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3 questions, folks.

1.  Is there anyone else out there that can't for the life of them commit to a title?  I want a zine that has more than 2 issues so badly, but I can't stick with a title.  I haven't even finished my second issue of the zine I'm writing right now, and I already want to change the title.  I want to be one of those zinesters that's known by the title of my zine, but that's never going to happen unless I can stick with one! 

2.  How do you guys feel about zines titled after songs?  I always feel like I'm not being original or I'm being a bit of a thief.  I always use public domain images, so I feel a bit weird about taking a title.  I know it's unlikely that anyone is going to care since my zine certainly won't become famous and the artist will likely never see it, but it still feels a bit odd.  (And the song titles I'm considering are by the same band I took my pen name from... haha.)

3.  If I change the name, since I only have one issue, should I call it issue 2, or should I just start over and have the other one entirely separate?  Maybe kind of like a special "this was the secret first issue of whatever-I-decide-to-call-my-zine"? 

If anyone is interested, I've put some of the titles I'm considering in my blog here and I'd love to hear which you like best.  And please tell me I'm not alone in this maddness! 

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1. I've seen friends with the same problem- with screen names, email account names, etc. They pick a name that's really meaningful for them at the moment, but then wind up changing the name and changing it again as they change. I'm not saying there's anything wrong about that- but I think with titles people can run into the same problem.

What I did was pick a name that had no meaning to me whatsoever. And yeah, over 13 years later, I'm still using it.

So maybe take all the ideas for titles that you have and mangle them together. Or pick something completely different. Maybe then you won't feel like it's 'wrong' or doesn't suit your content and hence will be less tempted to change it.

2. I've got no problem with it. God knows I've butchered a few songs lyrics for titles and such over the years. :P
1 & 3 - I think you should stick with the same title if you want to continue to write about the same issues, or you should change it if you want to do something different. I usually give a more-or-less determinate character to each title I produce, and that allows me to have different "series" of zines going on at the same time. For instance, Fucus is a comic and illustration zine, my main project, but every once in a while I would release an issue of Manual, my DIY mini-zine, when I've gathered enough texts to fill it. That allows me to write or draw about different things at the same time, and to end a project when I feel it has arrived to a dead end.

If you want to start a new title, do it, but maybe you should consider writing about something different, or changing your point of view. If not, it's going to be the same zine with a different name, which would confuse your readers...

2 - I personally don't like music bands named after other band's songs, I think it's not very original. Maybe you can find an interesting title related to your zine theme, your character or something you like very much. Just combine an adjective and a noun, choose a word in a foreign language, look up for words in a dictionary, invent a word that only you know the meaning of, try to formulate an unnamed feeling (happy disgust, etc), describe an anecdote or an important moment of your life, appropriate the nom of an Historical figure, write a word backwards or change the order of the letters, mix up words cut up from a newspaper and take two of them without looking at them (dadaist style)... But all this are only suggestions, so you can do what you like ;)
1. That does not describe me, but I'm sure there are.

2. I'm not a big fan of naming things after songs, but I think the important issue is really just whether it works. Aside from it's connection to the song, is it a good name? Is the reference to the song relevant and meaningful and appropriate to the actual content of the zine? It's also worth considering how a reference to a band will affect the audience's opinion of something. If I recognize a reference to something I don't like in the title of something, I'm a lot less likely to look at it.

3. Whatever you want.
I like to name things different, too. But, then again I am big into themes and I get carried away with them. I originally did Current Resident as Imaginary Life. So, it was Imaginary Life #2 - current resident. I ended up changing it later, becasue it really was a different zine and it deserved it's own title - and it was confusing.

But, in general. I think sub titling a zine can take care of this. So, your zine would be Maps #2 - Rain also Rises - or whatever it was. I am not saying you have to use Maps, but if you stick with one you can still sub title it other things.

I use the zine Paper Crush like that. I have had 3 issues and two of them had a subtitle.

I think using song lyrics is no problem.

I do think Maps is kind of too short. It feels like it needs something else, like Lost Maps or Reading Maps or whatever....

