|Author(s)||Tracy J. Butler|
|Current status / schedule||Irregularly: 1-2 updates monthly as of spring 2015|
|Launch date||July 19, 2006|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, crime, heist, mystery, thriller|
Lackadaisy (also known as Lackadaisy Cats) is a webcomic created by American artist Tracy J. Butler. Set in a Prohibition-era 1927 St. Louis with a population of anthropomorphic cats, the plot chronicles the fortunes of the Lackadaisy speakeasy after its founder is murdered. The comic mixes elements of comedy, crime and mystery. It won multiple Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards in 2007 and 2008, and in April 2011 was nominated for the Eisner Award for "Best Digital Comic".
The style of the comic is highly detailed, with elegantly attired cartoon characters that resemble styles from animated films of Walt Disney and Don Bluth. The strips are sepia-toned, resembling aged photographs of the 1920s era. Launched by Butler on July 19, 2006, the comic updates on an irregular basis, with 23 pages in 2006, 25 in 2007, and continuing on a trimonthly basis through 2012.
When Prohibition grips the United States in 1920, Atlas May sets his eatery, the Little Daisy Café, as the front for a successful speakeasy called the Lackadaisy. Situated at the mouth of a network of limestone caves, the speakeasy can only be accessed from the Café by those showing a pin in the shape of a Clubs card suit. With easy access to illegal alcohol and a steady clientele, business burgeons, and the Lackadaisy becomes a premier establishment.
In 1926, however, Atlas is mysteriously killed, and management of the Little Daisy and the Lackadaisy falls to his widow Mitzi. Patronage at the Lackadaisy gradually falls off, bringing it to the brink of collapse, with only a handful of its original crew remaining and doing their best to keep the business alive. There is a band that plays at the club, and one of the members is a rumrunner, which brings the characters into conflict with others who distill their own whiskey and moonshine.
Butler creates the comic by pencil sketching original images, then scanning and adjusting them with software such as Photoshop, where the panels are then assembled. Lighting is then added in grey tones, sharpening where needed, and dialogue and sound effects are added in a separate layer. The sepia tones are added in the final pass. Some of the feline characters are based on Butler's own pets, Ivy and Calvin.
Tracy Butler was born in 1980 in Springfield, Massachusetts. In high school she would doodle and create characters while sitting in class. She studied biology for a year at Our Lady of the Elms College in Massachusetts, before returning to her art. She created a website with some of her work, which led to a job offer from Simutronics, a Missouri game development company. Butler performed illustration and graphic design work before moving into 3D character design and animation. After living in St. Louis for some time, she purchased a 100-year-old house, and began researching its history, as well as that of the local neighborhood, and ultimately the history of St. Louis itself. Combined with her interest in jazz music, and the characters she had designed in school, this led to her starting Lackadaisy in July 2006. An Italian print version was released in 2008, and an English version in 2009.
In 2007, Lackadaisy won every award for which it was nominated in the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, including "Outstanding Newcomer" and "Outstanding Artist". In 2008, Lackadaisy won five Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, including "Outstanding Artist", "Black and White Art", and "Website Design".
In 2009, the art of Lackadaisy was used on the cover of the Turkish magazine Photoshop. In 2011, Lackadaisy was nominated for an Eisner Award in the category of "Best Digital Comic", but lost to The Abominable Charles Christopher by Karl Kerschl.
In 2008, the first hardcopy volume for the Lackadaisy comic was released in Italy by ReNoir Comics, ISBN 88-95261-35-6. An English version was released in 2009, ISBN 0-9819599-1-1, published by 4th Dimension Entertainment. In a 2011 interview in Draw! magazine, Butler revealed that Volume 2 is in the works, and plans are being made for an iPhone version of the comic as well.
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- "2008 Winners List". Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. 2008-03-08. Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- "The 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Comic-Con. April 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
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- "Interview: The brains behind Lackadaisy" (186). .Net magazine. March 2, 2009. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Manley, Mike (Spring 2011). "Cats, Gats, and all that Jazz: an interview with Tracy Butler". Draw!. 1 (20). TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 27&ndash, 41.
- Lackadaisy Archive. Accessed October 1, 2008.
- Byram, Kaylee (June 7, 2010). "Webcomics you should be reading: Lackadaisy". ComicMix. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- "Lackadaisy: Smart and Beautiful!". The Pullbox. January 21, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
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- Levitt, Aimee (June 9–15, 2011). "Comic Genius". Riverfront Times. 35 (23). p. 6.
- Kerman, Byron (August 2011). "Web Comic Lackadaisy Brings Feline Funnies". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
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- Geddes, John (April 8, 2011). "'Dapper Men' leads 2011 Eisner nominees". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Levitt, Aimee (June 2, 2011). "Tracy Butler: St. Charles Artist Nominated for Comics' Highest Honor". Riverfront Times. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Butler, Tracy (2008-03-21). "Lackadaisy Paperback". Lackadaisy. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Antonini, Maria Chiara (March 2008). "Fumetti". Top Girl (in Italian). p. 62. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- "Tracy Butler: Lackadaisy" (in Italian). Comicus. March 23, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
- "Per chi e'interessato al Web Comics: "Lackadaisy" di T.J. Butler" (video) (in Italian). Booksweb.tv. 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
- "4th Dimension Entertainment". Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- England, Joe (April 8, 2007). "Joe England news". keenspot.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
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