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Alan Moore
Alan Moore
General Information
Birth Name: Alan Moore
Birth Date: November 18, 1953
Birth Place: Northampton, England, UK
Death Date: N/A
Superman Media Written: TBA


Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953[1] in Northampton) is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.[2] He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moore is notable for being one of the first writers to apply literary and formalist sensibilities to the mainstream of the medium as well as including challenging subject matter and adult themes. He brings a wide range of influences to his work such as; William S. Burroughs,[3] Thomas Pynchon, Robert Anton Wilson and Iain Sinclair, [4] New Wave science fiction writers like Michael Moorcock and horror writers like Clive Barker.[5] Influences within comics include Will Eisner,[6] Harvey Kurtzman,[7] Jack Kirby[8] and Bryan Talbot.[9][10][11]

Biography and personal life Edit

Moore was born in Northampton, England to brewery worker Ernest Moore and printer Sylvia Doreen. He lived in a very poor area, and was expelled from school in 1970 at the age of 17 for dealing LSD,[12] later describing himself as "one of the world's most inept LSD dealers".[13] After this he tried to become an artist for comics, before moving on to writing. With his first wife, Phyllis, he had two daughters, Amber and Leah. The couple also had a mutual lover Deborah.[14] After Moore had received widespread commercial success for his comic-writing, he decided to turn his back on mainstream comics to develop other projects. Together with his wife and their lover, he set up Mad Love Publishing in 1989. The company suffered several setbacks, however, and Phyllis and Deborah left Moore to live together, with his two children.

After the failure of his relationships and publishing company, Moore was forced to return to mainstream comic writing, but refused to return to either DC or Marvel. It did not take long for Moore to find commercial and critical success again, and by 1998 Moore was planning an entire comic books line, later known as America's Best Comics, with which he would write five complete series entirely by himself.

In March 2006 Moore completed his self-penned comics books line, and once again announced his decision to return to less commercially-oriented works. Also in 2006, he appeared on the BBC's The Culture Show and joined a campaign to try and save Northampton council housing from being sold to private companies. In March 2007 he appeared at a Robert Anton Wilson tribute concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

On May 12, 2007, he married Melinda Gebbie, with whom he has worked on several comics.[15] He currently lives in Northampton. He is a vegetarian, an anarchist,[16] a practicing magician and occultist, and he worships a Roman snake-deity named Glycon.[17] For his life's work Moore was honored in 2008 with the Max & Moritz Prize.

Comics career Edit

Early work Edit

After dropping out of school, Moore spent the next several years in menial jobs before embarking on a career as a cartoonist in the late 1970s. He wrote and drew underground-style strips for music magazines, including Sounds and the NME, under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation). Under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, he began a weekly strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, for the Northants Post newspaper, which continued until 1986. Moore has gone on record, in the introduction to Acme Press's collected volumes of the strip, as saying that he would have been happy to continue Maxwell's adventures almost indefinitely, until the Post ran an editorial on the place of homosexuals in the community. As Alan later wryly observed, their position was pretty much that there shouldn't be one. He promptly stopped the Maxwell strip.

Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior.[18] He first wrote short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale) with artist Jim Baikie, D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs) with Davis, and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character) with Ian Gibson. The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. The theme of fallings out with publishers on matters of principle would become a common one in Moore's later career.

Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim: Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta was a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future British fascist government, illustrated by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but he was able to continue them with other publishers.

American mainstream Edit

Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a formulaic and poor-selling monster comic. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and reimagined the character, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy, bolstered by research into the culture of Louisiana, where the series was set. He revived many of DC's neglected magical and supernatural characters, including the Spectre, the Demon, the Phantom Stranger, Deadman and others, and introduced John Constantine, an English working-class magician based visually on Sting, who later got his own series, Hellblazer, currently the longest continuously published comic of DC's Vertigo imprint.

