I couldn’t help noticing that Jill’s career overlapped with the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the start of the Flying Saucer mystery, so I took that as my cue. To make the story visually attractive I set it amid the science fiction fandom of the time (Yes, they did have cosplay in the 1940s – see Anthony Boucher’s description of the 1941 Denver Worldcon in Rocket to the Morgue: “They had a costume party on the last night. Come as your favourite SF character. Berni wanted to go as Dale Arden, but I’m afraid it was an overambitious project.”).
I thought the script came out OK, but unfortunately it’s way beyond my artistic abilities to take it any further (the cover above is a paste-up job using public domain images). So I decided I might as well post the whole thing here...
Full page splash. A bustling street scene with people converging on a large big-city hotel, possibly Art Deco style. Vehicle designs indicate this is the late 1940s. There is a large banner on the hotel: “SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION”. On the sidewalk, there is a newsstand with the headline: “FLYING SAUCERS SEEN OVER CITY”. Most people are in 1940s cosplay – think Buck Rogers, Startling Stories etc. Lots of brass brassieres and impractically skimpy spacesuits. JILL and DAISY, however, are in regular clothes of 1947... and getting a few strange looks as a result.
TITLE: JILL TRENT, SCIENCE SLEUTH in “THE FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY”
DAISY: They all look like loonies! What on Earth made you agree to demonstrate your latest invention at a convention full of wackos?
JILL: Take it easy, Daisy, everything will be fine!
JILL (continued): I do feel a little overdressed, though...
JILL is at a stall inside the convention, looking at a dealer’s display – “SPACESUITS $2.95”. The spacesuits look more like metallic bikinis and fetish gear (some of the kinkier accessories may only become apparent in later panels).
CAPTION: A few minutes later...
DAISY is looking at something a little more flattering for her fuller figure – e.g. a nylon see-through Space Princess gown.
JILL and DAISY head to the Ladies’ Restroom with their purchases.
DAISY: And you’re sure this is a good idea, right?
JILL: When in Rome...
They change into their costumes, looking like something straight off the cover of a 1940s science fiction magazine.
On stage in an empty lecture theater. DAISY poses in front of a big old-fashioned TV camera. JILL tinkers inside a large retro-futuristic TV receiver.
CAPTION: Before the audience arrive, Jill and Daisy give their equipment a final test...
DAISY: This new color television of yours will really impress those freaks!
JILL holds up a small, blackened vacuum tube (a kind of fancy light-bulb). She looks pissed off.
JILL: Darn it! The 3K55 triode has blown! We need to get a replacement – and quick!
A street with a storefront labeled “GOVERNMENT SURPLUS”. JILL and DAISY are running toward it (still in their sci-fi getup). There are various 1940s-era gadgets in the window.
Inside the store, JILL rummages through a box of vacuum tubes.
JILL: 3K55... Got it! I’ll pay for it and we can get back to the hotel!
Silent close-up of the vacuum tube. The reader sees it is actually marked 3K55X, and has “EXPERIMENTAL” stamped on it.
Wide view of the street outside the Surplus store. Clearly a sleazy part of town – adult theaters and massage parlors etc. A pair of provocatively dressed hookers stare at our cosplay-clad heroines as if they are unwelcome competition (nothing too explicit – just enough to raise the blood pressure of any budding Fredric Werthams out there).
Close up of one or both of the hookers suddenly looking up at the sky in alarm. A strange sound is coming from there.
SFX: ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ
Close up of JILL and DAISY also looking up in amazement.
SFX: ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ – ZZZ
JILL: Look – a flying saucer!
Full page-width image of flying saucer hovering over the street, projecting a bright beam of light downward. It looks really sinister, but doesn’t actually do any noticeable damage.
JILL and DAISY pull their weapons from their holsters and aim them at the UFO. They may not realize it in the heat of the moment, but the reader can see they are only toy ray-guns that came with their sci-fi costumes.
They pull their triggers to no great effect.
SFX: Klik! Klik!
JILL: Darn it, these are just the toys that came with our costumes!
DAISY: We left our real guns back at the hotel!
They gaze back up at the sky. There are no sounds coming from there now.
DAISY: The flying saucer is gone!
JILL: Never mind that now! We need to get back to the convention or we’ll miss our time slot!
Wide view of the lecture theater, showing the audience of 1940s-era sci-fi geeks. JILL and DAISY are on stage with the TV camera and receiver.
CAPTION: Back at the hotel, Jill and Daisy are just in time for the start of their demonstration...
Closer view of JILL speaking on stage, with the TV receiver next to her. DAISY is off to one side, looking into the TV camera.
JILL: The black-and-white television you’re all familiar with will soon be a thing of the past!
JILL (continued): Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future... welcome to color TV!
The image on the TV is in color all right, but it shows the flight deck of the flying saucer with two men in 1940s-era flying suits. JILL and DAISY look gobsmacked.
VOICE FROM TV: ...Mission accomplished! Flying Saucer #1 returning to base...
DAISY: That’s not me! The TV is supposed to show me!
Same angle, closer view of JILL.
JILL: It’s because we used the government surplus tube! It’s picking up a government frequency!
JILL (continued): So the government was behind the flying saucers all along! They won’t get away with it now we’ve blown their secret!
Full page-width image. Wide angle view showing the audience – everyone is laughing and applauding. They think it’s all a big joke – just the thing for a sci-fi convention! Daisy sweeps her arm toward them.
DAISY: So why do I get the feeling no-one believes us?