Idea Jam: Marla Stone, Lizard Detective

Alright, this one’s a little odd, so bear with me.

I’ve really gotta find a way to stop saying that.

Anyway, this idea came to me a little while back. The exact line of thought has faded, but it grew out of an observation that as the Jurassic Park movies progressed, the Velociraptors became increasingly intelligent, so it was a natural assumption that by the time the upcoming sequel was released they would all be using firearms, wearing clothes, smoking cigars and speaking French.

So the image of dinosaurs in coats and hats began to ferment in my head.

After having this one turning over in my head for a bit, I’m beginning to form a story that would probably sit best as a comic book. A noirish setting, with both lizard and human characters trying to survive in an alternative 1930’s New York. Marla, our leading lady, works as a private investigator, and has to negotiate the complex world of corruption, economic stagnation and tense interspecies relations.

So I did some drawing.


Not particularly good drawing, as you can see, and littered as ever with my scrabbled thoughts. But as I was drawing, I came up with a few interesting ideas.

Marla runs a private detective agency. It’s an odd choice of career, but she’s never been one to favour politeness over honesty. The truth is there, and she’ll scrounge it out of the filth that covers it with cold patience, willpower and a refined palate for the subtle scents of fear in interviewees. Its not a popular or pleasant job. It doesn’t make you friends. But she’s extremely good at it.

New York’s lizard coroner spends most of his time out of the sun, and has become addicted to “lamping”; a practice in which lizards use heat lamps to overclock their metabolism and stay awake. He’s not made any mistakes yet, but he can no longer sleep at all without dousing himself in ice…

You thought the NYC winter was bad? Try being partially exothermic. Loss of heating in lizard communities can kill, and it wouldn’t be the first time that someone had caused it on purpose…

So we basically have ’30s hardboiled with the added complications of a multi-species society.

A voice sample for you, my possibly imaginary readers.

Marla Soliloquy: Dame walks into an office. Isn’t that how these always start? It’s different when it’s her office though. She’s bought you a cup of coffee, and you’re right where she left you, still looking as shaken up as before. It’s a cold night. For a moment she kids herself like that’s the reason.
Marla: You’re looking tired hon.
Lawrence: I know… just needed to talk in person.
Marla: About what?
Lawrence: I… I can’t keep doing this. My parents- my mother, she’s going to disown me if I keep seeing you. I love you, I truly do…
Marla Soliloquy: Poor, beautiful Lawrence. I’d loved you too, with all my cold little heart could muster.
Lawrence: I just wish I was braver… I’m so sorry.
Marla Soliloquy: I was sorry too, but the ending was unstoppable. You walked out of that Dame’s office, and all she wants to do is eat your God damned liver.

I wish I could cry. But the night is just too damn cold.


So yeah… be kind of into writing this, I’d just need somebody better with a pencil than I am. Feel free to chime in on the comments if that seems like something you imaginary artistic types might enjoy.