Kickstarting Cartoons: Webcomic ‘Lackadaisy’ To Be Adapted For Animation With Your Help

by Olly MacNamee

Just a mere two weeks ago, Iron Circus Comics Publisher Spike Trotman, cartoonist Tracy Butler, and veteran animator and director Fable Siegel announced they’re partnering up for a new Kickstarter that adapts Butler’s Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Lackadaisy into an original 10 minute animated short. The project was funded in six hours!

Well, how do you allow up on that? With stretch goals, of course. And, what these bunch have in mind is an after credit animated short (a short-short?) starring voice actor SungWon Cho as the Lackadaisy character Mordecai Heller.
If you haven’t already clicked on the embedded line above, then here’s a rundown of the series, started in 2006, and available to read online now.

Set in St. Louis, Missouri during the days of Prohibition, Tracy Butler’s Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Lackadaisy features the Lackadaisy, aspeakeasy tucked away in a cave beneath the Little Daisy Cafe, where flashing the club symbol from a deck of cards grants every cat in-the-know access to more moonshine than they could ever drink. The joint’s packed full of tough dames, crooked cops, rum-runners, and wide-eyed ingenues. And they are, literally, all cool cats. The jazzy, sepia-toned crime story features action and adventure, comedy and crime, and a colorful cast of cats, including the Lackadaisy proprietors Atlas and Mitzi May, rumrunner Rocky Rickaby, and the sharp-tongued heiress to the quickly-dwindling Lackadaisy fortune, Ivy Pepper.

Butler got the inspiration for this lavish looking webcomic from her century-old house in St. Louis, 1920’s culture and design and jazz, as she elaborates on:

Lackadaisy is the tale of a gang of jazz band stragglers, ruffians, and alley cats struggling to keep a once popular Prohibition-era speakeasy in operation. Amidst their spectacular failures and unlikely victories under the nose of the law and up against their ruthless, outsized competitors, the Lackadaisy crew adapts and survives as a syndicate of St. Louis bootleggers, by relying on the strengths of their tight (if dysfunctional) family dynamic. In a broader sense, the story is an indulgent romanticization of the past, that explores the dangers of exactly that – the destructiveness of lingering on the good old days that were, perhaps, not as good as they appear, through the distortion lenses of grief, nostalgia and lovelorn desperation. The 1920s ambiance of hot jazz, hot bullet casings, and bad hooch isn’t without its heady sense of levity and humor, though.

Quite the mix. Having worked as a game developer, it’s no surprise that Tracy has always harboured hopes of this story being turned in to an animated short and with her wish now achieved, it’s now over to you to see whether or not this project becomes even more special! I think when you see the artwork as well as the comic, you may very well be tempted.
Do check out the Kickstarter here, and all the pledges still available, but don’t leave it too long if you are internets in backing it as it has just a couple of weeks left to go.

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