If you missed it, I put up a bit of an announcement post the other day that Lined Paper Lamppost, the webcomic I’ve been working on for the past couple of years, will be ending today, but since that decision was a kind of sudden development and the plans to do so weren’t for a long time anticipated, I have a few pages I would like to still share, in varying stages of completion, as well as some of the ideas I had for the webcomic had it stuck around as long as I’d originally intended.
To be entirely honest, Lined Paper Lamppost‘s story was never really planned. Many of the ideas and the loose framework I created filled out some of the themes I wanted to touch on (loss, loneliness, purpose, growth), but much of what those ideas were meant to be peppered along with were not fully formed when I first set out, and while that didn’t entirely bother me in the beginning, as the story reached further and began to necessitate some shape-taking to be had, I found myself ill-equipped to meld the art skills I possessed with the story I began, at some point, wanting to tell.
And even then it wasn’t anything too impressive.
That was one of the more disappointing qualities of my webcomic, and one of the things, as a writer and storyteller that bothered me most: that Lined Paper Lamppost was not nearly as well told as it probably could have been.
That being said, that wasn’t the intention from the beginning. The intention I had when I created Lined Paper Lamppost was to give myself an outlet to better myself as an artist—which I did. Granted, I never became someone who’s work I feel would be worth paying for, but nevertheless, I was rarely frustrated by the progress I was making because I was always growing in some way.
A lot changed between page 1 and where I ended.
But what would have happened in the future? Well, the plan initially was to wrap up Chapter One here in the next couple of months. After coming across the Bibble, Penley and Roux would chase it back to Penley’s home where the Bibble would rouse Penley from the otherworldly sleep he was having to begin a new and rather confusing day; we weren’t far off from that.
A couple of future pages.
When Chapter Two began I wanted to dig more into Bright Harbor and the people in it: fill it out more, show more of Jittery Jeff’s, explore why what was happening was happening here and how it isn’t too dissimilar to something that’s happened before. Wendell, Owen, Alice and Bea would all have had expanded roles, each of whom would also have played a larger role later on. Also, Chapter Two was meant to begin explaining some of the mysteries that were laid out at the beginning: who were the shadowy men on the first page? What was significance of the giant stone monument? Obviously we never got to that part of the story, but I was really excited to illustrate those moments.
Longer term: I was dabbling with the idea of bringing the group’s plans to the forefront. Alice and Owen would have been trying to become pregnant, Bea would have been packing up in the days leading up to her move, so would Wendell, and there were plans for Penley’s dad to join the cast in his first (proper) appearance of the series. (Fun fact: the entire reason Penley’s dad never showed up outside of a picture (shown below) was because at the time I did not have enough confidence in my ability to draw his body type to include him in the story).
As for the greater conflict involving what was going on in “The Land Between,” I wanted to explore the “Straw Men” more fully, as well as the other cultures and factions present in that world. Chapter One didn’t dig into any of that much. It was meant to act as more of a setup for the explanations and explorations to come. In that way, I think Chapter One was somewhat successful, but I wanted further chapters to succeed in expanding upon what we’d been building toward so far.
I mean it when I say that this was perhaps one of my more favorite pages in recent memory.
All of this being said, despite what I felt I did wrong or the lack of direction I felt I had for the future, I’m going to miss Lined Paper Lamppost. For all of the trouble I had with it, it made me a better artist by the end of it all. It made me a better planner, a better practicer of time-efficiency and in general, just a better creator. I appreciate it for that. And I’m proud of it too. I’m proud that though it wasn’t hundreds and hundreds of pages worth of content, I have roughly 70 examples of proof of genuine improvement. It isn’t often you get that, and while I won’t be continuing the story along, I’ll definitely be holding onto these pages tightly the way I did when it was still going.
I say it a lot, but thank you everyone for supporting my webcomic for all of this time. It means a lot that there was genuine interest in something I was doing from both people I knew and people I’d never met, and while it is somewhat of a breath-catcher to be setting this project aside, I’ll miss being able to share such a large project like that with so many different people.
…that is, until the NEXT large project I do.