Spread The F Word

F Minus is the daily comic strip by Tony Carrillo
Visit www.FMIN.us for more information.
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Mar 17, 2011

Stench Blossoms: Naming My Comic

Earlier this week I posted a link to my Frequently Asked Questions on the F Minus Facebook page, and asked if anyone had questions to add. There were several good ones, but one question inspired this post. Casey asked: "Did you have any other ideas for names of your comic besides F-?"
I hadn't thought about it in years, but I distinctly remembered sitting down and brainstorming names for my comic when I decided to apply to my college newspaper. I went to my closet and started going through the stacks of old sketchbooks. Sure enough, I found it:
I know it's hard to read. It was done with a light pencil and has faded over the years.

Naming your random panel comic requires a lot of consideration. There are no main characters to name it after, so it has to somehow convey the attitude of the comic. Three of the ideas are nods to some of my comedy heroes.

New Phonebooks- From a great scene in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Jerk.

Hello Tetanus!- Funny line from a Seinfeld episode.

Tremendous Sex Appeal- Somewhat obscure line from a Woody Allen movie.

I'm glad I didn't go with any of these. They had the right feel, but I think going with something original was the right idea. Plus, no nervous newspaper editor would buy Tremendous Sex Appeal. But remember, there are no bad ideas when brainstorming.

Slightly Imperfect- This was the front-runner for a while. It's from a sticker on a discount T-shirt I bought. My girlfriend made fun of me for it, so I had the sticker made into a button I would wear occasionally. Even though it had a good story behind it, I had some problems with it. My main issue was that it sounded a little TOO "offbeat screwball comic", if that makes any sense. I wanted something a little more distinctive and memorable, and even I had trouble remembering Slightly Imperfect without the button.

F Minus- F Minus won because I felt it best conveyed the attitude of the comic. Kind of pessimistic with a sarcastic edge, and silly at the same time. I thought the concept of somehow doing worse than failing was funny. Plus, it was succinct and memorable. I got a big red pen and wrote it on a piece of paper and scanned it. I've been using that as a logo ever since. It's right there at the top of this blog.

Incidentally, I later found out about a Southern California punk band called F-Minus, but they broke up in 2005. The way to tell us apart is the band uses a hyphen and I don't. Also, they have a female vocalist and I don't. One of their albums is called Wake Up Screaming, which I think would also make a good name for a comic.

In an episode of The Simpsons, Principal Skinner exclaims, "What the F Minus?" I doubt he was referring to my comic or the band, but it's still cool.

Speaking of The Simpsons:
Lisa: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Bart: "Not if you call them Stench Blossoms."

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Anonymous said...


Dozer said...

Being British, I had never realised that 'F' meant 'Fail' and so there is no 'F Minus' grade. I am enlightened. Thank you Mr Carillo.