Monday, November 8, 2010

All The Best Comics Have Daddy Issues #5


It’s an important decision when having a kid, what’s the name going to be? Plenty of people will ask you if you’ve got a name yet, they’re all very interested. Then you release the name and people will instantly want to know where you got it and what it means. It’s a big decision to make, and one people will pore over, so do you opt for a comic name or not?

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Geek

Being allowed to choose the title someone will hold for the rest of their life is pretty cool but also not to be taken for granted. You can’t be flippant with your choice, but you have to make it personal. You want the name to be something you like, your wife likes, and you really want to be saying for the next few decades. It’s a big decision but you’ve got a few months to make it.

There are literally more names in the world than you could ever know. You can buy books of baby names, you can choose familial names already set through custom, you can mix up letters and syllable chunks together, or you can draw from inspiration.

Data showed that for 2009 the two most popular names, for boys and girls, were Jacob and Bella. That’s pretty lame, in my estimation, but to each their own. You have to find a name you like somewhere and popular culture is a good way to get exposure to all sorts of cool monikers that will have positive connotations for you.

Though I do worry how many kids throughout history have been named Cousin Larry or Laverne.

When it came time for us to name our child we just spit balled names we liked. They came from books, movies, our heads, anywhere and everywhere. You can’t be too precious, not at the start. You need to make a big list because it’ll soon be broken down as one person or the other always has some sort of problem with a name. I was constantly given good suggestions, but that was the problem, they were good but not great. My constant reply was “That’s a good name, but it’s just not the name of my son.”

I admit, I did look to comics for some inspiration. I offered up Murdock and Yorick as two suggestions, being linked to my two favourite four colour characters. Though, they were sneaky suggestions as I was giving my wife names I knew she wouldn’t like because then the name I did like would look that much better. It’s a sneaky trick to pull but all’s fair in love and baby names.

Naming your child after a comic character can be a slippery choice. Do you really want to constantly explain to people that you’re such a mad fan of Deadpool that you named your kid Wade Wilson Lindsay{or insert your surname here}? It could get pretty tired and you don’t want to get caught up in a craze that won’t age well. It’s like getting a tattoo, this is for life, think it through.

Here, in list form (because lists are awesome), are some comic names you might consider. I won’t say if they are good or bad, that’s for you to decide, but they are here for your consideration.

Ares – He’s the god of war. Your kid is never going to get picked on in the playground if he’s a possible god of war. This name just screams power and muscles and getting ripped apart by the Sentry.

Amadeus Cho – First and middle name combo, always nice to tie it all together. Maybe you like the more erudite comic characters and this sort of name is elite, it’s smart, it’s just asking for your kid to win some sort of academic award. Is it for you?

T’Challa – I guarantee no other kid on your block will have this name. It’s individual, it’s regal, it’s awesome, and it’s hard to pronounce just right. All signs of a good name, right?

Blackagar Boltagon – use them together, use them on their own, or even (hold onto your hats) have a set of twins with these names. You know what, scrap this suggestion, I don’t want anyone stealing it until I know I’ve never had twins. I shotgun this one unless I can’t use it, then I’ll be selling the rights to name your twins Blackagar and Boltagon on eBay.

Dashiell – the main name from Scalped, and I believe also Jason Aaron’s son’s actual; name, is just pure cool. It’s got ties to the true king of hard boiled, Hammett (not Kirk), and it can be shortened to Dash. This one is a true awesome choice (not that the others aren’t) and I’d consider it in a heartbeat.

Dum Dum – Or maybe just name your kid Dugan and make Dum Dum the nickname. It’s up to you. Seriously, I don’t want a hand in this one.

Holden – This name will always mean Carver in my book. Caulfield, who? It was owned in Sleeper and became so much cooler in my estimation.

Marv – Do you want your kid to look like his head is made up of stain glass window pieces and straight razor scars? Then get your Sin City on and name your kid Marv. You’ll be bringing the name back, man.

Magnus – It could be a cool name, right? Maybe if you dye your kid’s hair grey.

These are just a few. And they’re all* awesome.

*Note: Not all of them are, sorry.

My son’s name is Parker.

I know, everyone thinks it’s for a certain radioactive fuelled nerd who became a friendly neighbourhood protector/menace. Let me say right here, it’s not. I like Spidey, don’t get me wrong, he’s a pretty cool character. But naming my son Parker didn’t have anything to do with casting an allusion to Peter Parker.

This choice of name had more to do with this comic character.

I know, he actually started in prose. That’s fine with me, he’s also in movies? Did Richard Stark’s Parker ever release an album? Maybe he’s in music too. But ultimately, he’s just awesome. He’s a very cool character. He’s a great visual. But he’s got a great name.

I don’t expect my son to grow up pulling heists and grizzling his way through decades of pulp. I didn’t name him for some sort of nominal actualisation. I’m not creating a living shrine to Parker, I just really like the name. It looks good, sounds good, and has plenty of positive connections for me. I didn't actually choose the name because of the comic character, in the end the name won out, but for many reasons. All win, really.