Moore's run on Swamp Thing was successful both critically and commercially, and inspired DC to recruit European and particularly British writers like Grant Morrison, Jamie Delano, Peter Milligan and Neil Gaiman to write comics in a similar vein, often involving radical revamps of obscure characters. The titles that followed laid the foundation of what became the Vertigo line. Moore himself wrote further high-profile comics for DC, a Superman Annual in 1985 (For the Man Who Has Everything), the final two-part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and the Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland.

The limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a trade paperback in 1987, cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if costumed heroes had really existed since the 1940s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a Cold War mystery in which the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. The heroes who are caught up in this escalating crisis either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, and are motivated to heroism by their various psychological hang-ups. Watchmen is non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and includes formal experiments such as the symmetrical design of issue 5, "Fearful Symmetry", where the last page is a near mirror-image of the first, the second-last of the second, and so on. It is an early example of Moore's interest in the human perception of time and its implications for free will. It is the only comic to win the Hugo Award, in a one-time category ("Best Other Form") created largely to acknowledge its excellence.

Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters).[19] Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished his story and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel.

In 1987 Moore submitted a proposal for a miniseries called Twilight of the Superheroes, the title a pun on Richard Wagner's opera Twilight of the Gods. The series was set in the future of the DC Universe, where the world is ruled by superheroic dynasties, including the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family). These two houses are about to unite through a dynastic marriage, their combined power potentially threatening freedom, and several characters, including John Constantine, attempt to stop it and free humanity from the power of superheroes. The series would also have restored the DC Universe's multiple earths, which had been eliminated in the continuity-revising 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. The series was never commissioned, but copies of Moore's detailed notes have appeared on the Internet and in print despite the efforts of DC, who consider the proposal their property. Similar elements, such as the concept of hypertime, have since appeared in DC comics. The 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, was also set amid a superheroic conflict in the future of the DC universe. Waid and Ross have stated that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but that any similarities are both minor and unintended.

Moore's relations with DC Comics had gradually deteriorated over issues like creator's rights and merchandising. Moore and Gibbons were not paid any royalties for a Watchmen spin-off badge set, as DC defined them as a "promotional item". A group of creators, including Moore, Frank Miller, Marv Wolfman, and Howard Chaykin, fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films. After completing V for Vendetta in 1989, Moore stopped working for DC.

Independent period Edit

A variety of projects followed with independent publishers, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published, along with his wife, Phyllis Moore, and their lover, Deborah Delano, through their newly formed publishing company, Mad Love Publishing.

After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Northampton and inspired by chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated the story in a painted style that relied heavily on photographic reference. After two issues were published, Sienkiewicz left the series. It was announced that his assistant, Al Columbia, would replace him, but no further issues appeared.

Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R. Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th century. Inspired by Douglas Adams' novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency,[20] Moore reasoned that to solve a crime holistically, one would need to solve the entire society it occurred in, and depicts the murders as a consequence of the politics and economics of the time. Just about every notable figure of the period is connected with the events in some way, including "Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick, Oscar Wilde, the Native American writer Black Elk, William Morris, the artist Walter Sickert and Aleister Crowley, who makes a brief appearance as a young boy. The Ripper carries out his killings as an occult ritual, designed to enforce the hegemony of the rational and the masculine over the unconscious and feminine. The book also explores Moore's ideas about the perception of time, previously touched upon in Watchmen. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. A film adaptation, directed by the Hughes Brothers, was released in 2001.

Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series exploring possible sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition was published in August 2006 in the United States, but a dispute with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which holds the copyright to characters from Peter Pan in the European Union until 2008, prevented publication in the UK before that time.

He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self, published in 1988 through Mad Love and reprinted in 2003 by Avatar Press.

With Moore's much anticipated Big Numbers halted after two issues and Moore's personal relationships coming to an end (ultimately with Phyllis and Deborah leaving him and moving away), Mad Love Publishing was dissolved.

Return to the mainstream Edit

After several years out of the mainstream, Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics which is a pastiche of Marvel's early works.

Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist attitude, which, though played seriously, appeared dated to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee.

The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 1990s to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 1963 heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team.

Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands, Supreme, Liefeld's violent Superman analogue, became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. Flashbacks to the character's past adventures comment on comics history, storytelling, and the Superman mythos.

America's Best Comics Edit

After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the America's Best Comics line, a new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a team-up book featuring characters from Victorian adventure novels such as H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain, H. G. Wells, Invisible Man, Jules Verne's Captain Nemo, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Wilhelmina Murray from Bram Stoker's Dracula, was the first series to be published under the ABC banner. Illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, the first volume of the series pitted the League against Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes books; the second, against the Martians from The War of the Worlds. A third volume entitled The Black Dossier, is set in the 1950s, was released on November 14, 2007, though it has been reported that copyright issues will prevent its being published or distributed outside the US.[21] A film adaptation was released in 2003 and starred Sean Connery as Quatermain. This series is the only work in the America's Best Comics line to which Moore, along with O'Neill, retains the copyright.

Tom Strong, a post-modern superhero series that in equal parts parodies and pays tribute to the superhero genre, featured a hero inspired by characters pre-dating Superman, like Doc Savage and Tarzan. The character's drug-induced longevity allowed Moore to include flashbacks to Strong's adventures throughout the twentieth century, written and drawn in period styles, as a comment on the history of comics and pulp fiction. The primary artist was Chris Sprouse.

Top 10, a deadpan police procedural comedy set in a city where everyone, from the police and criminals to the civilians and even pets, has super-powers, costumes and secret identities, was drawn by Gene Ha (finished art) and Zander Cannon (layouts). The series ended after twelve issues, but spawned three spin-offs: the miniseries Smax, drawn by Cannon, Top 10: The Forty-Niners, a graphic novel prequel drawn by Ha, and Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct, a sequel written by Paul Di Filippo and drawn by Jerry Ordway.

Promethea, a superheroine explicitly from the realms of the imagination drawn by J.H. Williams III, explored Moore's ideas about consciousness, mysticism, magic, écriture féminine and the Kabbalah.

Tomorrow Stories was an anthology series with a regular cast of characters such as Cobweb, First American, Greyshirt, Jack B. Quick, and Splash Brannigan.

Before publication, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices, allowing his comics to be published by WildStorm without mention of parent-company DC in the indicia. He was also assured of editorial non-interference, however, various incidents continued to irritate Moore. Specifically, in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5, an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted with the advertisement amended to "Amaze," purportedly to avoid causing friction between DC and Marvel Comics.[22] A Cobweb story Moore wrote for Tomorrow Stories #8 featuring references to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, Jack Parsons and the "Babalon Working", was blocked by DC Comics. Ironically, it was later revealed that they had already published a version of the same event in their Paradox Press volume The Big Book of Conspiracies.

Recent workEdit

Moore plotted the six issue mini-series Albion for the Wildstorm imprint of DC Comics. The series is written by his daughter Leah Moore and her husband John Reppion.

With Steve Moore he is writing The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic which is set to be published by Top Shelf at some point in 2010.[23]

It has also been recently announced that Avatar Press will be publishing a short graphic novel called Light of thy Countenance at the start of 2009 (which is based on a short story Moore wrote, originally published in 1995) and a horror comic series called Neonomicon.[24]

Disputes Edit

ComicsEdit

MarvelEdit

Moore came into dispute with Marvel Comics in the 1980s when they had reprinted some of his Marvel UK work without his permission. Since then, he had blocked any further reprints. This led to a falling out with his collaborator on Captain Britain, artist Alan Davis, as he was denied reprint fees and exposure for his work. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes), and convinced him the company had changed. Moore agreed to the publication of a reprint collection of his Captain Britain stories, on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. However, Moore's credit was omitted. Despite Quesada's explanation that the omission was a printing error, his apologies, and the omission being corrected in subsequent printings, Moore declared he would no longer consider working for Marvel.[25] It has also been reported that Moore did not take kindly to Marvel's insistence that the US publication by Eclipse Comics of his Marvelman work was retitled to MiracleMan, allegedly at the insistence of Marvel Comics. Interestingly enough, in his My Cup of Joe column on Myspace, when asked if there were any animosity between Marvel and Moore, Quesada responded, "As far as I know, there are no hard feelings between Alan and Marvel and vice versa."

