This just in: I am apparently the only one ever who pronounces “Blüdhaven” like “bluedhaven”I responded:
Not quite the ONLY one. :)
but thought I should explain, since the exception in question is not, in fact, me.
|Man, that's some sweet ad copy.|
When we were decided to do a Nightwing monthly for the first time, we had to figure out where to set it. Gotham City would have been easy enough, but it seemed like the titular character had made it clear that, while he valued his status as a member of the Bat-family, independence was also extremely important to him.
So we decided to create a new city, a sort of Newark to Gotham's New York. A dozen or two miles away, a major city dwarfed by its massive neighbor, with problems, in some ways, even more serious than its larger cousin next door.
But what to call it? Well, it was the mid-90s, when grim and gritty was the order of the day. I thought about New Haven, another of NYC's much smaller neighbors, and came up with "Blood Haven." I decided to smush the two together, tweak the spelling and add a Spïnäl Täpian ümläüt, and badda-bing, badda-boom: Blüdhaven.
It was, obviously, a joke. We laughed every time someone said it. Except the more we thought about it, the less stupid it began to seem and the more legitimate, especially after Chuck Dixon came up with its history as a port town settled by German whalers. Suddenly, things started clicking. It was a thoroughly blue collar town, with little to none of Gotham's ritzier sections. A place where, as Chuck said, hockey, not football or basketball, was the sport of choice. A place which had fallen on hard times decades, even a century before, but which just kept on falling, and which desperately needed a superhero.
|Also, literally the first thing we decided to do was to nix the ponytail mullet. You're welcome.|
|When this splash page first came in from Scott McDaniel, I had to be revived with smelling salts. I mean, seriously—look at that damn thing.|
Despite the ümläütëd spelling, I kept pronouncing it "Bloodhaven," because, duh, America. My wife, fluent in German, however, would have none of it, smilingly pronouncing it the correct way. So now the only time I ever say it "right," is to mollify (or, really, tease) her.
(But then she went and actually got to sort of co-plot an actual issue, so who got the last laugh? But that's a story for another day.)
And that's how Blüdhaven came to be borned.