I can also go with Parker Robbins, everyone's favourite villain (look it up). Or maybe Jeff Parker has just impressed me with his writing, who knows? I love to write with Parker pens...and when it rains outside, you know what wet whether gear I put on?

No seriously, I just loved the opening sequence to Casino Royale - the one where they run all over the city, what is the name of that sport?

Alright, already, my son is just a living tribute to Ray Parker Jr. Why wouldn't he be?


Choosing a name comes down to many factors being considered. You get 9 months, give or take, because you’ll need every minute of it. We chose Parker, we like it, and I always will. What sort of names have you given to your offspring? Has anyone gone down the path of a comic character name? What comic names would make the best real life names for a kid? All will be revealed, by you, in the comments below.

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Melissa Jones said...

A great post and I love the name. It just occured to me that you actualy have even less than 9 months to name your bub as you don't know the gender for sure until the 2O week scan...and even then my brother managed to fool the doctors (not sure what this says about him!). Anyways, thats for a great read :o)

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Melissa, you make a great point. You usually only get a few months to really lock in your name, especially as many don't even know they're pregnant in the first month or more...

Glad you enjoyed the read. Cheers!

Ivan said...

The Hood, everyone's favourite villain? Surely your jest.

Dashiell is a pretty awesome nome, I agree.

My kid is going to be Arthur if a boy, and Julia if a girl.

brandon said...

We didnt find out what we having either time and the first go round we didnt have a boy name ready - even at the point of birth. My wife liked Parker - with the middle name of Peter. I couldnt get it through her head that this was some sort of criminal sin against my geek ego. She didnt know of the comic book relationship - she just liked the name(s).

Thankfully we had girls. both were named what used to be boy names - a century ago - one of which was my grandfather's name - Allie.

Oh, her number two boy name? Logan...Logan Joseph?

Aaron K said...

I think if you're going to call your son "Dum Dum", you have to officially name him "Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader". 'Nuff said.

Matt Duarte said...

Last time I checked, my wife had agreed that Elektra was a good name for a girl. I don't know if she'll agree for it as the first name, but maybe for middle.

Also, not completely comics-related, but Leonidas (as in, from 300) is a pretty cool one as well. It's both regal and can be shortened to "Leo" for everyday purposes.

But babies in my household are probably years away (in theory at least), so I have time to think about it.

Dennis N said...

I know a lot of people who think about names starting when they're young, so you really have a lot longer than 9 months. 9 months is just when the clock starts ticking. Also, to take full advantage of your time, you can choose a gender neutral name, like Jo, or Sam.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Ivan - he's not your favourite villain...weird ;)

@Brandon - who just likes Parker and Peter without knowing the connection...?

@Aaron K - I think if you're going to name your kid Dum Dum you have to officially have your kid taken away from you, it's just setting a human up for failure, no matter how many fancy names you put behind it, ha.

@Matt - I actually quite like Elektra, I also dig Scarlet but JamesMOMB got in first...and be careful what you say, announcements like that lead to accidents that have you co-hosting my column here, ha.

And finally,

@Dennis - I've been thinking about baby names all my life, but surprisingly none of the ones I liked previously had any chance. For me, at least, it was all about what I liked in this 9 months.

Ivan said...

Guys, am I the only one who thinks that a father naming his daughter 'Elektra' is as weird as a mother naming her son 'Oedipus'? :P

Aaron K said...

@Ryan - I think history proves you wrong. The only "Dum Dum" that I am aware of was not a failure at all, but a decorated WWII hero who has long been the de facto second-in-command of world security. That name likely has a higher rate of success than "Ryan" or "Parker" combined!

Matt Duarte said...

@Ivan: Ha! but it's not as bad as people naming their kids "Jesus"

Kirk Warren said...

If I were to have daughters, I was always of the mind to go with Mary Jane and Gwen for the names. They sound normal enough and I get my geek cred at the same time. Never really thought of any for a potential boy though.

Matt Duarte said...

Not related to baby names, but back when I used to (try to) play guitar, I would joke around that the guitar's name was Mary Jane... and everyone thought that it was a drug reference.

Anonymous said...

if you do the twins thing, you can yell, "Black, Bolt!!!! stop screaming!!!!" and it would be freaking geek joke.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Hey @Aaron K - I'll let you take the Pepsi Challenge with Dum Dum, you name your kid that and see how long they last in the playground.

As for success:

Ryan Gosling
That kid from the OC
Ryan Phillipe

And I'd rather be Rickard Stark's Parker that some aged Howling Commando ;)

brandon said...

@Ryan - I confirmed this with my wife last night.

I asked: When you wanted to name our kid 'Parker Peter' if she were a boy did you know it was Spider-Man's name backwards?

Wife: I thought you said his name was Logan?

I think that confirms it enough.

Ivan said...

"I'm the best at what I do. And what I do is to use my power with responsibility."

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Brandon - that's pretty funny. Ah, how the wives must view our little addiction, ha.

@Ivan - well played.

Anonymous said...

@Matt Duarte

Mari Jane as in Mariguana ? a very popular drug here in Mexico haha


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