So, I finally got around to checking out Lackadaisy. What I knew about the book is that it had a pretty cool stylistic cover, it collected a web-comic and that it was a prohibition gangster type story… with cats. I’m not quite sure if it’s the web-comic piece (which can go either way) or the cats with guns piece… I don’t know, but something kept putting me off from reading this book and putting it to the bottom of my “to read” pile. And in hindsight I am so sad.
Tracy J. Butler puts together what is one of the finest and most beautiful web-comics I have ever had the pleasure to read. Check it out here.
4th Dimension Entertainment states that a few of the things that build long term success in the comic industry are quality artwork and well developed characters / story. In Lackadaisy, Tracy Butler (artist and writer) has hit a bullseye on both of those.
With every element of the book, the reader is swept back to the 1920’s. Butler, who apparently is an enthusiast and historian of the time period, does an exemplary job of giving attention to every detail in the frame. From language to fashion, architecture to automobiles, details big and small… Butler takes her time to make sure it’s all accurate (and she even has the historian notes to prove it!). The ensemble characters are the perfect fit to other successful stories of the same era. They have a seriousness about them, their dreams and motivations, the hardships they have endured and how that has shaped them… but still being very playful, fun and endearing. The overall plot is a synthesis of several sub-plots all headed in the same direction. And what I found fascinating is that I was equally interested in all of them… the opportunistic and optimistic industrialist, the widow running a speakeasy, the musician / scoundrel who sees adventure and romance around every turn, the cajun brother and sister team who happen to best enforcers in the city. All of them interesting and with purpose. There are no throw-aways with Butler’s work at all. And as far as her art goes, all you have to do is to go to her web-comic site and you will also be blown away by her talent. Capturing both a sense of emotion and an animated flair, Butler’s art glides the plot from frame to frame and page to page effortlessly. This is straight out one of the best self-contained independent books I have read in years and can’t wait for a second volume to hit.
I am hooked on her site and I dare you to check it out and not be!
Grade: Brilliant A+