DCEdit

Moore has also had disputes with DC Comics, which led to his decision in the late 1980s to no longer work with them. Among the reasons reported for this rift were DC's plan to institute a "mature readers" label for certain books they published; the publisher keeping Watchmen and V for Vendetta in print beyond their original serialization, which prevented the rights from reverting to Moore and Gibbons; and DC's refusal to pay Moore and Gibbons royalties on merchandise the company considered "promotional items" for Watchmen.[26] (As a result of this, Moore and Gibbons managed to block Watchmen Action figures being produced for the comics' 15th Anniversary (in 2000),[27] as well as an anniversary hardcover. Subsequent to the latest falling-out between Moore and DC - and the comics' 20th anniversary - the oversize Absolute Watchmen was released in 2005.)

Moreover, it has been widely noted that it was Moore's disputes with DC over the perpetual publication rights to Watchmen and V for Vendetta which allowed those authors that followed him (e.g. Neil Gaiman) to negotiate more knowing deals; Moore's perceived ill-treatment therefore being addressed in contracts signed between other parties, but not retroactively dealt with to his personal satisfaction between himself and DC.[28]

Subsequent to his earlier disputes with DC and his stated intention to not work for them, DC's purchase of Jim Lee's WildStorm studios found Moore working for DC by proxy. Unhappy by the situation, it has been reported that Lee and editor Scott Dunbier flew to England personally to reassure Moore that he would not be affected by the sale, and would not have to deal with DC directly:[29] In an interview with comics magazine Wizard, Moore quantified this as including "No DC advertisements in ABC comics. No checks written to him from DC. No communication with DC editors whatsoever."[30] Although it has been suggested that he considered breaking his contract with WildStorm after the buyout, reports cite his unwillingness to deprive his artistic collaborators of work.[31] Moore's hope that DC would not interfere with his ABC work was dashed when sections of two of his comics (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5, cover dated June 2000, and Tomorrow Stories #8, January 2001) were altered both after and before going to press. (See ABC, above) Promethea #22 also saw slight friction, when a couple of panels were censored, but these were reinstated for the collected edition.[32]

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen filmEdit

Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part."[33]

His attitude changed after producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized an unproduced script they had written entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in a deposition, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated had he "molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt.[34]

Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine.[35]

V for Vendetta filmEdit

The last straw came when producer Joel Silver said at a press conference for the Warner Bros. film adaptation of V for Vendetta that fellow producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he Moore was very excited about what Larry had to say."[36] Moore claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," and demanded that DC Comics force Warner Bros to issue a public retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies", even though Silver appeared to have been lied to himself by Larry Wachowski. Although Silver called Moore directly to apologize, no public retraction appeared. Moore was quoted as saying that the film had "plot holes so big, you wouldn't have gotten away with it in Whizzer and Chips" and complained about the addition of things like "eggy in a basket", which he saw as an ill-researched attempt by Hollywood screenwriters to make an American dish sound English. Moore once again announced that he would no longer work for DC, which is owned by Warner Bros.

This latest conflict between Moore and DC Comics caused Moore to receive a very sympathetic article in The New York Times[37] that was published on March 12, 2006, five days before the USA theatrical release. In the New York Times article, Silver stated that about 20 years prior to the film's release, he met with Moore and Dave Gibbons when Silver acquired the film rights to V For Vendetta and Watchmen. Silver stated, "Alan was odd, but he was enthusiastic and encouraging us to do this. I had foolishly thought that he would continue feeling that way today, not realizing that he wouldn't." Moore did not deny this meeting or Silver's characterization of Moore at that meeting, nor did Moore state that he advised Silver of his change of opinion in those approximately 20 years. The New York Times article also interviewed David Lloyd about Moore's reaction to the film's production, stating, "Mr. Lloyd, the illustrator of V for Vendetta, also found it difficult to sympathize with Mr. Moore's protests. When he and Mr. Moore sold their film rights to the graphic novel, Mr. Lloyd said: "We didn't do it innocently. Neither myself nor Alan thought we were signing it over to a board of trustees who would look after it like it was the Dead Sea Scrolls."

The re-release of V for Vendetta in a hardcover edition to tie in with the film's release, put Moore into a "black rage" when he noticed there was a printing error on the back cover. According to Moore, he threw his editions of the book into a tip, "as they weren't worth recycling" and was upset about the lack of standards.

OutcomeEdit

As a result of Moore's disputes with DC (and then Warner Bros.), which came to a head over V for Vendetta, he declared that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher, and future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that he wishes his name to be removed from all comic work that he does not own, including Watchmen and V for Vendetta, much as unhappy film directors often choose to be credited as "Alan Smithee."[38]

Awards and recognition Edit

Moore has won numerous Jack Kirby Awards during his career, including for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing Annual #2 in 1985 with John Totleben and Steve Bissette, for Best Continuing Series for Swamp Thing in 1985, 1986 and 1987 with Totleben and Bissette, Best Writer for Swamp Thing in 1985 and 1986 and for Watchmen in 1987, and with Dave Gibbons for Best Finite Series and Best Writer/Artist (Single or Team) for Watchmen in 1987.

Moore has been nominated for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards several times, winning for Favorite Writer in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1999, and 2000. Also, he won the CBG Fan Award for Favorite Comic Book Story (Watchmen) in 1987 and Favorite Original Graphic Novel or Album (Batman: The Killing Joke with Brian Bolland) in 1988.

He received the Harvey Award for Best Writer for 1988 (for Watchmen), for 1995 and 1996 (for From Hell), for 1999 (for his body of work, including From Hell and Supreme), for 2000 (for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and for 2001 and 2003 (for Promethea).

In addition, he received nominations for the 1985 Jack Kirby Award for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing #32 with Shawn McManus, the 1985 Jack Kirby Award for Best Single issue for Swamp Thing #34 with John Totleben and Steve Bissette, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Single Issue for Superman Annual #11 with Dave Gibbons, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing #43 with Stan Woch, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Writer/Artist (single or team) for Swamp Thing with Bissette, 1987 Jack Kirby Award nominations for Best Single Issue for both Watchmen #1 and #2 with Dave Gibbons, and the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

He has also received the Will Eisner Award for Best Writer nine times, since 1988, and numerous international prizes.

In 1988, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons won a Hugo Award in the category Other Forms for Watchmen. The category was created for that year only, via a rarely-used provision that allows the Committee of the Worldcon to create any temporary Additional Category it feels appropriate (no subsequent committee has chosen to repeat this category).[39]

In 2005, Watchmen had the honour of being the only Graphic Novel to make it onto Time Magazine's "All-Time 100 Novels" list.[40]

Work in other media Edit

Novels, poetry and other books Edit

Moore has written one novel, Voice of the Fire, a set of short stories about linked events in his home-town of Northampton through the centuries, from the Bronze Age to the present day. He is currently working on his second novel, Jerusalem, which will again be set in Northampton.[41][42] His previous planned prose work A Grammar has been abandoned.

After he has finished Jerusalem, he plans to do a book about magic; "Once Jerusalem's done, I will eventually be getting around to doing my Grimoire, my Big Book Of Magic And How To Do It. I would like to make it a very visual experience because magic to me is a very visual and a very colourful experience. And I would like any book that I did upon the subject to reflect that. And also to be playful, and amusing, which I also find magic to be. So, yeah, there would be a huge visual element to that book once I finally get round to it."[43]

Comics publisher Top Shelf released a hard cover edition of Moore's longform poem The Mirror of Love in 2006, with new photographs by Jose Villarubia. The poem was initially printed in the 1980s benefit book Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia and was illustrated by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch.

