Headless Man-Horse->Headless Rodeo

I changed the name of my ‘zine outfit’

I don’t even know what to call it. Imprint? Distro? Company? HMH was the place where I decided I would play around with making stuff under one unifying purple banner. No rhyme or reason. Something to put on the back of a zine or the side of a sticker so that people can see that stuff was made by the same entity.

Would I recommend making a website from scratch using Jekyll and Github? Not necessarily.

Not to the average person. Unless they want to learn more about coding/net terminology/tech/web design/etc. If they just want to have a thing that works, and have the money, just make a Wordpress site and be done with it. Or, even easier, just utilize their preferred social media platform for their landing page.

But what if you don’t want to participate in social media? Having a presence on the internet is still an empowering and potentially a professionally important thing. And besides, I like design and tinkering around, so, yeah, I went with the semi-scratch method.

Learning to build a website with Jekyll and Github pages has taken me about two weeks. Most of that was spent learning everything from scratch, googling answers in the cold lonely dark in my tear-stained mumu, reviewing examples that I’m sure are outdated but work for me, copying and pasting code from people’s github projects and praying to the god Settings that things will work out in my favor and staining my mumu with more tears when it doesn’t. I’ve learned a ton, and the groundwork was laid so that I can learn more about web design in the future. It was difficult. Straight up. I wanted to give up several times, especially when I fundamentally did not understand what I was doing in Jekyll, what the hell Github was(I still don’t have any grasp of best practices when it comes to version control or branches) but I kept at it, cracked on, and here we are!

It does not surprise me that I have not found the perfect light theme in Visual Studio Code. I know there are tools out there to make them from scratch. After this process of learning, now I’m confident I could summon a perfect VSC theme with the right mixture of stolen knowledge and nose-to-the-grindstone-iness. But that’s a lot of effort right now when I’m focused on other things.

And finally I get to the damned point.

In the process of buying a custom domain name (“How hard can it be?” Turns out, harder than just clicking a button and spending money) I was generating giant lists of wacky clownfaced domain names like .beauty and .life. I was trying out combos of words that either express who I am (Ooze) or the “publishing/company facing” identity (Headless Man-Horse, rip). A website that just says sewer.life is fuckin’ great but doesn’t impart anything about having a “company” with branded products. And just having headlessmanhorse.com is accurate and available, but I don’t want to care about the commercial success of my ‘company’. I just want to continue having fun. Remember fun? Remember doing things just because it was fun to do, and not because you hoped it would make a “good product” to sell?

So I pared it down to just the keyword headless.*. “Headless” is fun, imparts the impression of the “company,” but remains vague enough to allow strange projects and whimsy when I feel like it. So I flop “headless” into Namecheap and get to scrollin’. Lo and behold, headless.rodeo exists and is free and is cheap as hell.

Happy accidents.

As soon as I mumble headless.rodeo out loud to my wife, lilting upward like I’m asking myself a question, she admits that she has a whole picture in her head of exactly what “Headless Rodeo” is all about, western horror themed, silliness. A vivid picture. Branding. The whole bit. And I had to admit, I had the same picture. I’m seeing logos playing on old cowboy themes, I’m seeing lettering in some sort of lasso rope font, I’m seeing a simplified red-yellow-white color palette. When I would tell people “Headless Man-Horse” they would say “do you mean ‘Headless Horseman’?” because that’s the perfectly reasonable thing to do. But if I say “Headless Rodeo”, you get an image of a skeleton on a buckin’ bronc for a western horror themed entity. Point is, this was purely an accident, stumbling forward in the dark. And I kept my mind open, and found something much better, and rode west to pursue gold.

All that’s left is to change the etsy store around, make a new logo, and take things as they come.