°18 November 1953
Alan Moore was born November 18, 1953 in Northampton, England, an industrial town between London and Birmingham. The oldest son of brewery worker Ernest Moore and printer Sylvia Doreen, Moore's childhood and youth were influenced by the poverty of his family and their environment (as well as the eccentricities of his highly religious and superstitious grandmother). He was expelled from a conservative secondary school and was not accepted at any other school. In 1971 Moore was unemployed, with no job qualifications whatsoever.
A Beginning in Comics
Moore began working with EMBRYO, a magazine he had been publishing with friends, which led to his involvement in the Northhampton Art Lab. Moore met and married his wife Phyllis in 1974, eventually having two daughters.
In 1979, Moore began working as a cartoonist for the weekly music magazine SOUNDS, in which a detective story called Roscoe Moscow appeared under the pseudonym Curt Vile. Eventually, though, Moore concluded that he was a poor artist and decided to focus his efforts on writing instead.
His early contributions were to DOCTOR WHO WEEKLY and the famous science-fiction title 2000 A.D., under which Moore created several popular series, such as THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES, SKIZZ and D.R. & QUINCH. Moore then worked for WARRIOR, a British anthology magazine. It was on this title that Moore began two important series: MARVELMAN (known in the United States as MIRACLEMAN) and V FOR VENDETTA, Moore's groundbreaking tale of the fight for freedom and dignity in a fascist and dystrophic Britain, both of which earned him the British Eagle Awards for Best Comics Writer in 1982 and 1983. Those in America took notice.
Coming to America
Moore's exceptional writing talent won him his first American series, SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING. Moore reinvented the character, while at the same time revolving his plot around tough topics (gun control, racism, nuclear waste, etc.).
Moore displayed great depth and insight in his work, demonstrating that he was able to write on a wide range of topics and situations. Moore's stories set the pace for the "Sophisticated Suspense" by which most comics under DC's Vertigo line operate under today.
In addition to SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, Moore also penned several other DC titles, such as TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS, a Batman Annual and several Superman stories.
In 1986, while DC Comics was reconstructing their comic's universe, Moore quietly came out with WATCHMEN. WATCHMEN, in conjunction with Frank Miller's BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, redefined the comics book medium, and changed the tone of comics to this very day.
WATCHMEN, with it's detailed plots and subplots, provided a realistic portrayal of superheroes in a world that neither understood, nor trusted them. Considered by some to be the greatest superhero comic ever produced, Moore was riding on a high. WATCHMEN, became the first comic book to be a recipient of the prestigious Hugo Award.
He finished his run on Swamp Thing, completed the V FOR VENDETTA storyline under DC Comics and wrote quite possibly the best Joker story ever in BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE. However, Moore was very unhappy with the fact that he didn't own the rights to WATCHMEN, nor did he feel that he was receiving adequate royalties from the series.
Furthermore, at the time there were discussions of implementing a comic book ratings system, of which Moore was firmly against. In the late 80's, Moore left mainstream comics to work strictly for the smaller, independent publishers.
Once free of DC, Moore began several projects. In 1988, Moore set up his own publishing imprint called Mad Love Publishing. Moore began working on a screenplay with Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren, called FASHION BEAST.
He also began work on BIG NUMBERS with artist Bill Sienkiewicz and began two series for Stephen Bissette's TABOO, called LOST GIRLS with artist Melinda Gebbie, and Moore's ground-breaking series, FROM HELL. FROM HELL reconstructed the Jack the Ripper murders in meticulous detail. Moore also did a personal story called A SMALL KILLING, with artist Oscar Zarate. Self-publishing, however, was not good to Moore. Of the series begun during this period, only FROM HELL has seen completion.
Moore eventually began working with Image Comics, a new comics company run by a group of very popular young artists and writers. With this company, Moore penned 1963, sort of an atonement for the bad writing from other writers that resulted in the comics medium as a result of the Watchmen. He also wrote several stories for Todd McFarlane's Spawn character.
Perhaps the greatest treasure to appear under the Image (later Awesome) imprint was Moore's re invention of the character Supreme. SUPREME was a thinly-veiled version of Superman created by artist Rob Liefeld. Moore's take on the character was both nostalgic and inventive, harking back to the early days of DC Comics. After a year-long hiatus to financial problems, the Supreme series has recently returned, to the delight of many.
The ABC's of Life
Currently, Moore has his own imprint, A.B.C (America's Best Comics), under which he's once again paving new territory with several new series: THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, PROMETHEA, TOM STRONG, TOMORROW STORIES and TOP TEN. Moore's other projects include CD's and a book or two
in addition to his desire to become a magician.
David Lloyd (illustrator),
V for Vendetta,
Ian Gibson (illustrator),
The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones,
John Totleben (illustrator),
Eddie Campbell (illustrator),
Joseph Conrad (illustrator),
Tony Daniel (illustrator),
112 p. (Spawn)
Greg Capullo (illustrator),
Todd MacFarlane (illustrator),
152 p. (Spawn #8)