For years, legendary comic book writer Alan Moore has been indicating that the final issue of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Tempest would be his final comic, and this week that issue finally hit shelves. Now, barring any announcements to the contrary, Moore is presumably shifting into a proper retirement from the medium that he helped revolutionize a few decades ago and then has spent nearly every moment since complaining about. Moore is the writer behind Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, an iconic run on Swamp Thing, The Killing Joke, and a highly influential (if slightly harder to obtain) run on Miracleman/Marvelman (which was unrelated to any other Miracle or Marvel-based heroes you may be thinking of).
If the names of those books aren’t a clear enough indication, Moore was one of the writers in the ‘80s who proved that comic books could be taken seriously as an art form, with a generation of writers and publishers taking the wrong lesson from his books and deciding that simply being dark and gritty was the same as being smart and well-written—though Frank Miller deserves a lot of the blame for that trend.
Moore famously became disillusioned with comics and with the major publishers, especially, which screwed him and artist Dave Gibbons out if the rights to Watchmen by promising that control of the rights would divert back to them when the book went out of print… which it never has and never will. DC has since published Watchmen prequels and an ongoing sequel that involves the characters joining the mainstream DC continuity (with Dr. Manhattan getting blamed for some of DC’s recent crossover missteps, which is pretty funny), not to mention the Zack Snyder Watchmen movie and HBO’s upcoming sequel(?) TV show.
Speaking of adaptations, Moore has also famously denounced the movie versions of his work, which would seem like kind of a snotty position to take if the movies based on his comics weren’t largely awful. We don’t know what Moore will do next, but he has worked on movies of his own and non-comic books in the past.