Today’s comic is a historical dark comedy telling the story of a Prohibition speakeasy that has fallen on hard times and the tenacious and shady crew of oddballs that runs it. It is at times hilarious and silly and other times tragic and bloody, and the cast of this story are adorable and expressive cats. Fluffy cats, sweet cats, dapper cats, violent cats, drunk cats, sociopath cats, Irish Catholic cats, and cats with machine guns all star in the lusciously sepia-toned Lackadaisy. The Lackadaisy has fallen on hard times since its owner, Atlas May, died under mysterious circumstances. His wife, Mitzi May, has been trying to keep the illegal hooch flowing into her gin-joint to no avail. Only the most loyal employees and patrons remain, including sweet co-ed Ivy Pepper, surly one-eyed Victor, and the manic violinist Rocky, whose attempts at being Mitzi’s go-to muscle usually end in blood. His blood, to be more precise. His naive cousin Freckle is drawn into the crew at an opportune moment, and the Lackadaisy may have a chance of resurrecting itself if Mitzi May can build enough momentum and hold off the dogs… er, cats of the rival syndicates and the treasury department.
While it’s sadly more sporadic than regular due to the author’s career as a video game artist, the comic makes up for its twice-monthly or so update schedule with its outstanding production quality, a large library of sketches, many side and background stories and a lively forum and wiki. Each page of the comic itself is long and richly detailed, and the author is very creative with its layout and lettering. She chose to draw the characters as cats because their expressive ears and tails are more fun to draw for her, and she uses them to their fullest, fluffiest extent. All the characters are extremely dramatic and expressive, and she sticks to the color palette of sepia-toned photograph. The historical locations in St. Louis, props, costumes and euphemisms are incredibly well researched; although liberties are sometimes taken for the sake of clarity and coolness. There are frequently historical notes at the bottom of each page, an extra I always appreciate. While there were no books or products for a long time, a partnership was recently formed with 4th Dimension Entertainment with the first volume in print as well as t-shirts and buttons for sale.
The Author and her Other Works
Tracy J. Butler is a professional 2D and 3D video game artist for play.net, and recently worked on the games Tiny Heroes and One Epic Knight. Lackadaisy is her major independent project, with nearly two volumes complete and an exhaustive library of supplemental material. She lives in St Louis with a cat and has been a digital artist for ten years.