On January 3rd, 2023, the first volume of the print collection of Cursed Princess Club by LambCat will be released through the Unscrolled imprint from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. Today, The Beat is proud to present your first look at the cover (and if you keep scrolling, a preview of the interior of the collection and an interview with LambCat):
The Beat got the chance to ask LambCat a few questions over email about what it was like to bring Cursed Princess Club to print, which strategies are useful for writing jokes, and which comics have had an influence on the series!
AVERY KAPLAN: Can you tell us about the journey Cursed Princess Club has undergone from its initial origins to its upcoming release through the Unscrolled imprint?
LambCat: I didn’t know anything about converting my webtoon to print format (though it’s always been a distant goal to tackle after my series was completed), so the opportunity to work with WEBTOON Unscrolled’s executive editor Bobbie Chase and layout designer Niko Dalcin was a dream come true. They’ve both been so generous and kind to let me observe, learn from, and collaborate with them, and it’s been such a wonderful, invaluable experience I’ll always be grateful for.
The biggest realization I’ve had in this process is how much I took the limitless space I have as a webcomic creator for granted – but specifically the empty space between panels. Like many webtoons, Cursed Princess Club was created for a mobile-focused audience where readers scroll vertically through the story. For each panel, I could have several multi-tiered text bubbles hanging out in the gutter and never worry about it overtaking the art or the page. The pacing of the story could be expanded and contracted by the amount of space I put between panels.
But in printed format, everything’s gotta fit on the page…! Observing how Bobbie can intuitively map out the best places for page breaks and panel counts to let jokes land and keep the excitement moving, and how Niko can take their book map and swiftly adapt, constrain, and rearrange my existing artwork into a readable experience on page is really incredible. I’ve learned so much in these last few months watching how they work.
The other big transformation for this book is that a lot of the artwork has been spruced up from the webtoon version. I wanted to preserve as much of the original designs and expressions of the characters as possible, but brighten and elevate everything else with the help of my brilliant team of art assistants. And I’m so happy we were given the chance to do it!
KAPLAN: Do you have a personal favorite Cursed Princess?
LambCat: Hmm, that’s tough because I feel like they all have a little something I relate to.
I’ll have to go with Jolie, the princess with the eye holes. A cute/creepy dichotomy is something I always love. And her easy-going acceptance of her appearance – even to the point of subtly trolling people with it alongside a tiny smile – delights me to no end.
KAPLAN: How do you approach writing jokes for the story? Does it just come naturally or do you have a strategy?
LambCat: It is tough at times to fit jokes into a story so that it remains a comedy while trying to explore and develop upon some deeper, darker topics. I think sometimes comedy can help ease people into experiences and viewpoints they wouldn’t otherwise be drawn to, for better or worse. And it can also cut through moments of heavy tension and weight (also for better or worse). I personally skew towards enjoying silly, absurd comedy a little too much, and try to subdue that in Cursed Princess Club, for everyone’s sake.
My strategy has been to keep a running big bank of funny scenarios and weave them into the overarching storyline when natural. But most of the time, with tight weekly timelines, I don’t have one ready. So I’ll pick out moments in a chapter where I can vaguely picture a joke fitting there, sort of like when songwriters hum a rough melody over music with nonsense placeholder lyrics. But then I have about an hour to hurry up and figure out what the joke even is, and it’s usually a lot of rocking in my chair groaning or pacing around frantically until I run out of time. It’s incredibly stressful, but also I end up strangely being most proud of those moments in the comic.
KAPLAN: Are there any stories or creators that have been especially influential for you in the creative process behind Cursed Princess Club?
LambCat: I always felt way too inexperienced (especially art-wise) to ever deserve to start a comic. But I kept looking at authors like Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan) or ONE (Mob Psycho 100, One Punch Man) who created my favorite stories with their own unique styles, and I could see that it very clearly resonated with lots of people. So that gave me the confidence to start when I did. (…After all, you can always painfully redraw everything once it becomes a book later, haha…)
Everything I’ve been able to make on WEBTOON is due to all the other amazing creators and stories on the platform. Webtoons like Girls of the Wild’s (Hun/Zhena), The Stories of Those Around Me (OMYO), Siren’s Lament (Instantmiso), and ShootAround (Suspu) were among the first I read and were in total awe of. And in the journey of converting this webtoon, my physical copies of Lore Olympus and Hooky have been incredibly inspiring and comforting to hold and refer to.
KAPLAN: Is there anything else you’d like me to include?
LambCat: I just want to say thank you endlessly to WEBTOON and their Unscrolled imprint for this huge opportunity, and to everyone who reads and supports not just my comic, but all comics in web and/or print format!
Cursed Princess Club’s final episodes will resume on WEBTOON as soon as I can humanly make them, so please stick around for those as well!!
Will you be picking up a physical copy of Cursed Princess Club? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat.