Monday, October 06, 2014

Cop Meets UFO -- Details at Ten





This bit of ripped-from-the-headlines prose also arose around 1969, from a twelve-year-old would-be Rod Serling (ray Bradbury imitations came a couple of years later.  Pray to be spared!)


(I “pushed” the contrast/brightness quite a bit to show the horizon line and the yellow aura around the UFO.)

Now this image is obviously the work of a non-artist, but it is sufficiently present so you can tell what it’s trying to show.  We have a lettering style reminiscent of “Frankenstein on the Loose.”  But now with block shading!  Is it only a coincidence that the letter “T” in “Thing” resembles the sword hilt depicted on paperback covers of F Paul Wilson’s The Keep (published a decade after this!)?

You can tell we have a fence-lined road and a DETOUR sign.  Apparently the detour road is not paved.  The car’s driver door is standing open and a file of footsteps leads from the car down the dirt road towards the horizon, above which -- GASP! -- hovers a flying saucer!

Note the finely shaded depiction of a brown countryside and a blue-black night sky, contrasting perfectly with the glowing “power field” surrounding the strange flying object.


You can tell that this author is crappy at concocting names.  Harold Montrell?  Jack Millcroff?  At least George Haskell is a possibility.

This single-page gem is a cross-pollination: Dragnet meets Plan 9 from Outer Space.  We have an attempted deadpan narrative style.  Two no-nonsense cops investigate a UFO sighting and meet the occupants of “The Thing” (see what I did there?).  The UFOnauts are not only from Venus (shades of Orthon!), they are from the future!

The Plan 9 parallel comes in with the S (silicon) bomb (cf the Solarbanite Bomb).  The fascinating fact (to me anyway) is that I can double-dog guarantee that, when this scenario was composed, I HAD NEVER SEEN Plan 9.  Mediocre minds think alike, I guess!

The learning pillow probably came straight from a few uses in the Superman DC titles.

So, our heroes are ready to enter the saucer and listen to more otherworldly hogwash, but the saucerians are spooked by an approaching car.  Like they wouldn’t have radar or something!

Our final paragraphs reveal that this is all a farewell note left by “I, Jack Millcroff,” as a sort of explanation … because another saucer has been sighted in Purple Valley, after a three-year absence.

Bye-bye!

Well, these guys are certainly trusting souls for cops.  Three years after their strange encounter, a saucer shows up in the same vicinity and it obviously must be the same one?

Well, hold onto your space helmets, because this bit of narrative toil and tears was rewritten.  Stay tuned …. 

  

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