A Guide to Naming Your Zine.
When picking a handle for your DIY publication, put some thought into it. You want it to be catchy. You want to be able to live with it long enough to cultivate a fanbase. If you get stuck looking for a name that’ll stick, use these helpful suggestions.
1. DUMB TWO-WORD COMBINATIONS
This is the “classic” method, recommended to those whose zines deal more in general self-glorification than in any consistent topics. At least one of the words should be a really cool word, such as “burn,” “comet” or “pirate.”
Examples: Ass Pirate; Comet Collector
2. COMPOUND SENTENCES
When using a compound sentence, make it as convoluted and esoteric as possible. This will make your zine less likely to share its name with another, which will enable you to be as unoriginal as you like vis-?-vis content.
Examples: Everyone In Portland Wants My Ass And I Wish Billy Roberts Were Here; When The Tailgate Drops My Parents Move To Arizona.
3. BODILY FUNCTIONS
Name your mag after your foul-smelling personal business, and you’ll establish that ersatz intimacy stalkers crave.
Examples: My Red Rag; A Light Mist Of Diarrhea
4. FAVORITE LYRICS
To steal from another is to declare yourself that person’s inferior. This makes things easier for the zine consumer. If we hate Morrissey, we know before we thumb through it that we’ll really, really hate your zine.
Examples: I Was Born In A Crossfire Hurricane; My Lovely Lady Lumps
5. UNDERCOOKED POLITICS
This one works best for teenagers, who’ll need a “my first zine was childish and thoughtless, and I’ll prove it to you just by saying its name” story at some point.
Examples: Che Is OK; The Truth Hertz Donut
6. INSIDE JOKES THAT AREN’T
Imagine that you have immensely witty friends. You and your crew. You’re always together, and you’re always laughing. What sort of inside jokes would you have? (Tip: Make sure the name doesn’t give away your zine’s content. The game is to be sold, not to be told. If you call the thing Thrillride, there should be nothing thrilling about it.)
Examples: Hoodie Hysteria; Gravy Explosion
7. EVERYONE LOVES SELF-DEPRECATION
Malign yourself and your work from the cover onward, and you’ll beat any potential critic to the punch.
Examples: I, Pejorative; Bottom-Shelf Asshole
8. GO SUPER-GIRLY
If you’re female, your publication’s name should evoke a lazy, lingering bubblebath taken with someone as attractive as you think you are. If you want to be stalked, you have to put the sign out.
Examples: Lace By Candelight; Artemis In Heat
9. GO SUPER-MACHO
Everyone in your hometown remembers that day you got your ass handed to you at the water park. You can still fool your readers in Montana.
Examples: Back Off Bitch, Dick Cuts Diamonds
10. USE YOUR NAME
Zines don’t suck. Their authors do. Suck proudly, like none have sucked before.
Examples: Annie’s Zine; Monica Moniker’s Zine; Iggy Cranium’s Sofa Surfing Adventures
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