Originally, I was going to do an old-fashioned zoo, where the animals were behind bars. That would have been relatively easy to do from a pixelling standpoint. Back when I was a young girl, that was how the zoos were around us. I remember one time, watching a poor snow leopard pace in a small cage. Even at 8, I was heartbroken.
Anyhow, modern zoos are much better (though still not perfect), and I decided I should be more true-to-form and draw the habitat settings most modern zoos incorporate. Of course, that meant a LOT more artwork. Including the smiley animals, the habitats, the buildings, as well as the “extras” smileys, these 2 strips took over 10 hours to do. Yes, 10 hours. I did use some stock art, but the majority was my original work. Even the stock was so heavily modified it’s more mine than the original. Needless to say, I didn’t anticipate that time drain and it caused a delay in getting this up. Oh, and plus the time it took to get the Booyah together. I did some additional art for later strips in this storyline, so hopefully the process will be quicker.
That said, I think the art looks pretty good. The habitats were based heavily on the actual enclaves at our local zoo. So, if there are any complaints, you can direct them to the zoo, not us.
This storyline was inspired by our own family’s visit to the zoo about a month ago. It was the first time we had all gone together in many years (we’d all gone separately with school fieldtrips, etc). It’s kinda neat being so close to a family event and then having the Pixels do a parellel. Though, chances are, their experiences will have some twist and turns ours didn’t.