Talk about the role of the "death-rock" band you included, Pale Horse. I always felt they were going to play a more significant role in the conclusion, or at least that we'd see them.
Well, we had a lot of incidental details that had nothing to do with the plot. When you do that, it approaches reality a lot more. On some levels, Pale Horse means – well, there's William Blake's reference to "death on a pale horse," there's the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It was just another little bit of resonance. Just a little bit of background detail to explain all the knot-tops [sinister, punkish kids] who were wandering around. It's just another symptom of the social malaise that Watchmen tried to come to grips with.

The John F. Kennedy speech quoted in issue number 11, the one he was going to deliver in Dallas about being "watchmen on the walls of world freedom" – was that real?
It's real. So is the crater on Mars that looks like a smily face [pictured in issue number nine].

That's one that almost seems too good to be real.
I nearly didn't include it because I feared that everyone would say, "How contrived!" But I couldn't resist it.

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  •   BIG PICTURES  |  March 04, 2009
    Watchmen is that too rare work of popular entertainment, one that succeeds on many levels and that rewards your attention to every level it employs.
    The winner of several "Best Comics Writer" awards on both sides of the Atlantic, he's best known in America as the author of the DC Comics series Swamp Thing and, of course, Watchmen.

 See all articles by: M. HOWELL