Break the Mold: An Interview with Lambcat

Lambcat is the creator of the hugely popular webcomic Cursed Princess Club. This comedic story, which follows a young princess named Gwendolyn as she joins a group of outcasts, has over 2 million subscribers and 280 million views.

Recently I had the chance to interview Lambcat about what they’ve learned and what the future holds.

What have you learned (about yourself, about art) in the 5+ years that you have been working on Cursed Princess Club?

Oh man, what a great question. I could go on for days about all the invaluable things I’ve gotten to learn from this opportunity. I never made a story before this, so it was kind of a giant speed run of figuring out how to write a story, that I was even capable of writing one in the first place, of learning how to draw better week after week, etc. But then I also got to learn things like how to collaborate with all the amazing people who work to bring Cursed Princess Club to the world outside of the WEBTOON platform, how the book publishing industry works, how graphic novels are put together, etc.

But after getting to do all of this, the only real answer can pretty much be that there is so, so much more to learn from here on out. And I’m really excited to continue onward.

Who has been your favorite character to write for?

Definitely Prince Blaine. I had mapped out his journey and evolution starting with him as the seemingly perfect, flawless prince, and ending with who he becomes by the end of the story. And it was really fun to watch people’s initial indifference towards him while he was “perfect” and then grow into genuine curiosity and empathy as his cracks and imperfections started to show. It was endearing!

How much of the story did you have planned in advance? Did you stick to your original plan?

I was just looking over my original pitch that I submitted to WEBTOON before production began. And the story does stick pretty generally to its ending! But along the way, lots of things changed and grew. The story was supposed to be more leisurely with lots more slice-of-life silliness surrounding the club’s daily life. But to keep everyone’s attention and retention, things had to get condensed and streamlined. And ultimately, I think it was for the best.

Art by Lambcat

WEBTOON as a platform allows for more reader feedback than others. Has fan reaction ever surprised you? Like, a character that you didn’t think would be popular, or someone figuring out a twist well in advance?

I’ve always been someone who loves to make things just for myself and the weird little world in my head, so it’s always been a laugh to see how awful I am at predicting what readers think and what they like or dislike. The biggest one is probably that I thought people would not like the main character, Gwen, and wouldn’t want the story to focus on her. And that’s as wrong as I can be, I think!

What about WEBTOON’s scroll format is most challenging when drawing a chapter? What is your favorite aspect of the format?

The most challenging part in my mind is not necessarily the scrolling format per se, but the horizontal constraints when knowing that a large majority of people will see the story on a mobile phone. It makes it harder for very wide compositions to hit with more impact than a normal art panel because all panels generally need to take up a majority of the width of a phone screen in order to be easily readable.

My favorite part is the freedom from being constrained by page counts, planning where the page turns hit, and needing to carefully arrange multiple panels onto each piece of paper in a compelling and cohesive layout (I say this as someone who adores the way comic books and manga are laid out, though!). It seems like a luxury that if I make my WEBTOON episode and then suddenly decide I want to add in a few more panels in the middle of it, I’d just be able to slip it in without much thought. But for a physical set of pages, it would most likely lead to additional problems or logistical considerations.

Cursed Princess Club has a print release (congrats!), with the third volume out earlier this month. What are some of the challenges of adapting a webcomic to a print format?

Thank you! Piggybacking off the last answer, the biggest challenge is definitely reformatting my WEBTOON to now fit in page format (so much for that unfettered freedom I once felt!). My editors at WEBTOON Unscrolled do an amazing job at first mapping out which panels go on each page for the best page-turning moments. But from there, the panels from the webcomic don’t usually cram in there very attractively. There ends up being a lot of wasted white space or clunky alignments. And so I’m very thankful that they allow me the time to resize, redraw, and rearrange elements to fit better on each page.

Art by Lambcat

Do you have another project in the works after Cursed Princess Club has finished?

I have lots of weird little ideas both inside the Cursed Princess Club universe and out. But I’m not allowing myself to think about any of them until I tackle a giant mountain of tasks for Cursed Princess Club books and whatnot that people have so generously delayed over and over until I finish the comic. And now I have to pay in full. I also really want to do a lot of reading, exploring, and improving in lots of areas of storytelling, art, music, etc. before I attempt anything. But I’m very excited for when the time comes!

What are you currently reading?

I can’t wait to start reading again! I’ve also been gathering a giant reading list that I would not be allowed to start until this story was emptied out of my head. The things that seem to have floated to the top of the list currently include “The Death of the Heart” by Elizabeth Bowen, “The Spirit Bares Its Teeth” by Andrew Joseph White, and the libretto for Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera “María de Buenos Aires” by Horacio Ferrer.

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I’d like to thank Lambcat for taking time out of their no doubt busy schedule to speak with me, and thanks to the awesome people at WEBTOON for facilitating!

Cursed Princess Club ends its run on March 3. The first three print volumes are currently available from WEBTOON Unscrolled wherever books are sold, with volume four coming out later this year.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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