I swear, once you start throwing the water effects around, it gets kinda hard to stop. This was a fun page for me, and obviously Max-the-artist enjoyed it too. Anyone besides me thinking they’d like a full-rez version of Panel 5?






We actually had a good bit of rain this week, which makes this page particularly apropos. And now the rain is being followed (as usual) by howling winds, which knock over all the trees whose roots were loosened by the mud. Never the trees I want, though. There are some specific trees around here whose wood, when cooked to charcoal, have excellent pyro qualities. You would think that charcoal is charcoal, but oddly enough, not so. Some local wood (like pine and manzanita and locust) make excellent long-lasting sparks, and other woods (like willow and tipuana and jacaranda) make good, fast black powder. So do these trees get knocked over? No. Just useless-for-pyro trees like crepe myrtle and melaleuca which the City plants all over the place because they are cheap and drought-tolerant. Also practically fireproof, especially the melaleuca. So I get nothing from this wind and rain except an incentive to stay indoors and work on my computer. Until the power gets knocked out.

But really, the kind of storm pictured on this page is pretty rare in Southern California. We have them, sure, but not very often and they tend to make the local news and get all blown out of proportion because, let’s face it, if we start talking bad weather pretty much every other place in the world can kick our ass except maybe for straight up temperature. We do reside within a sturdy crow’s flight of Death Valley.

But about the best the local weather can do to you most days is make you somewhat uncomfortable. It won’t actually kill you the way I understand weather in other places has been known to do. I read about people in other parts of the world freezing to death on the way to their garage, or being sucked up into the sky by tornados, or (as recently in the Philippines) having entire populations wiped out by typhoons, and I realize that grousing because my shoes are damp just isn’t Seeing The Big Picture.

So let’s enjoy this page for what it is — a nice rare Southern California thunderstorm with rain and actual lightning and stuff. And mysterious hooded figures.

And lightsabers.

And ghosts.

You know. Just another day in LA.

-Bob out

 Artist’s Notes:

Yeah, I did hand-draw a lot of the rain, but the FX from Dad really added some serious wetness to the overall look.  So that came in handy.  

LA actually gets a lot more rain than people realize.  This year was fairly wet, but kinda nicely distributed over time.  Usually, it happens all at once, in the middle of the night, kinda like depicted above.  Highest rainfall recorded in LA was 7.84 inches in 1900.  Seems a bit light to me.  

I just bought a house in Studio City, where this story is based (kinda).  There’s a concrete channel here that’s known as the LA River, which is where runoff from the sewers collect and trickles into the ocean.  Despite the grossness of that description, it’s usually kinda picturesque, in a strange way, with ducks and egrets and herons and even fish living among the reeds.  It all washes away in a yearly flood (due any day now).  The banks of this channel are marked off to 15′ in height; two years ago, during heavy rains, I witnessed  the river crest those banks and wash the feet of nearby hipster joggers.  The nice widower at the end of the block told me she’s seen it get as high as the adjacent boulevard, which would be double the volume of the channel.

Point is, we do get this kind of rain in LA, but it all happens at once, and it drives everybody absolutely nuts, because it’s weather, which is pretty foreign us.  We slip, we slide, we faceplant into puddles.  It’s chaos out there.  Best to stay indoors and crank the heat.