Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Re-Imagining Lady and the Tramp, c.1930

(a light-hearted, mostly writing-related post)

I have multiple projects I should currently be working on. Everything from The Talents Guild, to Air Jumper, to an as-of-yet untitled superhero novel.

What am I doing instead?

Lady and the Tramp fan fiction.

Or, to be more precise: Lady and the Tramp as a humanized retelling, and set during the American Great Depression. Tramp is a hobo, Lady the heiress to a secured fortune, and it's a romp through 1930's San Francisco as Tramp shows a sheltered Lady the city he knows from top to bottom - but mostly the bottom.

The idea came from seeing pieces of artwork like these...

by Rica Diaz 

... as well as these...

by Tumblr artist Pugletto

...and, similarly "Bella Notte"...

by DA's Pugletz

and these adorable guys...

re-imagined by DA artist chacckco

and "Hey there, Pigeon"

by DA user taffygiraffe

and lastly this:

from the amazingly talented Taylor Parrish

Now, obviously, the time period varies in even just these pieces of fan art, with the last piece probably being the most canonically accurate, as Lady and the Tramp was set in a small New England town during the latter part of the American parallel to the Edwardian period. (Jim Dear gives Lady to his wife on Christmas, 1901, remember).

So why move a retelling to the Great Depression? Why not make it a modern telling, or host it in some other historical era such as the Gold Rush or the 50s or literally anything else? To be honest, it all has to do with the fact that I am ten thousand percent in love with a hobo Tramp. That's it, guys, that's the big draw.

I mean, just look at him:
by Jessica Deaton, also via DA

Added to that, however, is all the random information I have for that particular period of American history that is rattling about in my head and begging to either be used or forgotten altogether. So I'm going to use it - and, of course, gather far more useful information on the period as I research for the story.

It's still all a very new idea to me, but here's what I'm considering for it thus far:

  • Late 30s time period (subject to change)
  • Set in the suburbs of San Francisco
  • Tramp is a hobo 'station master' aka the guy other hobos come to for help
  • Lady is the niece/cousin/adopted heiress to a family fortune
  • Lady and Co are part of the exclusive high society of the time
  • 'Trusty' is a trapper who made his own fame and has always been a bachelor
  • 'Jock' will probably be 'Jacques' and is a wealthy widower, and probably a French-Scottish doctor
  • Tramp might be the son or grandson of Chinese immigrants
  • I have no idea what I'm going to do about the iconic spaghetti scene o.o
  • Si and Am will be twins under Aunt Sarah's charge, but slightly different
  • The Rat was originally named Herman, so that character is Herman 'the Rat'
  • Tramp's real name might be Daniel??? (see Happy Dan, the Whistling Dog)
  • Dogs will be featured because how could you not
  • Peg will be Peg will be Peg
  • Jim Dear and Darling will have real names - probably
  • Overall plot will remain as close to the original as I can creatively make it

And lastly, for now, have this absolutely delightful video of the original song "I'm Free (as the Breeze)" which was cut from the film when the story, and Tramp's character, took a slight turn away from 'Happy Dan' material, but is shown here along with some original concept art:

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