My Own Personal Gotham

Posted: 10th May 2012 by Jeff Bouley / Deacon Blue in Ruminations
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Apologies to Depeche Mode…I really shouldn’t abscond with and alter a lyric from their very fine song “Personal Jesus” just to make a catchy headline. And with respect to New York City…no, you’re not the Gotham I’m referring to.

As most of you reading this probably know (or likely you wouldn’t be at a blog full of superhero-related fiction), Gotham City is a fictional metropolis in the DC Comics universe whose most notable hero is Batman (though many other heroes and many more villains also roam its streets). It’s a city with a host of problems, not the least of which is very high crime rate and lots of corruption. As some folks have noted in the past, “Why would anyone even want to live in Gotham City?”

To that, I can only say, “Why at various times in recent history has anyone been willing to live in Detroit, Oakland or a host of other cities on hard times with lots of rough people in it?”

Some of you might wonder if my own fictional city of New Judah (in Connecticut, just across the Long Island Sound from New York) might be my own spin on Gotham City.


While admittedly there is some significant crime and some whack-jobs every bit as violently insane as anyone from Batman’s rogue’s gallery and a very Batman-inspired hero (Query), I wouldn’t say that New Judah is a depressing and inherently hostile place. I see it as a pretty prosperous city that also has some warts and just happens to attract a lot of transhumans to its environs. If anything, I would say New Judah is more like a mash-up of Chicago and New York City than anything else.

However, I do have my own personal Gotham, as it happens.


Now, if you’ve read my page briefly outlining my Whethermen universe (here) you’ve heard of Marksburgh. The city has shown up briefly in this blog in the actual fiction, initially with “Hush-a-Bye and GoodKnight” but also in a few recent chapters of “The Gathering Storm” that featured the eponymous characters of that initial story.

I will eventually get more into the borders of the fictional city of Marksburgh, which is the darkest and deepest hellhole in all of Pennsylvania, in some future stories…perhaps even a future series once I bring “The Gathering Storm” to a conclusion at some point. No doubt I will need to show you why people stay in such places, because I suspect it might end up making Gotham City look good.

At the very least, it’s going to make Erie look fantastic by comparison (since the Erie of the Whethermen universe isn’t much different than the Erie of the real world).

More fiction to come soon. Still recovering from a hellishly nasty series of deadlines for work.