With any form of popular art, inevitably comes the desire to capitalize on its profitability. Such is the case with the planned prequels to the original Watchmen comic-book series, and writer Alan Moore is not pleased.

DC Entertainment announced Wednesday that it will publish a series of comic-books that precede the Watchmen stories written by Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, and now compiled as a graphic novel.

Moore called the new project completely shameless in a recent interview with the New York Times.

I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago, he said.

The new series, collectively titled Before Watchmen, is divided into seven interwoven storylines, contained within 34 issues, and will explore the earlier years of the original series' six main characters and their predecessors, the Minutemen. DC will begin releasing an issue each week this summer.

It's our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant, said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee in a press release. After 25 years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.

Gibbons responded to the project with measured appreciation, though making a point to distinguish his and Moore's creation from it.

The original series of 'Watchmen' is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell, Gibbons said in DC's press release. However, I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.