Bob Wachsman Tummler by Alan Moore
'Bob Wachsman Tummler', art by Moore, script by Harvey Pekar.

After a thousand and one odd jobs, Northampton lad Alan Moore started out as an underground comix artist, only to realize that his writing might be better than his drawing. Now, some three decades later, he is one of the very few comic writers to become a comix superstar. Moore's claim to fame with the mainstream audience stems from the monumental 'Watchmen' (art by Dave Gibbons), a clever and obsessively detailed take on the phenomenon of men in tights, a.k.a. superheroes. "Who watches the watchmen?" is the central riddle of this late eighties classic.

What most people in the mainstream missed, are Moore's earlier scripts, like the Orwellian 'V for Vendetta' (David Lloyd), the eco-horror 'Swamp Thing' (with Stephen Bissette and John Totleben) and the Batman story 'The Killing Joke' (with Brian Bolland).

comic artwork by Eddy Campbell
Artwork: Eddy Campbell.

And it's not only the quality of Moore's writing that impresses - those who would like to know more about Moore's quality standards for comics script-writing are highly recommended to read his essay on the subject (reprinted in 'The Comics Journal') - but also his work ethic. The man keeps creating new worlds, new characters, new images.

After 'Watchmen', Moore has worked on 'Big Numbers' (with Bill Sienkiewicz), 'Lost Girls' (with Melinda Gebbie) and 'From Hell' (with Eddie Campbell) among many, many other projects. And let's not forget his novel 'The Voice of the Fire' on his home town Northampton, and his public readings, like 'The Birth Caul', to be adapted for comics by Eddie Campbell. He married Melinda Gebbie in 2007.

His graphic influences were Mad Magazine and underground comix artists like Vaughn Bodé, George Metzger, Robert Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Kim Deitch, Robert Williams, Jay Lynch, Rick Griffin, S. Clay Wilson and Victor Moscoso. In 2007 he was special guest voice in Matt Groening's 'The Simpsons'. In the episode 'Husbands and Knives', he starred alongside Art Spiegelman and Daniel Clowes.

Alan Moore wrote a personal homage to Robert Crumb in Monte Beauchamp's book 'The Life and Times of R. Crumb. Comments From Contemporaries (St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1998).

Alan Moore and Melinda Gabbie
Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie at their marriage (photo by Neil Gaiman).

Alan Moore interview

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