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Mark Waid's Journal:

The mood at the Burkittsville Diner is one of elation.

And dread. It's one of elation and dread. Also,

jocularity. That is to say that the mood at the

Burkittsville diner, which is where we're all having

breakfast, is mixed because it has jocularity, dread,

and that first thing I said. I should start over.

Is this my plate? I asked for scrambled eggs. These

are poached.

Jeez, I keep writing down everything I say.


Okay, the mood, by which I mean the mood we DC

creators are feeling, is a bunch of dread and

jocularity with that first thing, all mixed together.

Like as if those feelings were somehow put in a big

bowl, and mixed up. Or like my eggs, which were

supposed to be SCRAMBLED. That's what the mood here

is like. I might as well face it--I'm not very good

at keeping journals. I'm Mark Waid. I'm the Fastest

Man Alive.

And I was as surprised as everyone else that DC

decided to send all it's creative teams here to

Burkittsville, site of the alleged "Blair Witch"

occurences, for a brainstorming retreat. There are

several people here I

haven't gotten to see for a while, so that's fun.

Scott Lobdell showed up, although I'm fairly certain

no one invited him. He keeps adjusting himself under

the table...it's making me a bit queasy.

I have to stop for a second--I asked Alex Ross if I

could borrow his fork and even though he missed the

artery, I'm still bleeding a great deal.

WAITRESS: (To dining DCers...) S'your friend

there gonna be all right?

RON MARZ: (trying to prop up a sobbing Peter

David) Oh, sure...he's fine! Just...just don't look at him

for a while. He's losing it. It's the stress of the

trip, you know.

KURT BUSIEK: But we haven't even LEFT yet!

PETER DAVID: (Inconsolable...) We're all gonna

DIE out here! I want my batcave! They don't even have bran

muffins! (Looks at Brian Augustyn's plate) Oh, for

the love of Jesus, what IS that?!!? What the **** IS


BRIAN AUGUSTYN: (Pointing at his own plate)

It's Corned Beef Hash, Peter-keep it together, all right?

We're gonna get THROUGH this...

PETER DAVID: ...oh, Jesus...who would MAKE such a

thing? What in god's name does it all MEAN?!?!

ERIK LARSEN: Hey, if Peter has a nervous breakdown,

dibs on Young Justice! That is, unless someone ELSE

want it...?

(No hands go up...)



DAY ONE, 11:30 am

Well, we're finally underway. If I wasn't being held

back by these others, I could cover this entire area

in a nanosecond. But of course, none must know my

secret but you, dear journal.

Since many of us haven't lifted anything heavier than a bearclaw in years, we've assigned everyone a "travel buddy" and are administering each other CPR every few minutes as a precaution. There was a bit of a mix-up at the beginning of the hike, when Chuck Dixon said that we need to start thinking of the "survival of the few" and offered to draw straws for which one of us we would kill and eat first. He lost quite a bit of support for his idea when Joe Kelly pointed out we still had plenty of food left--after that I think he was just being stubborn.

So far, this whole "Blair Witch" scare has turned out

to be just hokum. We've been travelling almost an hour

and only John Byrne is speaking in tongues, so that's

not conclusive, really. We're all finding different

ways to amuse ourselves. For example, Beau Smith

keeps challenging all the women to arm-wrestling

matches, and then when he wins, he does this little

dance. Peter David saw a squirrel, and it took three

of us to get him out of the fetal position. Devin has

taken the time to start up a little therapy/self-help

group, and now no one will walk with her. Garth Ennis

made us all sign a waiver that none of us would

forcibly sodomize him, which we were all happy to sign, although he still seemed to talk about it an awful lot.

Even though we haven't been walking very long, I'm a

bit worried about this map. It's just straight line

drawn on a napkin with a skull on the end of it. Maybe

I shouldn't have paid that busboy ten dollars. If he

really was a licensed cartographer, why was he working

as a busboy?

DEVIN GRAYSON: (Glowering)Admit it, Mark! We're


MARK WAID: (Pointing to napkin) Are NOT! Look,


the line, and at the end, there's a skull! Simple!

DAN JURGENS: (Sarcastic) Oh, yeah, like we

should all

listen to the guy who created TRIUMPH!

MARK WAID: (Flustered, sputtering...) You take

that back, you sick *#*@!

ANDY LANNING: Yeah, Dan...like YOU should talk! How's

that AGENT LIBERTY movie deal coming, huh?

(A scuffle ensues...)


DAY ONE, 9:30 pm:

Lots of sobbing here tonight. It's pretty obvious that we're lost, and we're all a bit tired and frustrated.Tom Peyer tried to set up his tent and accidentally nailed his foot to a tree. His howling was really distracting for a while.

