Childhood & Early Life
Alan Moore was born in Northamptonshire, England to working class parents Ernest Moore, who worked at a brewery, and Sylvia Doreen, a painter by profession. He was raised in the poverty stricken area of Northampton.
He attained his preliminary education from Spring Lane Primary School and it is said that he was a voracious reader since he was five years old. He spent most of his time reading British comic strips.
He later attended the Northampton Grammar School, where he first got acquainted with middle class people. He did not like the school very much and lost interest in academics.
In the 1960s, he started publishing his writings - both poetry and essays. Eventually, he established his own fanzine, ‘Embryo’. A fanzine was a non-official production of a cultural phenomenon by its fans for people with similar interest.
Subsequently, he became acquainted with the group ‘The Arts Lab’ and began to publish a significant chunk of his writing with the group. He also went on to do a lot of odd jobs to support himself.
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He quit his office job and decided that he wanted to pursue a career in illustrating and writing. Some of his works were previously published in local papers, magazines and fanzines.
His first paid publications included drawings that were published in the music magazine titled, ‘NME’. Following this, he began to write a detective series under the title, ‘Roscoe Moscow’, for the music magazine, ‘Sounds’ under the pseudonym Curt Vile.
In 1979, his comic strip titled, ‘Maxwell the Magic Cat’ was published in the ‘Northants Post’ under the pen name, ‘Jill de Ray’. He continued writing for the series until 1986. He later wrote for Britain’s most well-known magazine, ‘2000AD’.
From 1980 until the year 1984, he worked as a freelance writer and wrote for publications such as, ‘Warrior’, ‘Marvel U.K’ and ‘2000AD’. Over 50 of his stories were published in ‘Future Shocks’ and ‘Time Twisters’ of ‘2000AD’.
In 1983, ‘DC Comics’ reinvented and modified their ‘Swamp Thing’ series. Martin Pasko, who then contributed to the publication, was dismissed and the job was transferred to Moore. Meanwhile, he contributed for ‘Marvelman’ and ‘V for Vendetta’ in the Warrior magazine as well.
In 1983, he contributed for the comic strip ‘Skizz’, which was a ‘2000 AD’ publication. The same year, he also created the comic strip titled, ‘D.R. & Quinch’ and wrote for ‘Captain Britain’, a Marvel UK publication.
In August 1983, he created the comic story series titled, ‘The Bojeffries Saga’ that was published in the U.K comic anthology, ‘Warrior’.
Meanwhile, he tried his hand at music in 1983, and founded the band, ‘The Sinister Ducks’ with David J. The duo came out with the single, ‘March of the Sinister Ducks’. The following year he also wrote the song, ‘Leopardman At C&A’ for the album, ‘We Have You Surrounded’ for Mick Collins.
Later in 1983, the superlative success of the ‘Swamp Thing’ series brought critical and commercial acclaim for both him and the publications and resulted in the further association between the two. He created the legendary horror comic book series titled, ‘Hellblazer’ for the publication.
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In 1985, he created the ‘DC Comics’ story, ‘For the Man Who Has Everything’, featuring the legendary character, ‘Superman’. His ‘Superman’ stories soon became a favourite among readers.
In 1986, he came out with another ‘Superman’ story titled, ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?’ This was published in two parts - first in the ‘Superman # 423’ and later in ‘Action Comics #583’.
In September 1986, he came out with the graphic novel titled, ‘Watchmen’, which was published by ‘DC Comics’. In this piece of work he was critical of the concept of a superhero.
Lack of creator’s right in British media made him increasingly concerned which led him to quit writing for all British publishers. By 1986, he had quit writing for ‘2000 AD’ as well.
In March 1988, ‘DC Comic’ published his superhero graphic novel titled, ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’. This publication also introduced the character, ‘The Joker’.
By 1989, he resigned from ‘DC Comics’ as well, for he was unhappy with the payment methods. He later set up his own publishing company named, ‘Mad Love’ along with his wife Phyllis and Deborah Delano.
He collaborated with a number of artists and writers to publish the one-off comic’s anthology, ‘AARGH’, elaborated as Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia. This was Mad Love’s first publication
In 1991, his graphic novel, ‘A Small Killing’ was published by Victor Gollancz Ltd. The entire novel was illustrated by Argentine born artist and illustrator, Oscar Zarate.
Later in 1991, he came out with the sexually explicit graphic novel, ‘Lost Girls’. The plot of this novel was centred on three female characters living in the late 19th and early 20th century.
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In 1996, he published his debut novel, ‘Voice of the Fire’, which consisted of twelve chapters. The story was set in Northampton, England in the time frame of 4000 BC until present day.
In 1999, his acclaimed and famous graphic novel, ‘From Hell’ was published. The novel was illustrated by Eddie Campbell. Same year, his comic book series, ‘Promethea’ was published as well.
Published in 1999, his creation, ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ continues to thrive. He also created the comic book, ‘Tom Strong’ and the superhero comic book, ‘Top 10’.
In 2006, the complete edition of the graphic novel ‘Lost Girls’ was released. The following year, he was seen in animated form on an episode of, ‘The Simpsons’.
In 2012, the third volume of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ was released. Currently, he is reportedly working on his second novel, ‘Jerusalem’ and an occult textbook, ‘The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic’.