How did I end up with the title?


I was thinking this weekend that I never really explained why I chose the title ON THE VERGE for this graphic novel (which has now become MANY things). The closest I came was from my second blog post (boy that was a long time ago!) where I wrote:

What’s in a name?
I needed to name my story and name the company that Agnosto started. This led me to two names: Edge and Verge. Edge was simple and to the point so the company became Edge. I liked “On the Verge” for the title because it had a nice ring to it. I dug around online and couldn’t find another comic called that, so my comic had a name.

My comic was starting to come together.

The thing is, that sort of briefly explains the overall thinking. I wish it had been that easy settling on a name for the graphic novel. It wasn’t… What I find interesting is that when I started out, I really didn’t think about how ON THE VERGE would expand out to be a larger project because I was focused on creating one graphic novel. But at the same time, I did think that I could tack things on to the title if I ever did advertising or promotion. So I did see how ON THE VERGE could be used for more than just a main title – which is a good thing now that this project has expanded to include multiple stories..

As I alluded to in the above snippet, I really wanted the title to capture something and explained what the universe I am creating was all about. The question at the time was, what kind of title does that? As with most creative things that I do, I started with brainstorming. I had the general idea that I wanted the title to use words like “out there” (think the X-Files) or “fringe” (like Fringe which was big at the time) to bring paranormal/supernatural imagery to a viewer’s mind. So this led to words like edge, verge, border, borderline, limit, outer, margin, perimeter, etc. So after kicking around various combinations, some of the challengers that didn’t quite make the cut were Edge (obviously), The Edge, On Edge, Outside, Paranormal Explorers and UpsideDown. Looking back on my notes and the ones that almost made it, the only one that I feel could have stood the test of time is On Edge.

ON THE VERGE really captured what I was aiming for. It explained the paranormal/supernatural/thriller elements of the story as well as the fact that I was “on the verge” of creating a graphic novel which was kind of a fun play on the theme. One final point that I should make is that before I really settled on a name, I played around with the design of the words and letters. I wanted to make sure that I had something that would look good on the page and online. Maybe that influenced my decision, I’m not sure, but overall ON THE VERGE won out.

Fast forward a couple of years…
So yeah, I’m still using ON THE VERGE as the title and I think it still works. It turns out that there’s a couple of different “On the Verge” webcomics out there (which is something that there wasn’t – or at least I couldn’t find them – back when I started out). I would hope that I have a little bit more invested in terms of content actually posted than any other “on the verge” comic out there as I have been actively posting a lot of content online for 3+ years now. So in some ways, I feel like On the Verge is “my title” and I’m not too worried about any confusion. It’s been fun looking at Google search results as this project has progressed. The term “on the verge” is actually quite common which is something that I didn’t think about when I was generating names. But slowly my stuff has been appearing.

Something else I will point out is that here in Guelph (where I live and work) there is actually a funky store called “On the Verge,” so that gets a little bit confusing when I talk to people around here. I was aware of the store before I settled on the title, but it didn’t influence the naming at all. Thinking on a slightly more global scale, I know no one has ever confused the two outside of this area. Plus one is a store and one’s a comic.

Anyway, naming my comic was probably one of the hardest things that I had to do. It was really difficult to settle on something when I was starting out, versus writing and drawing pages and getting a good chunk of pages done before I settled on something. At the same time, I feel like having a name has really set a tone for the project and it’s something that to this day I’m really happy with.

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

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