But, yeah, I agree you need to find a main name and keep on with it. Or if you really don't want to you can make up a press name like I did and always use that. People may learn to look for that.

Hope some of this helps.

Krissy
Even though I did technically name one of my past zines (Red-Hooded Sweatshirt) after a song, I think the fact that it was also the name of a pretty innocuous/relatable item of clothing kept it from being lumped into the "named after a song" category.

You can name your zine whatever you'd like, but my personal hesitation is that you are forever (or, you know, for the life of your zine) tied to that song/artist. Maybe tomorrow you wake up and can't stand Bjork! Or whatever! The other thing that I think is kind of a bummer is when people won't even pick up a zine called "William It Was Really Nothing" because they hate The Smiths, or "Dog on Wheels" because they hate Belle and Sebastian. Are those the kind of people you want as your readership? Maybe, maybe not. But something to consider. Personally, I am really glad that I never thought to name my zine anything ska-related, because now that doesn't really resonate with me as much as it did when I was 20.

All of that said, I am much more of a fan of really random zine names. Ultraviolet Q-Tips was one I always really liked, because wow, that is so random! See also: Muffin Bones.
YES. I've always been like that. It's very frustrating. But when I do find that perfect name, I do stick to it (I've had the same email for three years, finally!) so I think I just have to wait till it feels perfect. I always try to lean towards something that doesn't have too much meaning, that's a good point. Thanks!

Ro- The Apocalypse Girl said:
1. I've seen friends with the same problem- with screen names, email account names, etc. They pick a name that's really meaningful for them at the moment, but then wind up changing the name and changing it again as they change. I'm not saying there's anything wrong about that- but I think with titles people can run into the same problem.

What I did was pick a name that had no meaning to me whatsoever. And yeah, over 13 years later, I'm still using it.

So maybe take all the ideas for titles that you have and mangle them together. Or pick something completely different. Maybe then you won't feel like it's 'wrong' or doesn't suit your content and hence will be less tempted to change it.

2. I've got no problem with it. God knows I've butchered a few songs lyrics for titles and such over the years. :P
Thanks. :) Regarding song titles, I really don't like when it's a song title that's very obviously a song title. Otherwise, I'm not quite as bothered, but I do agree that it's not as original and I'd only do it if it felt perfect for the zine.

Teknad said:
1 & 3 - I think you should stick with the same title if you want to continue to write about the same issues, or you should change it if you want to do something different. I usually give a more-or-less determinate character to each title I produce, and that allows me to have different "series" of zines going on at the same time. For instance, Fucus is a comic and illustration zine, my main project, but every once in a while I would release an issue of Manual, my DIY mini-zine, when I've gathered enough texts to fill it. That allows me to write or draw about different things at the same time, and to end a project when I feel it has arrived to a dead end.

If you want to start a new title, do it, but maybe you should consider writing about something different, or changing your point of view. If not, it's going to be the same zine with a different name, which would confuse your readers...

2 - I personally don't like music bands named after other band's songs, I think it's not very original. Maybe you can find an interesting title related to your zine theme, your character or something you like very much. Just combine an adjective and a noun, choose a word in a foreign language, look up for words in a dictionary, invent a word that only you know the meaning of, try to formulate an unnamed feeling (happy disgust, etc), describe an anecdote or an important moment of your life, appropriate the nom of an Historical figure, write a word backwards or change the order of the letters, mix up words cut up from a newspaper and take two of them without looking at them (dadaist style)... But all this are only suggestions, so you can do what you like ;)
Thanks! Yeah, I'm not a big fan either. That's a great point about how it relates to the band- fortunately the ones I'm considering are from quite an obscure band. I really don't like titles that are very obviously song titles or by a very popular band.

Dan C said:
1. That does not describe me, but I'm sure there are.

2. I'm not a big fan of naming things after songs, but I think the important issue is really just whether it works. Aside from it's connection to the song, is it a good name? Is the reference to the song relevant and meaningful and appropriate to the actual content of the zine? It's also worth considering how a reference to a band will affect the audience's opinion of something. If I recognize a reference to something I don't like in the title of something, I'm a lot less likely to look at it.

