This may be my favorite cover we did. The still life is an exercise that a lot of first-year art students struggle through, and for artists like Paul Cezanne, it can be a way to showcase their art style. But others like Pieter Claesz (seen at right) can use the choice of food (and whether it’s been consumed or not) to imply a story behind the brushstrokes. Erica has no problem doing both.

After the very traditional-for-comic-books “everybody lines up for the camera” first cover and the somewhat transitional second cover, here’s where we settled firmly into the understated mode we used for most of the other 48 chapters, less broadly symbolic than Watchmen but likewise zeroing in on background elements instead of human and human-like figures. Just putting the five dishes together is a visual shorthand for the alliance we’ll now see in action here.

From Phil’s cover notes for Erica: “Five dishes sit on a Tavern table. A bowl of lamb stew with potatoes, carrots, and onions in it (Byron), a bowl of Meat stew with meat, meat and more meat (Frigg), a broth-heavy chicken soup (Dusty), a bowl of veggie soup (Syr’Nj), and a Seafood Salad with Lobster/Shrimp, high class fish (Best).”