I just uploaded a few pages from a recent TLiiD in honor of Batman's 75th, and now I'm going to write about them. Not, because I think they are especially great, but because they serve as a good example of what runs through my head on a weekly basis.
For those that don't know, The Line it is Drawn is a weekly feature on the Comics Should be Good blog off of Comicbook Resources (TLiiD on CSBG at CBR to be brief). Every week myself and other far more talented individuals are given a subject, and then suggestions from the readers. Great fun! Many excellent pieces have been created for the feature over the years, and we are actually rapidly approaching its 200th installment.
And nearly every week my brain goes through the same process:
On Saturday I say "Oooh this is a cool suggestion! I should do this one! Not only that but I should do a 10 page sequence in which I can fully explore the idea!"
Then as the week progresses I downgrade from multi-page mini-comic to single page, then maybe just multiple panels, then 9 times out of 10 by Thursday I settle on just 1 illustration, and more commonly than should happen; nothing at all.
The sequence began to unfold as it usually does last week, with Thursday rolling in and Friday's deadline along with it, and only the vaguest of development sketches done for the piece. However, my brain would not let go of a multi-page multi-panel affair, furthermore I couldn't think of a single page illustration to reconcile what I wanted to convey. So I did what any normal person would do, and strapped myself to my tablet for 12 hours and pumped out that piece.
Staying up until 4 AM to create a fan fic meeting of Dr. Doom and Batman when you have to work the next day, is maybe not the best of ideas, but it was the only one I had. Conceivably, I could have better spent that time doing a variety of other things, including working on a single, more polished and succinct encapsulation of that idea.
So these Batman pages are not only a riff on a "what if?" idea that is truly great, but a fair illustration of where my creative process begins and fortunately, seldom ends.