Lackadaisy

Lackadaisy

Infobox comic strip
title= Lackadaisy


caption=
author= Tracy J. Butler
url= http://www.lackadaisycats.com/
rss= http://www.lackadaisycats.com/rss/
atom=
status= 2-4 updates a month
syndicate=
publisher=
first= 2006-07-07
last=
genre=
rating=
preceded by=
followed by=

"Lackadaisy" (also known as "Lackadaisy Cats") is a webcomic created by artist Tracy J. Butler, which has won a series of Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards in 2007 and 2008. The comic is set in a Prohibition-era 1927 St. Louis, with a population of anthropomorphic cats. [cite web|url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_165/5188-The-Perspectives-of-Tracy-J-Butler|title=The Perspectives of Tracy J. Butler|date=2008-09-02|accessdate=2008-09-05|work=The Escapist|author=Keave, Vincent] The plot chronicles the fortunes of the Lackadaisy Speakeasy after its founder is murdered.

The style of the comic is highly detailed, with cartoon characters that show a close resemblance to the animated films of Walt Disney and Don Bluth.Fact|date=June 2008 The strips are sepia-toned, resembling aged photographs of the 1920s era. Launched on July 19, 2006, the comic updates on an irregular basis, with 23 pages in 2006, 25 in 2007, and 13 more by the end of September 2008. [ [http://www.lackadaisycats.com/archive.php Lackadaisy Archive] . Accessed October 1, 2008.]

Setting

When Prohibition grips the country in 1920, Atlas May sets his eatery, the Little Daisy Café, as the front for a massively successful speakeasy called the Lackadaisy. Situated at the mouth of a network of limestone caves, access to the speakeasy from the Café is only granted to those showing a pin in the shape of a Clubs card suit.

With fairly easy access to illegal alcohol and a steady clientèle, 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. This is where the comic's story begins.

Cast

Main characters

* Atlas May is the founder of the Little Daisy Café and subsequently the Lackadaisy Speakeasy. He is murdered by members of a rival establishment in 1926, and his widow, Mitzi, is suspected of some involvement in the death. His only appearance is in the introduction comics.
* Mitzi May is Atlas' widow and the current owner of the establishment. As its new owner she faces slacking sales, doubts about her ability, and the looming cloud of her husband's murder. An unflappable vamp.
* Roark "Rocky" Rickaby is the main protagonist of the comic and formerly a violinist in Lackadaisy's jazz band, though with the speakeasy's decline he has become its premier gin and whiskey runner. He has a manic personality which is interrupted only by bouts of surprising insight and also has a MacGyver-esque propensity for escaping from dangerous situations. It is briefly suggested that he was an escape artist in a circus, as he is depicted as such in a photograph. This propensity stands in ironic contrast to his actual fighting skills, which have been implied to be negligible; his character bio describes him as having a "beanpole physique", and Viktor has referred to his muscles as "spaghetti noodle". Neither does he possess any skill in marksmanship; he has a notable wound in his left ear, which according to a preview comic came from accidentally shooting himself while trying to convince Mitzi to let him carry a gun [http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/art/troubleboys.html] . It is implied that much of the dangerous work he does for the Lackadaisy is out of sympathy for Mitzi, whom he claims has done a lot for him in the past. He's the cousin of Freckle, whom he sometimes coaxes into assisting him with his activities.
* Ivy Pepper is Atlas' goddaughter, a university student working the cash register part-time at the Little Daisy. An intelligent, though somewhat volatile young girl, Ivy is aware of the goings-on in regards to the speakeasy below. She seems to have an affectionate relationship with Viktor (who tolerates her more easily than he does others), and is attracted to Freckle.
* Viktor Vasko is an immigrant from Austria-Hungary who speaks with a heavy Slovak accent and wears an eyepatch. He formerly worked as a bootlegger for the speakeasy but has been relegated, by occupational injuries and advancing age (according to Rocky, his knees don't bend), to less physical tasks. He now serves the speakeasy primarily as its bartender, despite his surly and intimidating personality. Used to work with Mordecai.
* Sedgewick "Wick" Sable is a young entrepreneur who made considerable assets off of work in the local mining and quarrying industry. He is a frequent and longstanding Lackadaisy patron, and Mitzi's new love interest. Often uses his position to attract wealthy patrons to the Lackadaisy during business meetings. Has a charming and suave personality, and displays limitless enthusiasm for the prospects of his quarrying venture, leading other businessmen to make sarcastic comments that he has an inordinate fondness for rocks. However, he seems to have some problems in his private life; he works late into the night, his character bio implies that he might be an alcoholic, and his relationship with Mitzi can be strained due to the risky nature of her work and the rumors of her involvement in Atlas' death.
* Nina McMurray is Freckle's mother and Rocky's aunt. She is a devout Irish Catholic and a stern disciplinarian who harbors some gripes with the state of the world in the time of the comic's setting. She's often "employed" by Rocky to do his laundry, a task that she carries out reluctantly but dutifully.
* Calvin "Freckle" McMurray is the second protagonist of the comic and the kind, gentle and dutiful son of Nina, but perhaps harbors some surprising predispositions. It has not yet been revealed who his father is. Failing in his bid to become a police officer, apparently due to psychological and emotional problems, Freckle (sometimes not entirely willingly) assists Rocky, his cousin and childhood playmate, with carrying out his tasks. In recent updates of the comic, he is shown to be proficient in the handling of firearms(specifically, an early machine gun); the "psychological and emotional problems" alluded to earlier can almost certainly be attributed to the mental shift he undergoes (into a psychopathic killer) when he is armed. He's recently become the target of Ivy's romantic advances. He got the nick name "Freckle" from when he was a baby: Rocky decided to shave the fur off his face (for no apparent reason). Under his fur he had a single freckle. [http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/art/tiddlywinks.html]
* Serafine Savoy is a member of the rival Marigold gang and self-declared Voodoo priestess. She is also the younger sister of Nicodeme. Both she and Nicodeme are from New Orleans, and speaks with a Cajun dialect, with a slurred French accent and endearments such as 'cher'. When they first came to St. Louis, they were working for a minor bootlegging operation and often caused trouble for the native organizations by hijacking consignments coming upriver. The Marigold, however, were so impressed by their abilities that they decided to hire them for themselves. They are ruthless hitmen with a sadistic streak.
* Nicodeme "Nico" Savoy is the older brother of Serafine and a Marigold gang member with a nihilistic demeanor. Burly and nonchalant. A former boxer.
* Mordecai Heller is a former employee of Lackadaisy from its glory days. He now serves the Marigold gang, often in team with Nico and Serafine. A very neat and precise, and highly sociopathic, contract killer with the air of a certified public accountant. Mordecai appears to be highly inept in his social life, as shown during his interactions with the Savoys and, in flashbacks, Viktor. His name implies that he's Jewish, and Tracy has confirmed this [http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1971&start=30] .
* Dorian "Zib" Zibowski is the leader of the Lackadaisy jazz band, playing the saxophone. Cynical, but forbearing with Rocky's scattiness.
* The farmers, consisting of Avril, Emery and Avery, run a farm, which doubles as an illegal distillery, outside of St. Louis, and seem to be getting in constant trouble with Rocky. They allow the Marigold gang to dispose of bodies in their pigs' feed troughs. Their farm and distillery was recently burned down in a retaliatory attack by Rocky and Freckle, leaving them destitute and hungry for vengeance.

