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Titling Books

Oh, yeah. Naming the next volume when we're only 20 pages into it is such fun. I came up with something, anyway. I originally went with the subtitling pattern of: Agatha Heterodyne and the blah-di-blah-blah in imitation of the old Tom Swift books. (Tom Swift and his Big Dirigible! Tom Swift and the Amazing RV! Tom Swift and his Electric Toothbrush!) Also, because that's how Phil always titled the Heterodyne Boys books back when he used to make jokes about the nonexistent series. Now, of course, people think we're trying to cash in on the Harry Potter craze. Ah, no-one remembers history...


( 74 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 4th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Have you considered just omitting the "Next: Agatha Heterodyne and the..." teaser from volume 6, and coming up with a title later on?
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Personally, my first encounter with that naming scheme was in the Berenstein Bears books when I was a kid. It's always just sort of made sense to me. But I do fondly remember the Tom Swift books, too, and that makes a lot of sense for the adventurous structure of the story.

I hope this means that Book 6 is imminent? (Please?)
Apr. 8th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
Vol 6 is listed on Amazon. July, I think.
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
I remember the Tom Swift books. And the Harry Potter connection didn't even occur to me...
In fact, now I have to go find Tom Swift books and reread them. I remember them fondly from my early childhood, and you've mentioned them one too many times.
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
I keep forgetting that the most recent generation of kids didn't do much reading before Harry Potter...

I never read Tom Swift, but my dad had a stack of them next to the Hardy Boys ones (which I DID read - and hey, did anyone else here ever read the "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" books?).

And for the record, you could call the next book "Agatha Heterodyne's Mudslide of Doom" and I'd buy it regardless.
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Agreed. *nods*
(no subject) - 0ccam - Apr. 4th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
3 Investigators, Hardy boys - drnut - Apr. 9th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - katherinefiona - Apr. 4th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - whims - Apr. 4th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 4th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
So it isn't going to be called Agatha Heterodyne and the Deathly Hallows" after all?
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
New Volume title
I'm sure you will think of something in that Castle that is deserving. If all else fail, there is always "... and the Self-Aware Castle".

Consider that a mark to surpass. (Please)
Apr. 8th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Re: New Volume title
If we're staying in Mechanicsburg a while, a reference to the Castle is very apropos, methinks.
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
I thought the source of format was obvious, but then, the Hetrodyne Stories' source is clear. (He said, transparently.)

And BTW ... *Nudge* RSS? *nudge* I know I sent you email yesterday as an opening salvo to dealing with the Buck Godot and What's New rss issues.
Apr. 5th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Ack, I know! I'm sorry!

I'm trying to get book 6 out the door before this convention that I'm not ready for (but is this weekend) and my kid wants to watch the dancing penguin move. (With me in the room, pretending to be interested.)

I'll try to fire off the necessary info tonight! Thanks, again.
(no subject) - mneme - Apr. 5th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
The Repeletron. That's the gizmo that sticks in my head.
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Agatha Heterodyne and the Misleading Title
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
Agatha Heterodyne and the Dalek Invasion of Mechanicsburg
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
ow... hot tea up nose... ow...
(no subject) - heliograph - Apr. 4th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 4th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
I've read Harry Potter but never any Tom Swift books, and that still never occurred to me. I think the boys' adventure story antecedents are clear (especially when we get a look at Gil's library of Heterodyne books). Titles of the "So-and-so and the Something Cool" pattern have pretty thoroughly worked their way into the cultural background as a marker of adventure stories. Harry Potter might be the first connection that a younger reader makes; I think if someone had asked me what it made me think of I'd have come up with either a general comment on older kids books that I haven't read or with Indiana Jones.
Apr. 5th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
"So-and-so and the Something Cool"

That's a band name if ever I saw one...
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Agatha Heterodyne and the Big Explosion. There's bound to be one somewhere.
Apr. 4th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
My dad had Tom Swift (obvious lead in drug to Sci Fi/Fantasy), but before that he had the Jerry Todd/Poppy Ott books (the obvious lead in drug to Tom Swift). After wading through those I got into the Three Investigators books. It took awhile before I was allowed at my Dad sci fi collection (Mostly old Arkham House).
Apr. 4th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Airman Higgs
Is it my imagination or is Airman Higgs really Buster Keaton?

Re: Airman Higgs - heliograph - Apr. 4th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 4th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Agatha Heterodyne and the Norman Rockwell Plagiarism.

I expect you also get emails saying, "Hey! Those signs in the Mechanicsburg double-spread were stolen from other people's comics!"
Apr. 4th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
I love the subtitling. It makes me think of Encyclopedia Brown as well as the Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew et al. previously mentioned.

This pattern goes back at least to the Sherlock Holmes story names, though there the (super-)titling is only implied. Can anybody antedate Arthur Conan Doyle?
Apr. 5th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Can anybody antedate Arthur Conan Doyle?

