Sometimes it begins innocently, with me wanting to see how others handle a plot complication I'm playing with. It's done wonders for my writer ego (I'm brilliant! I'm original! I'm... oh crap, lots of people have thought of this).
Other times, it comes out of odd conversations (Jen: is it me or is there a domestic abuse vibe between Starscream and Megatron in Transformers Prime?).
And, on occasion, someone mean-I mean, well meaning, sends me a link (I saw this and thought of you: seven of the deadliest words evah).
In honor of all of the time spent researching things that either will go into the current story or will go into a future project, here's a comic strip :)