Secondary and incidental characters

* Horatio, a (possibly) former busboy and current doorman in the Lackadaisy speakeasy. Likes his tux.
* Captain Kehoe, though his role hasn't been completely revealed, is a bootlegger. Dour and laconic.
* Lacy is the personal assistant to Sedgewick. Supportive and long-suffering.
* Benjy Jessup is a friend to the three farmers, and sometimes lets them borrow his truck in order for them to carry out various "odd jobs". He wears what appears to be a uniform cap worn by soldiers in the Confederate States Army, implying that one of his ancestors fought for the Confederates in the American Civil War.
* Asa Sweet. Member of the Marigold gang, the foremost rivals of the Lackadaisy, and apparently its leader. He and Atlas were apparently well acquainted before the latter's death [http://www.lackadaisy.foxprints.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=681&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=285] . Dialogue implies that his job title is 'night manager,' though of course this may be a front or euphemism. Employs a jovial, grandfatherly personality, even when he orders his henchmen to carry out murders for him.
* Mr. Church. A member of a group of elderly businessmen that Wick has been trying to attract to the Lackadaisy. Sarcastic and skeptical of the Lackadaisy's future prospects.

Awards

In 2007, "Lackadaisy" won all four awards which it was nominated for in the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. The awards it won were for: WCCA|2007|Outstanding Newcomer, WCCA|2007|Outstanding Artist, WCCA|2007|Outstanding Character Rendering and WCCA|2007|Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic. In 2008, it won the awards for WCCA|2008|Outstanding Artist, WCCA|2008|Outstanding Black and White Art, WCCA|2008|Outstanding Character Rendering and WCCA|2008|Outstanding Website Design.cite web|url=http://www.ccawards.com/2008finalists.html|title=2008 Winners List|publisher=Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards|date=2008-03-08|accessdate=2008-03-11] It was also nominated in the 2007 Ursa Major Awards for Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip. [cite web|url=http://www.ursamajorawards.org/UMA_2007.htm|title=Ursa Major Awards - 2007 winners|publisher=Ursa Major Awards|accessdate=2008-09-08]

Collected editions

The first book for the "Lackadaisy" comic was released in Italy by ReNoir Comics. cite web |url=http://lackadaisycats.com/exhibit.php?exhibitid=10 |title=Lackadaisy Paperback |accessdate=2008-03-24 |last=Butler |first=Tracy |authorlink=Tracy J. Butler |date=2008-03-21 |work=Lackadaisy |publisher=]

References

External links

* [http://www.lackadaisycats.com/ "Lackadaisy" Site]
* [http://www.foxprints.com/tracy/ Tracy Butler's] gallery on Foxprints
* [http://tracyjb.deviantart.com/ Tracy Butler's] gallery on deviantART
* [http://yerf.com/archives/butltrac/ Tracy Butler's] gallery on Yerf
* [http://ryanestrada.com/wcca07/ Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards 2007]


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