Mike Raicht dishes on why the series takes place during WWII.
“One of the most important elements of Stuff of Legend is it’s place in history. Set during World War II, we are really looking at how a boy would respond to a war being fought on the other side of the world by his father. How he would imagine that place and how that same emotion and feeling would permeate into his most precious toys. If, as we are kind of believing in this tale, that the boy creates the life and personalities for these toys, how would this change their lives as well as his as he tries to come to grip with what is happening, his new role as “man of the house” and the fear that his father may not come home.
Not only is that reflected in the toys themselves, which are more classic in nature, but also in the themes and setting throughout our band’s adventure as they attempt to save the boy. Or at least we hope it is.
Originally, we had pictured this as a more modern fairy tale. More modern toys doing battle with other modern toys. But during our initial pitch (which was to an editor nice enough to take a look at our proposal named Brandon Montclaire) we were given a note to try to make the toys more classic in nature while also making it reasonable a boy would actually be playing with toys. Now, while I do believe kids do still play with toys, I understood his point. So we wracked our brains. Brian and I had already spoken about having the book take on an epic feel when in The Dark. We had every intention of building a story structure that gave battles names and dates to make them feel more important. And we realized a lot of the things we were doing were paralleling moments in World War II. So we came back with the idea that this would be a boy with a father away during World War II. While the things wouldn’t completely parallel real life it could definitely be a skewed reflection of it.
So, while the book didn’t end up at that publisher, it definitely gave us a push in the right direction for where we ended up with our tale. “