Illustration: Kate Sheridan, via Gumroad

Fallow Time is a small story about the moments in an adventurer’s life that don’t often get commented on. The moments right before and right after a quest, when the adrenaline stops flowing and the monsters stop coming. When collects themselves, and just... rests.

Written and illustrated by Kate Sheridan, an independent illustrator and comic artist, Fallow Time is a short, self-published comic about three adventurers—a dwarf paladin, an elf ranger, and an orc necromancer. It catches them at a quiet moment, the three ladies unwinding away from their latest battle. Sheridan’s bright, lush art emphasizes the pastoral nature of their quiet moment: the birds fluttering out of the trees, the pink and orange of the twilight sky. Sheridan encourages the readers to ling here, with these women, in their moment of respite. It’s like a deep, soothing breath.

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In the book’s dedication, Sheridan writes that the comic is based on Dungeons and Dragons, inspired by moments of levity and warmth found in a campaign. “I tried to express some of my favorite aspects of DnD here,” she writes. “Unlikely companions, found families, and quiet stolen moments after the big battles are done. And gayness. Like, a ton of it.”

“Fallow” is a term referring to land that’s been prepared for crops but isn’t currently being used, that has been instead left alone so that it can restore itself. Fallow is a sort of fruitful rest. Fallow Time emphasizes the fruitfulness of resting with other people.

I discovered Sheridan, and this comic, by accident, due to a friend sharing it on Twitter. I’m glad I did, though. It’s a sweet, warm book, and I love the way it focuses on an element of shared storytelling that doesn’t often get depicted in more traditional formats. More leisure time in fiction, please.

You can buy Fallow Time for just $4 on Gumroad. Check it out.