Alan Moore: 'Comics industry are original gangsters' - video
The legendary Watchmen creator discussed the ethics of the industry on the BBC's HardTalk.
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"You have to remember that the comics industry was set up in the 1920s by Legs Diamond, Meyer Lansky, it was set up as a cover for bootlegging," said Moore.
"I'm talking about the original gangsters, as I believe the young people like to phrase it these days, the Meyer Lanskys and the Legs Diamonds. The ethics of the comics industry have not changed since those days when they were cheating Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who were two teenagers from Cleveland, who had created Superman, and National Comics.
"They waited until Siegel and Shuster were going off to fight in the Second World War. And then they told them that 'we need to own the characters while you're away, but you'll get them back as soon as you return'. These are the ethics that the industry runs on, they've not changed significantly in 70 years."
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Moore discussed his treatment at the hands of DC Comics, which still owns the rights to Watchmen from 1986-87 due to a loophole in their contract.
He admitted that his issue with movie adaptations is a "personal problem" that comes "from a position of ignorance", saying that he sold some of the film rights on the assumption that they would never be made.
Moore also described himself as "less than delighted" by DC's forthcoming Before Watchmen miniseries.
The third and final instalment in Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century was recently given a June 2012 release date.