If I recall correctly, Erica actually drew this page after drawing the rest of Chapter 2. At the very least, she didn’t start drawing it until we’d finished writing the last page of that chapter. That’s a level of planning-aheadiness that we would only achieve consistently for our first year or so, and we would never ever have that many pages drawn ahead of production schedule again.

Phil and I did a pretty good job describing this cover in Guilded Age Plus. There, he mentions that it was a little more “purposeful” than a lot of covers we did later, in that it zeroes in on the single Macguffin that will ultimately bring our original cast of heroes together. The next few covers are more on the symbolic side, more about the feel of the story than the most important object in it.

I burbled a bit about how this cover works as a double-bluff, in that at first it seems like these indeterminately drawn faces are shown under the word “WANTED,” making it look like theirs are the faces of criminals. Later, we will learn that they were actually victims, but later still, we will learn that one of them is actually a criminal after all. But it would’ve served our purposes better if we had put the more Asian-looking face in the center here. And I’ve always really liked the way Watchmen #3’s cover turned “FALLOUT SHELTER” into “ALL-OUT HELTER” or “ALL HEL,” so it’s nice to think this “WANTED” poster has been cropped to say “ANTE,” as in “We’re about to raise the stakes.” Let’s be honest, that wordplay is not quite as graceful, but Watchmen‘s a high bar to clear.