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Lackadaisy, also known as “Lackadaisy Cats”, is a webcomic created by artist Tracy J. Butler. Set in 1927 St. Louis, with a population of anthropomorphic cats, the plot chronicles the fortunes of an underground bar, the Lackadaisy Speakeasy, while its staff struggle with the Prohibition. The comic has 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 on July 19, 2006, the comic updates on an irregular basis, with 23 pages in 2006, 25 in 2007, and continuing on a monthly basis through 2012.
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.
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About the Artist
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.
While Butler isn’t a furry herself, her webcomic has a large fanbase in the furry fandom because of the anthropomorphic cats in her comic.
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