Calvin’s Commentaries: Lackadaisy

Webcomics can be a pure joy to read, and none more so than Lackadaisy.

This isn’t a new entry in the webcomics field, it dates back to around 2007 when Lackadaisy’s creator Tracy Butler was winning Web Cartoonist’ Choice Awards as outstanding newcomer, and outstanding artist among others.

So what makes Lackadaisy worthy of mention here as a web spot worth wandering too?

Well frankly just about everything to do with this one.

The story is set in a prohibition-era 1927 St. Louis with a population of anthropomorphic cats. In case you aren’t sure what that is athropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities, so think Bugs Bunny, Scrooge McDuck and Top Cat.

The use of cats as the main characters may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is a light-hearted, fun romp for the most part, so it works.

In the FAQ section of the website the creator addresses why cats?

“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,” she states.

The plot chronicles the fortunes of the Lackadaisy speakeasy after its founder is murdered. Yes murdered, so there is a serious side to the story, but the general atmosphere is lighter. The comic mixes elements of comedy, crime and mystery.

So the story quickly draws you in.

But the art will be what grabs you and holds on to you.

The style of the comic is highly detailed. The art is fantastic because Butler takes the time to infuse each panel with the emotion of the characters.

Adding to the sense of the 1920’s era is Butler use of sepia-tone. The result reminds of old photographs, and gives the book an added level of realism you might not expect with cats as the main characters.

The story has been added to though several years, with the work available as a published graphic novel, but is also collected and still available for enjoyment at, so make sure to check it out.

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