3. Whatever you want.
Thanks again, Krissy. Sub titles are a good idea. I was trying to come up with a second word for Maps for ages... Folded Maps, Wrinkled Maps, Old Maps- and NOTHING worked. I don't think it fits. Oh well. It was only supposed to be a working title anyway, but then I finished a first issue before I came up with anything I liked.

The great thing is ultimately it's my zine and my rules so I can do whatever. ;) That's what I love about zines.

Krissy PonyBoy Press said:
I like to name things different, too. But, then again I am big into themes and I get carried away with them. I originally did Current Resident as Imaginary Life. So, it was Imaginary Life #2 - current resident. I ended up changing it later, becasue it really was a different zine and it deserved it's own title - and it was confusing.

But, in general. I think sub titling a zine can take care of this. So, your zine would be Maps #2 - Rain also Rises - or whatever it was. I am not saying you have to use Maps, but if you stick with one you can still sub title it other things.

I use the zine Paper Crush like that. I have had 3 issues and two of them had a subtitle.

I think using song lyrics is no problem.

I do think Maps is kind of too short. It feels like it needs something else, like Lost Maps or Reading Maps or whatever....

But, yeah, I agree you need to find a main name and keep on with it. Or if you really don't want to you can make up a press name like I did and always use that. People may learn to look for that.

Hope some of this helps.

Krissy
Yeah, that's what I was thinking- the title I'm considering is "Gathered Years" which isn't very obviously a song either. Unless you know the band, which a lot of people don't. That's a great point about people relating it to the band- that's why I'd never use a really popular band. I'm still hesitant on doing it at all, but the title seems to suit it really well. And hey, I already took my pen name from them... fortunately this really isn't a life altering decision and I can always change it down the road. :P
I love those names, by the way!

redhoodedm said:
Even though I did technically name one of my past zines (Red-Hooded Sweatshirt) after a song, I think the fact that it was also the name of a pretty innocuous/relatable item of clothing kept it from being lumped into the "named after a song" category.

You can name your zine whatever you'd like, but my personal hesitation is that you are forever (or, you know, for the life of your zine) tied to that song/artist. Maybe tomorrow you wake up and can't stand Bjork! Or whatever! The other thing that I think is kind of a bummer is when people won't even pick up a zine called "William It Was Really Nothing" because they hate The Smiths, or "Dog on Wheels" because they hate Belle and Sebastian. Are those the kind of people you want as your readership? Maybe, maybe not. But something to consider. Personally, I am really glad that I never thought to name my zine anything ska-related, because now that doesn't really resonate with me as much as it did when I was 20.

All of that said, I am much more of a fan of really random zine names. Ultraviolet Q-Tips was one I always really liked, because wow, that is so random! See also: Muffin Bones.
If you want to be known by the title of your zine, it will pay out big time to work even harder on content. At the end of the day, why do you create this publication? So people like the title? In essence what is it you want people to experience while reading it? And then think of a name that communicates that to the reader so they'll be able to remember your zine and with this method, will come to have a reaction to the title.

I think if you put basic information on the zine cover people will come to identify with it that way, and then you can start a piece on wanting to give it a title and ask for help from your readers.

By putting, for example, your pen name or nick name state your from and maybe a tag line, it gives people an idea of what your about anyway. By possibly keeping the zine interactive and letting readers write to you it will open a dialogue that will give you inspiration for titles by reading what YOUR readers have to say to you/about you/about your zine. Maybe a joke you and a reader share will sum up what brought you to zine culture and you end up naming it, "a pope a rabbi and a shawman walk into a pet shop", the point is regardless of what you come up with it will earn respect from readers that might understand what you went through to come up with a title for a publication that you wanted people to remember a great deal and see that the title was a union of yourself and the readers.

-I think a good idea would be to use your pen name, and write down a tagline with it. I.E. "S.B.R.C."
(your we make zines name, representing your connection with this community and spreading the word?)
-use a screename you once had that you used to do something funny with like protest a teacher
-use your real name and something about yourself, "John Doe- 44th President of the US", that reflects the nature of your zine and what you're trying to say by writing it.

That's all I got for now.

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