Agatha Heterodyne and the Time-Travel Machine.
(no subject) - katherinefiona - Apr. 5th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 4th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
"Nostalgia isn't as good as it USED to be..."
I vote for Agatha Heterodyne and The Purple Ointment of Doom!
Apr. 5th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
We named the *dog* Indiana...
I know it isn't historically accurate, but for me the "real" source of that titling pattern will always be the Indiana Jones movies. I had my first exposure to them as a kid, and I thought it was a much better way to name sequels than just tacking a number on the end.
Apr. 5th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
The idea that you had copied the titling format never occurred to me. It's the format used in virtually every epic adventure and/or mystery-solving series I've ever enjoyed. And I'm always amused at how Harry Potter fans think everything rips off HP, when it's the other way around. Harry will never replace The Worst Witch in my heart.
Apr. 5th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)
Hi! I'm a new reader of your excellent series, and I can't restrain myself from not making a little greeting and remark on how joyful I am at finding something so extensive and dynamic in a steampunk fantasy setting--my favourite, for certain. You, and your co-creator and inkists and colourists and everyone else who contributes and works on Girl Genius, are very inspiring people. I am :very: glad I came across this comic, it has given me the 'creative boost' to start my own dabblings again as well as providing me a rather lovely archive to go through...uhm, twice.

So, yes. Thank you, and I'm looking forward to more! (And buying dead tree format to cherish and be territorial over.)
Apr. 5th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
Mimmoth Sighting!
I was tempted to just paste the picture in here but didn't want to hurt anyone's bandwidth, but if you haven't seen this you really must:

A Mimmoth!

(Note: just click the link, don't Open in New Window, unless you want to sort through about 80 other really cool transmogrified animal pictures!)4

I read Tom Swift when I was a kid (though I think it was the Juniors series as a previous poster noted). I enjoyed them, but I like the stuff you and Phil create a lot more :)

Light and laughter,
Apr. 5th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
Re: Mimmoth Sighting!
Ah well - it wouldn't let me link directly to the picture, so you'll hvae to sort through after all. Sorry about that! The mimmoth pic is about 2/3 of the way down the (long) set of photos.

It's worth looking through them anyway ;)

Light and laughter,
Apr. 5th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
I didn't think of the Tom Swift series, but I didn't think of Harry Potter either. Anyone who thinks that titling stories that way was a farm-fresh idea of JK Rowling's has seriously got to read more.

I hope you're not considering abandoning the Agatha Heterodyne and the Intriguing Reference pattern. I think it really fits well with the tone of the work.
Apr. 5th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
The pattern is far older than that...
No one remembers Commander Cody and the Radar Men on the Moon? The old Republic serials were always titled in that form:

Protagonist and the [Antagonist and/or Place/Object/Event of Interest]
Apr. 6th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: The pattern is far older than that...
This was my association also: adventure serials (movies, or other media). That's undoubtedly what Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was meant to call to mind as well (as I think someone noted above). Given that Girl Genius is a serialized adventure, it seemed a natural choice. It hadn't occurred to me that it's also popular among children's stories (e.g. James and the Giant Peach).
Re: The pattern is far older than that... - etrigan63 - Apr. 6th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
So Obvious
Agatha Heterodyne frequently modulated. A referance to FM radio.
Or Agatha Heterodyne...SUPER HETERODYNE....amply modulated?

Then again with this being steam punk, Agatha Heterodyne chips a tooth, Agatha Heterodyne and the differential drive! Agatha Heterodyne drops her gear? Agatha Heterodyne Strips a gear
Agatha Heterodyne and the Acme screw?...Interrupted screw? Wyl E Coyote referance
Agatha Heterodyne and The mechanicsburg incident?

I better stop now before I get hit with something .....very large that goes MEEP! MEEP!

Its not so evil being this easy!
Apr. 6th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: So Obvious
I got to add one more.

Agatha Heterodyne and the adjustable wench.
Apr. 6th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
How about "Agatha Heterodyne and the Secret of Mechanicsburg"? Everyone would be like "No! There are no hints to content! I must buy the book to know the secret!" ;P
Apr. 8th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
(Robert Carnegie)
But, -is- there a secret of Mechanicsburg?

-We- don't know anything, but we're too cheap to buy the guidebook. Heliotrope probably gives tours, when he isn't sitting at the gate waiting for his hair to come back. "Oh, you did not just do that." Oh yes I did.

... [Agatha Heterodyne And The Ancestral Retainer] ?

P.S. I think Airshipman Higgs vf ntngunf ryqre oebgure but don't tell anyone. :-) ( http://www.rot13.com/ )
(/Robert Carnegie)
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
never even considered that you were borrowing from HP...

however, how about "Agatha Heterodyne and the Gigantic Mimmoths"

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( 74 comments — Leave a comment )