Tracy Butler

About 95 comics, including the sketchbook ones.

Updates AC, about 3 a month (supposedly)

Ah, Lackadaisy. You are a gem in the mud, truly.

In a nutshell, Lackadaisy is a story about cats running a speakeasy. For those of you not well versed in history, speakeasys were hidden bars that served illicit alcohol during the prohibition. It was a difficult business, pretty much equatable to selling drugs in modern day, just much more classy and socially acceptable.

The story follows Rocky, a musician-gone-runner for Lackadaisy with an… enthusiasm for fire and a Cheshire grin. However, he is only one of many characters, each with fairly developed personalities. My favorite would probably be Calvin (“Freckle”), Rocky’s brother, a shy boy that got kicked out of the police academy for his tenancy to go axe-crazy with firearms.

I know what most will say, and let me get it out of the way: No, this is not a furry comic. Let me quote something from the author’s page:

When dealing in sociopathic criminalism and gratuitous violence, how could it not be cats? Don’t take it too literally, though. It’s mostly just a device I like to use for characterization. The mobile ears, tails, and big eyes help me emphasize gesture and expression more than I could with human characters, they allow me to be as ridiculous as I like, and, well, they’re just plain fun to draw.

Because it’s true, the expression thing. If you’re curious, look at this picture’s Rocky and compare it to the one in the comics. The human one is a little more creepy, definitely, but you have to agree that the cats are more expressive in general.

I copied the long quote because I feel that it’s an interesting take on the idea of anthropomorphic animals. Moving on.

While we’re on the subject of design, let me stop and say that the art is amazing. The scenes are beautiful, the characters detailed, and most of all, it’s all accurate. Really, everything is accurate, which was accomplished through painstaking research on the part of Butler. In fact, there was one endearing part where she apologized for putting a radio that widespread until later, but she put it in because it was just so much fun to draw. Really, it’s a fascinating look into the past.

Now, the plot. Unfortunately, the slow update speed does not help form a complex plot completely. However, there is still quite a story in the archives, with the Lackadaisy trying to stay afloat and the characters doing their best to avoid bullets.

The story should be read for the characters, however. So much of the comic is set around defining who the cats are, and while I might call a different comic out on such a lack of exposition, it works really well. It seems that Butler found a magical “sweet spot” between characterization and exposition that works out wonderfully.

If it seems like I’m gushing, it’s because I am. How perceptive of you. Lackadaisy is one of the comics that I find while digging through the mud and the fur that I can unabashedly call “great” without qualification. I don’t think that it would say too much to put it at #2 on my Top Comics list, right behind Dresden Codak.

Interesting trend. It seems that quality is better than quantity after all. Hear that, daily updaters?

Anyways, Lackadaisy is amazing and you should read it. Take it from your old pal Cat…alyst. Not a furry, I swear.

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