Comics

Naming Things is Really, Really Hard

For a while now we've been referring to the comic we're working on as "Tales from the Jonahverse", a name that's not quite accurate. You see, the title Tales from the Jonahverse is intended as an umbrella name for the different stories, featuring different characters and different genres that take place in the universe we've dreamt up.

Starting out, we figured that a name that indicated that there were four members in our team might be the way to go. I'm going to blame Shof for coming up with our first idea for a name, Tetrahedron, which sent us down a path that included the following ideas for names:

Cathode Tetragram - Which sounds wonderfully 80's punk and scifi-ey, but means nothing in relation to book apart from the fact that a tetragram is a word that's four letters long and we've got four team members.

Tetragraph - ?? It sounds cool?

The Tetrad Alternative - One of the touchstones I keep returning to when I think about the tone of the comic is the infamous line "If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire..dooj! dooj! dooj!." Yup, that's a line from the A-Team opening credits. I've always thought of the A-Team as being an unconventional last resort for those who hired them, a last throw of the dice, kind of like our team.

The Tetrad Gambit - A "gambit" eh? Well that sounds mighty bold of you, what a bold move to make, hiring those four rogues. Ugh. 

Quaternion - (a group of four soldiers, smallest regular unit of the Roman army... that makes sense!) But... ugh.

The Quaternion Alternative -  I kind of liked the fact that this sounded like a 70's scifi TV show. 

The Quaternion Files - I thought this sounded cool because it reminded me of Gene Roddenberry's "The Questor Tapes", but eventually Shof decided the word "Quaternion" was too hard to pronounce. Also, I realized that naming your comic "The Quaternion Files" because it reminded you of a failed TV show by the creator of Star Trek was a silly idea. Maybe I should have gone with this.

Back to the drawing board then. While this first story takes place on Earth, the planet Jupiter is the central hub of our universe and we wanted to hint at its importance in the fiction. Enter a new batch of marginally less awful ideas:

The Galileans - After the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. The romantic in me really liked this one. The idea of Jupiter's lovers, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto cast off and destined to spend forever in an eternal dane. I liked the idea enough that it informed the name we ended up with, even if this particular moniker was a bit too obscure in its meaning.

Cosmica Sidera - The original name Galileo gave to the four moons of Jupiter. It sounded cool, even better, no one would ever "get" what it meant... unless they were massively dorky. Cool name for a band. A dorky band.

You can see we were heading down an increasingly esoteric black hole. We needed to simplify. We needed a name that was evocative, gave the reader a sense of the tone of the comic and offered them something to grab onto. These were the names that made our final round:

  • Jupiter's Outcasts
  • Jupiter's Orphans
  • Outcasts of Jupiter
  • Outcasts of Galileo
  • The Jupiter X Tales

We decided on Outcasts of Jupiter. It's simple, easy to understand, and it paints a picture that gives you an idea of what you're getting when you pick up the book. I've prattled on enough. Next post I'll be sharing the cover for issue # of Outcasts of Jupiter, it's an absolute beauty, so check back soon!