NOTICE: The opinions of the character portrayed in this image ARE NOT necessarily those of the author.
Okay, background about the image first.
Miki is a very religious person as well as a closeted lesbian. The crux of her character is that she cannot resolve her religion and her sexual orientation. As a result, she has a lot of self-loathing beneith her surface. In the story, she meets the andrognyous Novella, a pre-transitional MTF. Miki comes to believe that Novella would make the perfect boyfriend, being that "he" is percieved as male to those around her, as well as feminine enough to satisfy her tastes. Unfortunately, besides this self-deception, she unwittingly manipulates Novella in order to satisfy her own ends. This psychological condition is something I like to refer to as "The Miki Complex".
This particular panel is supposedly late in the story, just prior to Chapter 4: Transformations. She has been under a great deal of strain, trying to resolve her religion, her sexual orientation, and why a supposedly benovelent God would curse Novella (and herself) with being "unnatural". In this moment, the strain overwhelms her, and her faith is broken. To punctuate this revelation, she flees the church inadvertently knocking over a set of candles. The candles catch fire to a nearby curtain, and then the rest of the building.
At the end of the story, Miki is still shaken, but her perspective has been opened to a broader world of spirituality outside but including Chistindom.
Why the hell did I draw this? Simple, I couldn't get the damn image out of my head. Why else does anyone draw anything? ^_~
To be honest, I wanted to see if I could produce a page of manga. I did produce some back during this comic's first run, but I didn't know what I was doing and felt that I had made too many mistakes. The biggest difference is the speech bubbles. The original run used a more font-centric method which didn't work all that well. I was concerned that the bubbles would both look bad, and get in the way of the artwork. The square bubbles seem to work better with the style, and aren't as intrusive as I imagined. Beyond that, the method is much the same as my previous works. I used the same technique with little variation.
Perhaps I'll make another test panel with Akisa next...