Wageslave, Script by Arthur Wyatt, Arthur Wyatt 2002
Page 1:

Panel 1: Large Panel. The exterior of a grim looking factory made out of sooty Victorian brick. Tacked on to this grim exterior is a large sign in a cheery font with a cheery logo:- "PEAS COMPANY - all mushy, all peas, all the time!". A stream of dispirited looking works are walking towards it, starting there horrible jobs for the day. Amongst them is Elsie Mills, middle aged, overweight, drab and uninteresting, and the central character of this strip.

Title

Credits

Caption: ANOTHER DAY IN THE WORKING LIFE OF ELSIE MILLS, AND SHE'S HURRYING TO GET INTO THE FACTORY BEFORE HER SHIFT STARTS AT SIX.

Panel 2: The queue of factory workers pass by a man with a clipboard. He looks quite irate. He is Mr Grimes, the supervisor.

Caption: MR GRIMES, THE SUPERVISOR, IS VERY KEEN ON THAT.

Mr Grimes: COME ON, COME ON, IT'S SIX FIFTEEN ALREADY!

(link) I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A MISERABLE UNGRATEFUL LOT. YOU'D THINK THERE WEREN'T A MILLION CHEAP FOREIGNERS WHO'D DO THE JOB FOR HALF THE PRICE.

Panel 3: Elsie, now wearing an apron and a hairnet, stands in front of a conveyor belt full of open tins. Above the conveyor belt is a nozzle with a lever, which she holds.

Caption: ELSIES JOB IS QUITE SIMPLE: WHENEVER AN EMPTY TIN COMES ALONG THE CONVEYOR BELT SHE PULLS A LEVER AND GLOOBS IT FULL OF MUSHY PEAS.

Panel 4: Close up of the nozzle as it squirts a stream of mushy peas into the tin.

SFX: GLOOB!

Caption: THIS GOES ON FOR ABOUT TEN HOURS (WITH A HALF HOUR BREAK) THEN THEY CLEAN THE MACHINERY AND GO HOME.


Page 2:

Panel 1: Panel 1: A long haired young man, a student temp worker, has constructed an exact replica of The Devils Tower - the mountain from Close Encounters - out of mushy peas in front of him on the conveyor belt. He looks very pleased with himself.

Caption: YOU COULD SAY IT'S A BIT OF A DULL JOB. USUALLY THE ONLY THING THAT HAPPENS THAT'S OUT OF THE ORDINARY ARE THE ANTICS OF THE SUMMER TEMP WORKERS.

Student (singing): DOO NEE NAR NEE NAR

(link) YOU KNOW, LIKE CLOSE ENCOUNTERS!

Panel 2: Elsie stands in front of the conveyor belt and closes her eyes.

Caption: BUT ELSIES GOT A SECRET.

Panel 3: Large panel. We see Elsie's magical fantasy world that she's daydreaming about. A clear stream flows through a wooded glade beneath some mountains. In the sky there is a winged horse, flying amongst a fluffy clouds and rainbows. Huge quartz crystals stick out of the ground. It resembles the kind of world you'd see in an airbrushed 80s poster from Athena.

Caption: ALL SHE'S GOT TO DO IS CLOSE HER EYES AND SHE CAN ESCAPE TO A DIFFERENT PLACE, A BETTER PLACE WERE NO-ONE HAS TO SPEND THEIR LIFE FILLING TINS WITH UNPLEASANT GREEN SLIME.

Panel 4: Close in on Elsie. She's still got her eyes closed and now a small glowing speck of light has appeared, hovering about a foot in front of her face..

Mr Grimes: SOMETIMES IT ALMOST SEEMS REAL.

Mr Grimes (from offpanel): HEY YOU

Panel 5: Mr Grimes is dragging off the student we saw in panel 1 by ear. He's furious at the waste of peas.

Mr Grimes: I'M CALLING THAT AGENCY AND I' TELLING THEM NEVER TO PLACE YOU HERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE AGAIN, YOU LOUSY PIECE OF STUDENT TRASH. YOU'LL BE LUCKY IF YOU GET PAID FOR TODAY.

Student: AW MAN....


Page 3:

Panel 1: Elsie goes back to glooping mushy peas into cans, with a look of intense boredom on her face.

