Watchmen, created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, was first published as a 12-issue miniseries from DC Comics, cover-dated September 1986 to October 1987. It was subsequently collected in 1987 as a DC Comics trade paperback graphic novel that has had at least 22 printings as of September 2008; as well, a trade paperback was published by Warner Books, a DC sister company, in 1987.
In February 1988, DC published a limited-edition, slipcased hardcover volume, produced by Graphitti Design, that contained 48 pages of bonus material, including the original proposal and concept art. In 2005, DC released Absolute Watchmen, an oversized slipcased hardcover edition of the series in DC's Absolute Edition format. Assembled under the supervision of Dave Gibbons, Absolute Watchmen included the Graphitti materials, as well as restored and recolored art by John Higgins. That December DC published a new printing of Watchmen issue #1 at the original 1986 cover price of $1.50 as part of its "Millennium Edition" line.
In 2012, DC launched a prequel line, with various creative teams producing the characters' early adventures before the events of the graphic novel.