There's been a bit of tension over the tent sites, as well--for example, even though Geoff Johns is new to DC, he got the choicest and coziest spot. Over at the Vertigo tent, they won't let anyone in unless they spit on an American flag first. We were only supposed to bring a few things, but Garth Ennis insisted on bringing a big barrel of hard liquor, and when it got to be too much to carry, he left his clean underwear and rations behind and never even looked back.

Morale is a bit low, and we really have no idea where this "cemetery" is that we're supposed to be looking for. I wish these Power Bars came in more flavors than just Apple Cinnamon

Carob De-lite.

MARK MILLAR: (Cheerfully clapping hands) Come on, now, rogues! Let's not be gloomy! How about a campfire game?

DOUG MOENCH: (Obviously fatigued...)But all your games are drinking games...

MARK MILLAR: That's a good point. Well, off to bed, then! (leaves, staggers three feet, collapses and begins snoring drunkenly...)


DAY ONE, 11:00pm:

But Millar's idea was a good one, and we played Charades for over an hour. Most of the players simply ended up doing outrageous pantomimes of Chris Claremont, no matter what the answers were supposed to be. In a rare social moment, John Byrne joined in, and his acting out of the answer "Gone With The Wind" (which was just John pretending to be Chris on the toilet) had us all in stitches. He didn't even seem to mind when we all started throwing sticks at him.

It's dark here, and sometimes there are noises in the distance. I'm keeping this log just in case something strange happens, so Linda will know what happened to me. Damn that mysterious villain keeping her hostage!

"Gone With The Wind"...heh.


DAY TWO, 7:30 am

We all woke up to the sound of Peter David screaming in terror. It took a while, like an hour or so (there were compelling arguments on both sides of the debate), but eventually some of us decided to see if he needed help. He was still screaming hysterically, until Kurt slapped him hard across the face as the rest of us looked on enviously.

KURT BUSIEK: (Gripping Peter by the shoulders and shaking him...) PETER! Get ahold of yourself, man! Come on, what the the matter with you?

PETER DAVID: (Panting--still heaving...) It's MILLAR, man! What the **** is that **** on his FACE?! It's ALL OVER HIM, MAN! WE'RE SO ****ED!

LOUISE SIMONSON: (Bending down to inspect the

not-moving Mark Millar...) I'll check--I used to

work for Warren Magazines, so I'm used to revolting fluids. (Reaches down and touches Mark's face...) It's okay! It's just vomit! (Wipes her hand on Dan Abnett's leg...)

KURT BUSIEK: (Puts Peter in an affectionate hug..gives him noogies...) See, you big lug? It's just vomit!

PETER DAVID: (Smiling through his tears...obviously relieved...) Heh...it's just ****ing VOMIT, man! Heh!

(Smile turns to stark fear as he notices something...he raises his hand and points) The ****ing TENTS, man!

Look at the ****ing TENTS!!!


DAY TWO, 11:45 am:

None of us could explain it, but outside of each tent was a doll or totem made of shredded comic books...one for each of us. We're all scared...Beau Smith crapped his pants and then tried to convince us that it was the dreaded "Skunk Defense" technique he'd learned in Russia when he was training with the

Spetznaz Special Forces.

I'm scared, too. Whoever did this either hates US, or

hates COMICS. Either way, we're being stalked by an

unimaginable fiend. Yet, we go on.

What choice do we have?

I guess I might as well admit I don't REALLY have

superspeed. Dammit.


DAY TWO, 5:30 pm:

An emotional moment for all of us. Our hearts are

heavy, yet we have no one but ourselves to blame for

our loss. Earlier today, we had to cross a river over

a fallen tree that was slippery with moss. There was a

splash in the water after we THOUGHT we'd all crossed.

Maybe it was the terror we've all been feeling, or

maybe it was just fatigue, but we didn't think to do

a head count or anything. I blame myself, really...I

should have insisted we stop, but we trudged on.

That's a decision I'll have to live with for the rest

of my life, however short a time THAT may be.

We just kept going. Later, it was discovered that

Gerard Jones was missing.

He was carrying all the Pop-Tarts.

TOM PEYER: (Limping badly) Maybe we should

just try to go back? I'm just sayin', is all. Maybe if we just

retraced our steps we could go back to the cars?

That's all I'm saying.

RON MARZ: Don't talk crazy, Tom. That's crazy talk.

TOM PEYER: I know, but I mean...the ground's still

soft, so our footprints are still clearly visible, is

all I'm saying. We could go back...

