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Some Ideas Just Don't Pan Out

If you've been outside this summer, you've probably heard the thundering hum of cicadas emerging from their underground burrows or have seen their husks attached to every surface outside as they have matured, seeking a mate to continue their species.

I find it fascinating that nature has created a creature that spends 17 years developing underground, only to have three weeks of life above the Earth's surface to experience. An artist friend of mine, J. Hammond, was also intrigued by this bug and drew the picture you see above. We chatted about how the tragically short life of a cicada needed to be captured in a hilarious way. Together, we scripted a brilliant, 5-panel comic strip about the life of cicada: birth, becoming an adult, meeting the opposite sex, laying eggs, then death. Then, J. Hammond set out to sketch the panels, until...

Someone beat us to it.

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I noticed my neighbor had shared a post where another artist had drawn a near-identical comic strip of the same story and subject matter. I can't share it here, but if you search "hot cicada summer" on Google, you'll probably find it.

So we abandoned the idea, as we did not want to come off as plagiarizers ripping off someone else's idea. All that we can share is J. Hammond's cicada art above, which is still great on its own. This has happened to me before--where I had an idea, only for someone to release something eerily similar. While this didn't pan out as we had hoped, it only motivated us to continue being creative. It helps that we each have multiple projects in the works, so if we drop one, we can focus our efforts on another.

And who knows? Maybe we won't have to wait another 17 years for more cicada-inspired stories and art.

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