Moore has also written short stories. "The Courtyard" was published in The Starry Wisdom: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft; "A Hypothetical Lizard" was published as part of a shared-world fantasy anthology called Liavek: Wizard's Row. Both stories have been adapted to comic book form by writer Antony Johnston and published by Avatar Press.

In 2006, a piece entitled Alphabets of Desire was written by Moore, and designed and produced by comics letterer Todd Klein as an 11" x 17" print, signed and limited to 500 copies, available only through Klein's blog.[44] It rapidly sold out, and a second printing went on sale on March 6, 2008. It is also a limited run of 500 copies.

FilmEdit

Moore has written one screenplay, entitled Fashion Beast, loosely based on both Jean Cocteau's version of Beauty and the Beast and the life of fashion designer Christian Dior. The script was commissioned by former Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren. It has yet to be made into a film.

Alan Moore participated and starred in the documentary feature film The Mindscape of Alan Moore, directed by DeZ Vylenz and produced by Shadowsnake Films. It is the only feature film production on which he has collaborated and has given permission to use his work.

Several of his books such as From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta and Watchmen have been adapted to film by Hollywood, but he has always distanced himself from these films.

Articles Edit

Moore has written articles on comics, music and magic. In 2006 he published an eight-page article tracing out the history of pornography and arguing that a society's vibrancy and success are related to its permissiveness in sexual matters. Decrying that the consumption of contemporary ubiquitous pornography is still widely considered shameful, he called for a new and more artistic pornography that could be openly discussed and would have a beneficial impact on society.[45]

Music Edit

He has also made brief forays into music. In the 1980s he formed a band called The Sinister Ducks with Bauhaus bassist David J and Max Akropolis, and released a single, March of the Sinister Ducks (with sleeve art by Kevin O'Neill), under the pseudonym Translucia Baboon. Moore and David J also released a 12-inch single featuring a recording of "This Vicious Cabaret", from V for Vendetta. He has also performed with the Northampton band Emperors of Ice Cream. Several of his songs have been adapted in comics form, first by Caliber Comics in Negative Burn (later collected in Alan Moore's Songbook), then by Avatar in Alan Moore's Magic Words and Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths.

For the 2007 graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Moore recorded a couple of tracks for a 45 rpm single, purporting to be by "Eddie Enrico and His Hawaiian Hotshots". The two tracks (one of which is referenced in the work) are entitled "Immortal Love" and "Home with You."[46] Originally intended to be included with the initial hardback, the record has been held back to be included with the 'Absolute Edition'.

Moore co-wrote the song "Leopardman At C&A" with Mick Collins for the album We Have You Surrounded by Collins' group The Dirtbombs.

MagicEdit

Moore is a practicing magician who worships a Roman snake deity named Glycon which he acknowledges to be a "complete hoax." He describes his understanding of "magic" as fundamentally synonymous with "art": the use of words, images, and actions to affect people and the way they think.[47] He performs one-off "workings" (a word, which in ritual magic means a pre-planned series of magical acts), which combine ritualistic and performance art elements with spoken word prose poetry, read by Moore as part of a performance art group, The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels. Several of their pieces have been released on CD, and two, The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders, have been adapted for comics by Eddie Campbell.

Television Edit

Moore played himself in the 2007 episode "Husbands and Knives" of The Simpsons, alongside actor Jack Black and other comic book writers like Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman. This episode aired on Moore's fifty-fourth birthday, although he recorded his lines in October 2006. Moore is a fan of the show.[48] His appearance had him being infuriated when seeing Milhouse ask for an autograph of "Watchmen Babies in V for Vacation".

Bibliography Edit

NotesEdit

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InterviewsEdit


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