awards. He is also notable for writing the first comic to receive a Hugo Award, awarded to Watchmen in 1988.
Moore is a practicing ceremonial magician, and worships the snake deity Glycon. He is also a practitioner of Kabbalah and Tarot. He is an anarchist.
Moore has been married twice, to Phyllis Moore and Melinda Gebbie. He has two daughters, Leah and Amber, both with Phyllis. With both wives he has maintained an alternative relationship.
Characters Created by Alan Moore
- Twilight of the Superheroes (DC Comics)
- 1963 80-Page Annual (Image Comics)
- New Men (Awesome Comics)
- Maximage (Awesome Comics)
- Warchild (Awesome Comics)
- The Allies (Awesome Comics)
- Spacehunter (Awsome Comics)