Jilly Gagnon’s previous work for The Toast can be found here.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves:
A teenage runaway, broken by years of psychological and physical abuse at the hands of her stepmother, moves in with seven middle-aged men, becoming their domestic slave. After several months hiding out in their filthy hovel (it’s so rundown that dozens of varieties of vermin infest it), Snow White’s stepmother finds her and, enraged, escalates her abuse so drastically that she leaves the young girl in a coma.
Though Snow White eventually recovers, she’s so psychologically scarred that she’s unable to break out of the cycle of abuse, instead seeking a relationship with a man who forced himself upon her comatose body in the woods.
Like many young children, Andy isn’t particularly good at caring for his things, which results in him losing first his spaceman, then his cowboy action figures.
He eventually finds them under the backseat of the car, but by this point, Andy’s experiencing the first signs of oncoming adolescence, and will permanently abandon the toys soon, anyway.
A clever street urchin follows the royal vizier into an underground treasure room. While there, he manages to steal a lamp.
Emboldened by his success, the young man progresses to more and more elaborate cons, eventually convincing the sultan that he’s a visiting royal seeking the princess’s hand.
Though the royal vizier alerts the royal family to the ruse, the princess enjoys slumming, and manipulates her father—half-witted due to generations of inbreeding between the royal houses—into letting her marry the up-jumped beggar.
It is extremely cold in Scandinavia, no matter when you visit.
The Little Mermaid:
A mute girl, Ariel, charms the royal court with her simple-minded capers, including imaginary friendships with potential menu items, a comically lacking sense of proper table etiquette, and occasional nudity.
Her antics at the royal wedding, however, make it impossible for the prince to keep her at court any longer. Her current location is unknown.
Beauty and the Beast:
A beautiful young girl is sold by her father to a cruel prince in exchange for leniency for his own crimes against the prince’s property.
Imprisoned and separated from all human contact, the girl eventually experiences an extreme psychotic break, and begins conversing regularly with objects around the castle.
After several months of imprisonment, she falls in love with her captor, refusing to return to her tiny village even after her father’s debt is considered paid. Though townspeople describe the prince who has imprisoned her as a swarthy, hideous man, she seems to truly believe that he looks like a woman in a shampoo commercial.
The Jungle Book:
Due to continuing overpopulation problems and severe poverty in the more rural regions of India, a woman is forced to abandon her newborn baby in the jungle.
He is quickly eaten by wolves. Or panthers. Or tigers. It’s hard to find that sort of information out after the eating has happened.
Jilly Gagnon's debut comic novel, Choose Your Own Misery: The Office Adventure (co-written with Mike MacDonald), was published in January 2016.