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Not a review: Douglas checks out a notebook that’s drifted over from Earth-1

Douglas Wolk

I carry a little Moleskine notebook with me everywhere. The obi they come with advertises that they’re the notebook used by Bruce Chatwin, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, although that isn’t strictly true. To that list, we can now add Renée Montoya.

Despite Countdown, I do like it when artifacts that ought to belong to one world end up in another. Yesterday, Greg Rucka dropped off a document that had come into his possession while he was working on the Crime Bible miniseries (of which the second issue comes out Thursday): Montoya’s Moleskine, a bulging notebook that reminded me a bit of several Dennis Wheatley and J.G. Links volumes. The pocket-sized notebook, besides copious handwritten notes on Montoya’s investigation of the Dark Faith, includes a bunch of inserts:

*A 1938 translation of a bit of the Crime Bible, with Montoya’s handwritten note about a numerical cipher or code. (Which, I’m guessing, has something to do with the numbers in the border of the first page of Crime Bible #1! I haven’t had time to figure out how the cipher works, but I’m guessing that’s what the Internet is for.)


*A photo of the cult’s Barcelona convent
*A security photograph of the Question
*A gig poster for a Dark Cult-connected band called Darkseid’s Bitch, who it turns out also have their own MySpace page


*A handwritten lyric sheet for “Ashes All Fall Down” by the band’s singer/guitarist Serration, with annotations by Montoya, on a piece of letterhead from the Hotel Monarch in Star City
*A ticket for their show at the Dirrrty Club
*A set list for that show, with more Montoya annotations
*The Coast City coroner’s report on Serration’s death, and his toe-tag from the morgue, along with several bullet casings and a couple of pills
*Montoya’s boarding pass for her flight to Barcelona (on Ferris Global Airways!)


*A clipping from the international edition of the Gotham Gazette, also annotated by Montoya


*A printed-out screenshot of an IM conversation between Montoya and Tot Rodor
*A telegram from Rodor to Montoya


I don’t have time to scan the whole notebook, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if bits of it turned up elsewhere too, or even if there were a couple of additional copies of the entire thing–it’s one of those little Moleskines that come in multi-packs, and Montoya’s old mentor was rather fond of a book in which a character makes a duplicate copy of his entire journal to make sure its content survives.

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