Moore was born in Northampton, England to brewery worker Ernest Moore and printer Sylvia Doreen, and lived in a very poor area called the Burroughs.He would sometimes stay with his grandmother, who had no electricity or indoor toilet. He was expelled from school in 1970 at the age of 17 for dealing LSD, later describing himself as "one of the world's most inept LSD dealers". 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. After Moore had received widespread commercial success for his comic-writing, he decided to turn his back on mainstream comics to develop other projects. He later married artist Melinda Gebbe. He is a Neopagan and Occultist whose work has been embraced by numerous counterculture groups.
Moore entered comics via the fanzine route in the late 1970s, writing Roscoe Moscow for the music magazine Sounds under the alias Curt Vile and Maxwell the Magic Cat for the Northampton Post under the name Jill DeRay, but really made his name working on strips for the legendary British SF anthology 2000 AD, creating characters such as Skizz, the anarchic duo DR & Quinch, Halo Jones and the egotistical mutant genius Abelard Snazz. Around the same time, he also began working for Marvel UK (for whom he wrote backup strips in Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly and Star Wars Monthly before going on to write an epic saga starring Captain Britain and to write numerous articles for magazines such as The Daredevils) and, in 1982, Dez Skinn's revolutionary magazine Warrior, for which he revamped the 1950s Captain Marvel knockoff Marvelman and created the dystopian nightmare world of V for Vendetta (later bought by DC). Many of his projects, including DR & Quinch, Captain Britain and Marvelman, were collaborations with artist Alan Davis, though the two later fell out over a reprint rights issue (Moore prevented Marvel from reprinting his Captain Britain series, and Davis lost out on royalties as a result).
He began working for DC in the mid '80s, first on Swamp Thing and then on numerous other characters and critically acclaimed stories such as The Killing Joke (with Brian Bolland) and the Superman tale Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. Probably his most famous work though, was the award winning Watchmen, with artist Dave Gibbons, which was based around characters loosely based on a handful of then obscure sixties superheroes from the properties DC had acquired from Charlton Comics but which changed the way comic books were seen by the media forever. He went on to work for a number of other publishers, creating titles such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Promethea and plotting the limited series Albion (written by his daughter Leah Moore and her husband John Reppion) which reinvented many of the bizarre characters who populated British comics in the 1960s and 1970s.
Several of his works have been made into movies, though Moore himself has tended to distance himself from these adaptations, feeling that the work is best represented in its original medium. Since his 50th birthday, Moore has largely abandoned mainstream comics, and moved on to groundbreaking projects like the self confessedly pornographic 'Lost girls' (drawn by his partner, Melinda Gebbe). He has been described as one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years, and one of the most significant comics writers in history.
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- Moore is infamous for his often antagonistic relationship with others in the industry, having at one time or another fallen out with Marvel, DC, and several collaborators. When it was announced that he was publishing a fanzine based around his home town of Northampton and would be handling most of its production solo, it prompted one former collaberator to remark 'I give it a week before he's locked in a room, arguing with himself'.