Beginning his career writing strips for publications such as Doctor Who Monthly (or Weekly as it was then), Moore went on to work on influential UK comics such as 2000 A.D (including strips such as The Ballad of Halo Jones, Skizz, D.R. and Quinch and Time Twisters) and Warrior) (including Marvelman (known as Miracleman in the US) and V for Vendetta). Having achieved a reputation for producing ground-breaking material in a largely formulaic medium, Moore was later hired by DC Comics to work on the fairly unknown comic book Saga of the Swamp Thing, in which he laid the groundwork for what was to become the Vertigo Universe. In 1986 he wrote the dark superhero miniseries Watchmen (illustrated by Dave Gibbons), which, together with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, redefined the medium of the comic book and raised it to a new level of graphic literature.
Moore's style of writing stretched the boundaries of the comic book medium, putting it to use in ways that are quite unlike other forms of storytelling. His stories often contained adult themes and touched on subjects that had never been approached in mainstream comic books before (issue #9 of Miracleman included a graphic depiction of a natural childbirth, something that had been strictly taboo in comics before then). He experimented with symbolism in the medium through placement of comic strip panels and text, an increased emphasis on backgrounds and detail, while attempting to cut down and eventually eliminate the use of "sound effects", thought balloons, and captions; he worked in the same way that film editors use the medium of motion pictures to manipulate the audience.
Moore stated that he wanted to expand the medium of the comic book, so that readers could experience more than endless rehashes of costume-clad superhero battles. To this end, he began such projects as Lost Girls (an adults-only comics reinvention of pornographic), From Hell (a story about Jack the Ripper), and Big Numbers. He spent the early 1990s attempting to finish these projects, but only From Hell reached completion, with the final chapter of the novel published in 1999. However, after several years work, Lost Girls is soon to be released by Top Shelf, probably aided by the fact that Mr Moore's artist on this work is Melinda Gebbie, now his partner.
Moore returned to 'superhero' comics in the late 1990s, founding the ABC (America's Best Comics) titles The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories, and Top 10. These are more lighthearted than his earlier work. In part they are an attempt at a Pulp revival, but both League and Promethea explore serious dimensions as well.
A tribute and in depth biography of Alan Moore in his Fiftieth Year entitled Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman is available from most (good!) comics stores. All proceeds of this publication will go to charity.
Recorded works (available on compact disc):