Caption: HER WORKING DAY IS SO DULL THAT ELSIE SOON STARTS DAYDREAMING AGAIN.

SFX: Gloob!

Panel 2: Close up on Elsie's eyes as she closes them again and starts concentrating. The tiny glowing speck of light is there in front of her, glowing.

Caption: SHE CONCENTRATES INTENSELY ON BUILDING HER LITTLE WORLD IN HER MIND....

Panel 3: Close up on the speck of light, which is becoming larger and glowing more intensely. We can see little tiny spiral shapes in it.

Caption: ...AND SOMEHOW...

Panel 4: we see inside the glowing light. There's a little tiny universe in there

Caption: ...SOMETHING STARTS HAPPENING.

Mr Grimes (from offpanel): ELSIE! ELSIE!

Panel 5: Close up on an open can of mushy peas, as something (her universe?) drops into it with a plop.

Sfx: PLOP!

Panel 6: Mr Grimes stands next to Elsie, obviously quite annoyed with her. In the foreground we see the can of mushy peas on the conveyor belt.

Caption: SNAP OUT OF IT AND CONCENTRATE ON YOUR PEAS. HONESTLY YOU LOT ARE ALL AS BAD AS EACH OTHER.


Page 4:

Panel 1: Mr Grimes is coming into his house with a crate of tins from the factory.

Voice (offpanel, right): OH NO, NOT PEAS AGAIN.

Panel 2: Large panel. The Grimes family kitchen. Mr Grimes stands by a sideboard on which he's just deposited the crate of peas. Amanda, his teenage daughter, sits at the kitchen table, reading a comic (some kind of Sandman like thing). She's slightly punky or gothy.

Amanda: I MEAN, I KNOW YOU'RE CHEAP, BUT DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO EAT WHATEVER YOU'VE PLUNDERED FROM FACTORY REJECTS?

Mr Grimes: AS LONG AS YOU LIVE HERE YOU'LL EAT WHAT I BRING HOME. WHEN YOU GROW UP AND LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD YOU CAN LIVE ON BRIE AND GRAPES OR WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU WANT.

Panel 3: Mr Grimes takes the comic from Amanda and looks at it, holding it at a distance as if it was offensive to him.

Mr Grimes: NOT THAT IT SEEMS LIKE THAT WILL E HAPPENING ANY TIME SOON. I MEAN, WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE YOU'RE READING?

(link)ELVES, PIXIES AND GOBLINS?

Panel 4: Amanda snatches the comic back from him.

Amanda: IT'S BY A WELL RESPECTED FANTASY AUTHOR.

Panel 5: Head and shoulders of Mr. Grimes as he shakes his head in disappointment.

Mr Grimes: YOU'RE WORSE THAN YOUR MOTHER WAS. OR THOSE DAMN FOOLS AT THE FACTORY

(link) WHAT MATTERS IS COLD HARD FACTS, REALITY, WHAT WE LIVE IN.

Panel 6: Mr Grimes takes a can of mushy peas from the crate. He as a can-opener in his other hand.

Mr Grimes: WASTING ALL YOUR TIME DAYDREAMING AND READING ABOUT NONSENSE, IMAGINING RUBBISH...


Page 5:

Panel 1: Close up on the can and can opener as Mr Grimes begins to open it.

Mr. Grimes (offpanel, up): BELIEVE ME, NOTHING WILL COME OF IT.

Panel 2: Blam! This panel is almost entirely whited out as Grimes and his daughter are consumed in a flash of light of nuclear intensity. Perhaps you can see the x-ray after images of their bones as they are blasted back from the exploding universe.

Panel 3: Were in the interior of Elsie's home the next morning, in front of the front door. Like everything else in her life her home is rather drab and dull.. Elsie is dressed and ready for work and she's opening the door.

Caption: ELSIE GETS UP AND DRESSES FOR WORK. IT'S SIX THRITY ALREADY AND SHE'S LATE FOR ANOTHER DAY OF DRUDGERY.

Panel 4: Large panel. We're outside of Elsie's home, looking at what used to be a normal terraced street. Elsie is standing in her doorway staring at the strange things that have happened: Instead of a road there's lush grass with giant quartz crystals sticking out of it. The sky is full of giant butterflies and a unicorn stands on top of the rocky outcrop that has replaced the next house down the road.

Caption: BUT TODAY, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

END
 
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