I think it was around the time I completed the first semester of my last year in college that I really began to struggle with what it was I was supposed to do next. My degree in English was and would be wonderful, but the opportunities readily available to me weren’t quite what I had envisioned when I first began. I knew that long before I graduated, but in the months following, when jobs eluded me and the best I could manage was working in a coffee shop, I wrestled with what moment would be “mine”: my first moment of brilliance, my first moment of success, the first moment I might feel as though what I’d worked toward for all of the years prior would come to head and produce before me some sort of…something.
Around Thanksgiving that first year post-grad, I began conceptualizing what would one day become the webcomic I created: Lined Paper Lamppost. It may seem strange to not only want to create a webcomic in the first place, but to be in the position I was in where it was not only something I wanted to do, but something I’d wanted to do for many years prior. And the reason I began it then, at that moment, having puttered around with the desire for years, was, in part, a genuine desire to improve the artistic ability I’d let lapse, but also, and in larger part, I wanted a project, something to pour into, to give my skills a sharpening stone on which I could be sure I never fell dull.
Over the following two and a half years, my webcomic certainly was that—a project: a project that became so much of an investment, so much of a commitment, that when my life began to change and my priorities along with it, I failed to adapt properly. It became a job of sorts, one with which, for a time, little contended, but a job nonetheless—and I viewed it as such, even as the demands of what would come next conflicted with what I was doing now.
While it’s honestly something I didn’t anticipate, I had to make the choice recently to put an end to Lined Paper Lamppost; the last page will go up this Thursday. It isn’t a decision that I make lightly nor is it one I really, truly, find joy in doing because for a number of years, the effort I’ve put into every panel, every page, and every character has returned to me a great sense of happiness and satisfaction, but this comic, this project, this self-set, self-chosen job, has also in a number of ways hindered the things I am responsible for now. It’s taken precedence over things more important and instilled in me a sense of obligation and subsequent resentment when the time I need to do it right isn’t made available to me. It’s for that reason largely that I’ve decided to set it aside.
And if you find yourself reading this wondering why I would make such a big to-do about something like this, know this post isn’t for you. It’s for me. It’s for me to do right by the story that’s stuck by me for the past few years. It’s for me to bookend a part of myself, a part I’ll miss even when the bigger and better things come, and say to myself, even though I may not believe it, that putting aside Lined Paper Lamppost is perhaps the best thing I can do for myself now—and for all of the things I’ll do in the future.
Even though they won’t be properly released, there are a few unpublished and unfinished pages I would like to share here, as well as a few ideas I had for where I intended to take the story over the next year. I’ll make a post in the next couple of days with all of that, so if you’re interested, you’ll be able to find that here.
For everyone that has supported me as I’ve tried to figure out how this webcomic may fit into my life, I give my most wholehearted thank you. Truly. Lined Paper Lamppost never lived to be as successful as I hoped it might become, but it was followed and loved by a number of people who really encouraged me and the work that I did. So thank you.
Onto the next thing, I suppose.