Following the examples of independent comic creators such as Dave Sim and Jeff Smith, Terry Moore decided to publish Strangers in Paradise himself through his own Houston-based "Abstract Studios" imprint. He has said his greatest career influence is Peanuts' Charles Schulz. His work has won him recognition in the comics industry, including the Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 1996 for Strangers in Paradise #1-8, which was collected in the trade paperback "I Dream of You".
In 2008, Moore wrote and drew covers for all five issues of Marvel Comics's Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane vol. 2. The following year, he began writing Runaways vol. 2, also for Marvel. This run lasted for 9 issues.
The first issue of his next self-published series, Echo was released on March 5, 2008. Echo ran for 36 issues and concluded in June 2011. It was followed in August 2011 by Rachel Rising, a 42-issue horror comic which won the 2014 Harvey Award for Best Lettering and 2015 award for Best Cartoonist in addition to several other nominations. It was also nominated for an Eisner Award in the categories Best Continuing Series (2012), Best Writer/Artist (2012, 2014), and Best Letterer (2014). His next book, Motor Girl, ran for 10 issues between November 2016 and November 2017.
Moore was featured in The Cartoonist, a 2009 documentary film on the life and work of Jeff Smith