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Lambcat talks landing punchlines, making cliffhangers pop in 'Cursed Princess Club'

Comic Books

Lambcat talks landing punchlines, making cliffhangers pop in ‘Cursed Princess Club’

The hit series is in print for the first time ever.

Over the last few years, WEBTOON has demonstrated that there’s a huge audience for webcomics of all kinds. Whether that’s Batman comics, comics adapted from web novels, or original ideas, people seem drawn to this take on a beloved medium.

One such book that should be on your radar is Cursed Princess Club from Lambcat. The ongoing series follows Gwendolyn, the youngest heir of the Pastel Kingdom and “proof that princesses don’t always have it all.” When her betrothed, Prince Frederick, calls her “really ugly,” young Gwendolyn sets off for the forest for a mad-cap, mostly whimsical tale of friendship and “embracing uniqueness.” And the numbers don’t lie: people love Lambcat’s comics. The original Cursed Princess Club has some 232 million reads and a whopping 2.1 million subscribers. It also earned a Ringo Award Nomination for Best Humor Webcomic.

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The book’s so popular, in fact, it was recently (as of January 3) released in print for the first time ever. (It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s new releases for graphic novels and manga.) To commemorate the occasion — and before the second volume arrives in stores on July 4 — we sat down with Lambcat to discuss the series, their approach to crafting comics, and much more.

LambCat 'Cursed Princess Club'

Profile image of Lambcat. Courtesy of WEBTOON

AIPT: To start, I really love the sense of excitement and multiple moments of comedy and surprise on each page when reading Cursed Princess Club vol. 1 in print. How do you approach delivering so many good “page turn” surprises?

LambCat: I actually have to bow down to and thank Bobbie Chase (executive editor of WEBTOON Unscrolled, editor of the Cursed Princess Club graphic novels, and all-around BAMF of the comic industry) for the excellent timing of the page turns. When you’re reading a webtoon on your phone, each panel is like its own page turn, so I never had to plan for anything like that. But she took all the webtoon panels and intuitively knew where to mark each page turn in order to make each cliffhanger pop and punchline land, which is an art form in its own right.

AIPT: Your sense of humor is quite delightful. What are some of your favorite comedies, be it comics, movies, or television?

LambCat: That is so kind of you to say! I find Stephen Chow movies to be the most delightful comedies of all – nothing makes me laugh harder than Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. But I also love television that can juxtapose silly comedy with uncomfortable, darker themes and emotions, such as “Barry” and “Atlanta.” I’m definitely not in the same stratosphere as any of those creators, but as they say, “aim for the moon” and all that…!

LambCat 'Cursed Princess Club'

Courtesy of WEBTOON.

AIPT: Each princess is a different color. Do the colors mean something about each character?

LambCat: I did sometimes have their kingdom colors/patterns be connected in some way to their personality or character themes. The most in-our-face examples would be the Pastel Princesses who are innocent and sweet and the Plaid Princes whose kingdom values masculinity and ruggedness. Then there’s also Princess Abbi’s brash personality matching her bright, kid-like neon colors, or Prez’s blue and black standing boldly in opposition towards typical princess colors. But there are definitely also characters whose color/design choices were arrived at through more free-associative or purely aesthetic reasons.

AIPT: How many WEBTOON chapters make up volume 1 and the upcoming volume 2 of Cursed Princess Club?

LambCat: Volume 1 covers 34 chapters of the WEBTOON. Volume 2 spans 18 chapters, which seems like a lot less, but is actually considerably longer in page count and panel count because the length of the webtoon chapters started to get longer and longer.

Lambcat

Courtesy of WEBTOON.

AIPT: Now that you’ve worked with designers to lay out volume 1, have you approached making the WEBTOON chapters differently, knowing a print edition is on the way?

LambCat: That would be the smart thing to do! If I had any goodwill towards my future self, there are a lot of factors I would take into account now with panel designs and content. For instance, there are some names, designs, and parodies from the WEBTOON that had to be changed in the book due to tighter rules and precautions for printed works. But instead of thinking ahead and avoiding those problems up front, I’m instead sort of just enjoying and being extra-appreciative of how free we’re allowed to be in creating webtoons online. But of course, we’ll see how appreciative future-me is down the road, haha.

AIPT: With Cursed Princess Club Vol. 1, do you have a favorite WEBTOON chapter?

LambCat: For volume 1, my favorite chapter has to be chapter 12 of the WEBTOON (ch 4 in the book) where Gwen meets the Cursed Princess Club for the first time. It’s weird, terrifying, cute, and silly, which are all of my favorite things!

AIPT: One benefit of creating Cursed Princess Club is that you get to see reader feedback, but if you could give yourself feedback before starting Cursed Princess Club, what would you tell yourself?

LambCat: I wish I would have told myself to start rigorously practicing art a lot earlier! I had dabbled lightly in art before but never let myself sink too much time into it or dared to imagine I’d ever have a job making it. And so when I got the opportunity to originally make Cursed Princess Club, I had to develop a lot of rudimentary art skills along the way, and common feedback was (rightfully) about the lacking art. I’ve gotten to fix and redo a lot of the original webtoon art for the book (with much help from some super-talented people who are helping me every week on the WEBTOON and future volumes). Still, it definitely would have been awesome to have done it better the first time around!

LambCat 'Cursed Princess Club'

Courtesy of WEBTOON.

AIPT: Where can folks find you on the internet?

LambCat: I’m technically around on Twitter and Instagram @iamlambcat, but I am really bad at the internet and easily overwhelmed by it, and therefore very invisible, which I apologize to anyone who has been so kind to reach out online…!! I hope I can change that once I have less on my plate and the series comes to an end later this year!

AIPT: What do you spend your time on outside of making comics? Any fun pastimes? 

LambCat: Time outside of making comics has unfortunately always been a bit of an elusive concept for me since I started Cursed Princess Club…! I’m very slow, and I seem to always wish I had more time to think, draw, and make music for the comic. It’s something I really need to work on figuring out and regulating before I start any other project because though I love doing it all so much, it’s not a good thing.

But once the series is over, I do have a long, dusty wish list of activities I’m excited about like returning to studying jazz piano, reading a lot, playing video games (I’ve been promising myself for years that I can purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons once my story is done, and my longing for it hasn’t died even though I don’t know if people still play that game anymore), and going on many belated dates with my very loving, patient partner.

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