DC Comics Gotham City Map Story
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Okay — I was ushered into a middling-sized conference room at the DC Comics’ editorial offices and all the editors filed in. Denny ran in, listened for a bit and then declared we didn’t need him! Off he went. Denny was the ring-leader of all the various planning of stories and events, special projects and coping with the angst of all the writers and artists for this big DC happening. He was a busy guy. The other Batman editors and assistants began talking of their wish lists. I wrote a few things down. See the notes I took at that meeting (below). I was assured that I would get a list of place names later, so I really took it easy. From the way the guys were hollering at me, I must’ve been asleep because my notes were skimpy.
The DC Comics editors made it clear that Gotham City was an idealized version of Manhattan. Like most comic book constructs, it had to do a lot of things. It needed sophistication and a seamy side. A business district and fine residences. Entertainment, meat packing, garment district, docks and their dockside business. In short all of Manhattan and Brooklyn stuffed into a … well, a nice page layout.
The DC Comics editors plopped a pile of scripts in my hand. I was surprised to be given the “Top Secret” full-scripts, but delighted to get an early eye-full of the plots. I used them for note-taking in that hectic meeting. I present the first pages of the first two plots with my scrawl on them. When I got home I read them and extracted what I could from them. (Yes, yes; they were poignant, moving, tear-filled and uh, y’know — uh, comic-y.) They were mostly written by film legend Bob Gale, with Alex Maleev on the first book.
I was also handed what I believe was Jordan Gorfunkle’s personal copy of the “No Man’s Land” plot rundown and cross-overs. I present those first two pages here as an insightful peek deep into the wiles and ways of DC editors back before the turn of the Millennium. They loved their spreadsheets …
I assured the guys that I would be a thoughtful map-maker, cadged a lunch, swiped some comics and made my way home.