By any other name

It freaks me out when people call me ‘Paul’ online and, equally, it’s a little odd to hear people call me ‘PJ’ in real life. 

My full name is Paul Jason Holden, and I started using my middle name nearly 20 years ago when I worked in a shop selling computers with an idiot called ‘Paul Holmes’. Holmes couldn’t really distinguish between his name and mine (or at least, never thought to try and distinguish between them when talking to people, so he’d often end up finishing conversations I’d started – not normally a problem, but he once did this to a girl I went out with. He was an idiot).

So, Paul Holden become Jason Holden. But, only in work. So I signed things PJ Holden – and people around me called me Jason.

Then, when I went online I used ‘paulj’ or ‘pj’. And, as I started to get back into drawing I’d sign my work ‘PJ Holden’.

Eventually I stopped working with people who knew me as ‘Jason’ and became, once again, plain old ‘Paul’. (Occasionally I’d bump into someone who only knew me as ‘Jason’ and they’ll call my name and it’ll confuse both of us for a minute).

By that time though, I would still sign everything as PJ Holden (or Paul J Holden) so lots of people (especially people who knew me online) would call me ‘PJ’ or ‘PEEJ’ – which is cool, I like that. Close friends would call me Paul.

Twitter and facebook saw me register with my full name – or, simply ‘PaulJHolden’ – causing lots of people to start calling me Paul online – a new and slightly odd experience for me…

All of this is just a load of who cares, except for the fact, that as a comic professional, my name has some value (not much, I’ll grant you, but what little there is needs to be nurtured like a spark). So, you know… it’s something I need to tidy up a little …

– PJ Holden (or Paul to his mates, his family and er… almost anyone who knows him from facebook or twitter)