I know much of this is due to the esoteric methods tumblr uses to amplify certain posts (maybe it was featured on tumblr radar?). Still, it is a nice, quiet comic that turned out better than I expected.
Below are some preliminary sketches that led to the comic. I was spending a rainy day at my in-laws' house and brought my sketchbook with me. I highly recommend bringing a sketchbook when visiting the in-laws, by the way.
I sat in an upstairs room and watched rain fall on the houses across the street. I also watched koi fish swimming in a small pond in front of the house.
You may recognize the fish from a past drawing of mine. Could it be the same girl and cat character in both comics? If so, I did it subconsciously and never noticed until typing this process post.
I'm fascinated by the visual possibilities of rainfall. What does rain look like in illustrated form? I think Hiroshige nailed it way back in 1857:
As very rarely happens, the words and pictures for this comic came to me nearly fully formed:
I adapted my sketch into a more cinematic vertical format for the final image. I draw in ink on tracing paper and add shade with Prismacolor marker. In Photoshop I separate layers of line art, text, and shading, then add solid fills of color. This is what my comics look like before digital coloring and editing:
The most time I spent on this comic was getting the colors to "click." I aim for a kind of synesthesia in my comics - ideally, the color scheme should echo the tone of the writing as well as illuminate the line drawings. Here is an early color scheme:
The blue, gray and green seemed too artificial and cool for the warm subject matter. I opted for orange highlights, brown and teal midtones, and forest green for the darkest areas. After way too much time spent adjusting hue, contrast, and saturation, the final colored comic emerged.
It looks good in printed form, too! In short, this comic combined some of the most enjoyable parts of the creative process: sketchbook introspection, a momentary jolt of inspiration, and retreat into a self-made world to avoid a family gathering.