So a couple of weeks ago, I threw up a post about the comic I’ve been working on for the past….oh, fourteen months and how it is finally, after long last, coming into being, very very soon. In that post I said that I would talk a little about Lined Paper Lamppost (hither to be shortened to and referred to as “LPL”) over the coming weeks, leading up to its launch, and this post, in case you couldn’t tell, is the start of said talking about.
LPL is a webcomic I dreamed up during the first Christmas season following my having graduated college. I was getting back into drawing again, but was having trouble finding things to draw. I wanted to draw, I wanted to get better, but I had trouble just drawing random things–I needed projects to hone in on. So I began sitting down and really thinking about what I wanted this comic to be, and after thinking, and thinking, and thinking (I think about things a lot before I get started with them) I began brainstorming it out.
Here are some of the first sketches I did as I began to plot out the story. Much of what I planned to do originally is no longer a part of the proper story, but there are nods in the comic itself to those early ideas.
From there, I just drew. I drew panels, I drew characters, I drew what I thought made sense to me with the hope that it would all come together into something worth reading. I laid out a plan to build up a backlog of pages so in the off chance I dropped into a coma, or needed to lay low for a couple of months (don’t ask) then I would still have an update for my comic when I needed it without having to scrounge up and throw something together. In my mind, I would be done in a few months. This was Christmas-ish–I’d be done by the end of summer. But the process took longer than I thought it would.
I made some beginner’s mistakes in the way I laid out my panels and pages that required I go back and lay them out again. I took detours, took on side projects, I worked on a Children’s book with a friend, briefly, planned out an Etsy shop, took a job at a funeral home (for a week), got a puppy, started a Let’s Play channel, and across it all, tacked on an extra six months to the process that I wasn’t accounting for from the start.
It made me frustrated, not so much with not being done, but more with the goals I had set out for myself.
One of the worst habits I have is underestimating the time it takes to get something done. This shows itself most often in the fact that I am late more times than not simply because I underestimated how long it would take me to get to where I was going. In relation to this comic, I set goals for myself that were unreachable. I imagined such and such would take a month, this and that would take a couple more months, but was constantly in a state where I was pushing back deadlines because I couldn’t get them done. And the reality is, that was my own fault. I wanted to be done quicker than was feasible, I wanted to add back to some of that time I lost, and was finding I just couldn’t manage. And that’s okay. But it’s easily been one of my biggest hurdles thus far–not getting disappointed in the unreasonable expectations I have placed upon myself.
Now, LPL is a few weeks from done. Not “done” in the sense that I will be done with it forever, but done in that it will be ready to go live. And that’s exciting for me. This has been something I’ve wanted to do since middle school and regardless of how good it could be as opposed to what it is, regardless of if one thousand people view it or only just one, I will have made something. I will have worked for over a year, nearly every day, on bringing something to life that hasn’t yet existed and I couldn’t be more proud of the work I’ve put out, of myself for getting it done, and for the future and what will come to be as this comic continues moving forward.