You know, Will and I are pretty dumb.
We pour a ton of time and effort into this comic, but we’re terrible at anything else. We’re not good at marketing, promotion, reader outreach, branding, or making money. (Most of that is all the same thing, right?) Fortunately, we know and are loved by people that are smarter than we are.
We’ve been knocking our heads agains the wall trying to produce stuff that you guys would want, but we never really availed ourselves of all the tools out there to get it to you…so we ended up settling for posters and prints. (We’ve sold a few posters, but not many. We’ve NEVER sold a print.)
With the Hunter Black relaunch, we’ve decided to tackle merchandising in a new, smarter way: we’re trying out a Print On Demand storefront, offering the kind of gear that today’s geeks like: shirts, phone cases, hoodies, etc. Not everything will be Hunter Black-branded, either. Will, Jacob, and I are all geeks with broad tastes (I even like SPORTS), and we’ll try to reflect that in our offerings.
But that means that we can’t simply brand our new storefront as HUNTER BLACK. We’re offering more than that. Similarly, we can’t stick with Big & Tall Tales for this. Big & Tall Tales is strictly a publishing imprint…besides, we’ll never attract a female shopper onto our site with the words “Big & Tall” prominently featured. We needed a new name, something that spoke to our sensibilities about geekery and fandom. Something that says something about who we are.
We’re a little geeky, a litter hipstery, a little bohemian, a little rough around the edges, a little snobby, and a lot tongue in cheek. Everybody’s welcome…except for the people that can’t behind the notion that everybody’s welcome. We needed a name that at least tried to capture all of that.
I won’t bore you with the list of rejected names, or with the weird process that resulted in Raygun Tea Party, which is a chimera of other names that had problems of one sort or another. Suffice it to say that we are Hunter Black, we are Big & Tall Tales, and we are also Raygun Tea Party. You’re invited, too…just leave your blasters at the door.