Sunday, December 9, 2007

Name our story and win a prize!

Now that we're almost done with our tale, we're really starting to feel the need for a title. Isaac thoughtfully left a space for one back on page 1, but that space is still blank, and we're having a hard time filling it ourselves.

It's not for lack of ideas; instead, we have too many! Of course, this confusing profusion of possibilities fits the underlying theme of our story: just as the shadowfolk resist the creation of a map that would fix their shifting contours into one shape, so too we don't want to decide on a single title that would foreclose all the other likely titles.
At least, that's what we've been telling ourselves. The other possibility is that none of our proposed titles is really satisfying enough to stand on its own, and each only seems plausible because it alternates with a bunch of other okay-but-not-great options.

Which brings me to our invitation to you, our readers: we appeal to you to come up with a better title than the ones we're working with! Use the comments to offer up any ideas you have. We do not guarantee that we will settle on a reader's submission for our title, but if we do, I will express our appreciation by sending you your choice of either the ultra-rare Tales from the Classroom or a finished drawing of the character(s) of your choice, up to a group shot of five figures. Still not interested? Well, we'll be really grateful! How about that?

Just so you know what you're up against, here are some of the potential titles we've been tossing about:

The Uncharted World • Unsettled Territory • The Unmade Map • A Map of the Possible • The Chart of the Possible • Stepan's Story [working title] • Vague Terrain • Border Dispute • Shadowy Cartography • A Map of the Invisible


Shira said...

Elfworld is becoming my daily distraction! I must check at least once a day for updates, and now I've just reread the nine completed pages, hunting for clues to the title. Every time I look at these pages I notice more and more details and different ways the pages fit together. For instance, there is Arntham's head centered on at least two pages. It also seems to me that Stepan actually looks younger at the end than when he first appears on page 2.

Anyway, I haven't had any real inspiration for the title, but here are a few more possibilities to add to the list. They're really just variations on what you've already thought of, and perhaps they're on your list, too.

Into the Shadows and Back
Mapping the Shadows
An impossible map
Stepan and the impossible map
A shadowy tale
Growing in the shadows

Shira said...

One more idea. Could something be done with the phrase "shadow boxing"?
Boxing (with) the shadows
Boxing in the shadows

The title doesn't sound very poetic, but I like the double meaning that boxing could have. Not only are Stepan and Arntham (and Ipthorin?) fighting the shadows, but they are trying to box them in, onto a map, into a fixed space. It also kind of hints at how you use the space on your page, sometimes staying within the squares and other times going literally outside the box.

Adam said...

personally, I like Shadow Cartography. but if i had to introduce my own, i'd recommend:

*Shadow Play
*Fire and Shadow
*Friends in low places.


Isaac said...

I think we totally have to go with "The Chart of the Possible," to allude to Kenneth Koch. I mean, why not?

Mike said...

Funny you should mention that, Isaac, as just this afternoon my eye wandered to the windowsill of my office, where that wonderful collection of Kenneth Koch's poetry comics caught my eye and reminded me that there are sources other than Bismarck for our allusive would-be title.

That said, I congratulate Shira for independently arriving at one of the titles we had pondered that I failed to list: "Mapping the Shadows." And I really like the idea being "Shadowboxing" or "Boxing the Shadows" or however it should be varied; the impossibility of containing a shadow in a box speaks well to the futility of the endeavor (or, conversely, to the destructive nature of such an endeavor should it be successful).

As for Adam's suggestions, I like "Shadow Play" best, but I think the stakes are a little too high and the outcomes too grim: Arntham gets killed not once but TWICE in a ten-page story! Someone's not playin' around...