RON MARZ: (Interrupting tersely...) Listen, Mark Waid has a map with a straight line pointing to a skull on it. That's good enough for me. Obviously, the skull represents some sort of safe haven, maybe a Dairy Queen. (Pauses and gazes off into the night sky...) mmmmm....blizzards. (Snaps back to reality...) Anyway, we just have to keep cool, be patient, keep hiking and look for the Dairy Queen with a huge skull on it. (Notices Karl Kesel reading an old book as he hikes...) What are you reading, Karl?

TOM PEYER: (Butting in...) It just seems like

going AWAY from the cars is only going to get us MORE lost...

RON MARZ: (Angrily) I thought I told you to PIPE DOWN, Hourboy! Why don't you go set up your tent again? (Snickers...)

TOM PEYER: Well, THAT was uncalled for.

KARL KESEL: It's just an old book I found a ways back on the trail...it's about the witch that supposedly inhabits these woods. There's a whole bunch of woodcuttings about the horrible things she does to trespassers...look, here's a drawing of one of her victims! (Shows book to Ron Marz...)

RON MARZ: (Eyes pop open in shock...) HOLY BUNGEE-JUMPING MOTHER OF GOD!!! (Vomits explosively)

KARL KESEL: How do you think they got her rib and her

arm bones to pop out of her skin like that?

RON MARZ: (Still violently ill....Tom Peyer "accidentally" nails Ron's foot to a tree...) uck! Uck! Uck!!!!


KARL KESEL: (To Alex Ross) Hey, Alex! STOP SKETCHING US all the time!


DAY TWO, almost midnight:

Grant Morrison's gone. I can hardly believe it. The

last any of us saw him was right after dinner. He

took a look at us, said, "Sod this, mates...I'm out of this shite!", turned on his Global Positioning System sattelite link-up, and minutes later, was taken away in a helicopter-looking thing with the word "MARVEL" painted on the side...at least that's how it APPEARED. But we know what REALLY happened.

The Witch ate him.

Fortunately, before he left, he gave me his tent.

Still, though...bummer. I'd give all the tents in the

world for just one look at Grant's smiling, non-eaten

face. But man, this is a nice tent, no kidding.



JEPH LOEB: (Jumping out of his sleeping bag...) JESUS! What the **** was THAT? Did you guys HEAR that? I almost did a Beau Smith in my sleeping bag!

DAN JURGENS: Oh, lord, what NOW?

CHRISTOPHER PRIEST: (Peering out into the impenatrable darkness...) Maybe it's just locals or something pulling our legs?

WARREN ELLIS: Bollocks. We're done for. If any

of you live through this, I want Mark Millar to have

my wife and kids.

JOE KELLY: (Crying) Oh, man, I am SO not down with this!!

CHUCK DIXON: (Eagerly) There's still time to eat each other! I have the straws RIGHT HERE!

PETER DAVID: Oh, ****. If I knew who Cal Ripkin was,

I'd be really upset about never seeing him

again...(Bursts into tears...)

BEAU SMITH: (shaking...) Maybe...maybe if one of you guys would go and make friends with that ghostly voice, I could, I mean, THE REST OF US could get away!! Huh? How about it, fellers?


DAY THREE, 7:15 am:

hee hee hee. Survived. I survived the night. I LOVE



DAY THREE, 2:15 pm:

People keep disappearing...A bunch of us are gone, all

the food's missing, there's snot all over my backpack,

and this morning, next to the campfire ring, there was

a bundle of sticks with a molar and some Certs in it.

But I'm cool. I'm okay. We're gonna get out of here.

I wonder though...why did DC send us out here?

I bet it was cause of GENESIS.


DAY SIX, 3:45 am:

Sorry about the delay between journal entries...I ate my pencil a few days ago and only got it back this morning.

Only Kurt and I are left, although I thought I saw Alex flittering in and out of the campfire light a couple times. Kurt's talking to himself a lot...I heard him promise God he'd wrap up that Steeljack story if only he could leave here.

There seems to be little doubt as to how this is going to end. I keep thinking we could have made it--we all could have gotten out of here, if we could have stopped the in-fighting and the cannabalism and the petty back-stabbing...if we could have all worked together for once...

Oh, who am I kidding. I'm looking over at Kurt...I think he wants my tent.

Well, he won't get it easily.


Postscript: DC COMICS, without

their creators, managed

to ship their books on schedule the following month,

by shipping out comics filled with blank pages and

calling it "MOMENT OF SILENCE MONTH"...suprisingly,

fan reaction was mostly negative.

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