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A popular webcomic by Tracy J. Butler set during Prohibition-era St. Louis, Lackadaisy follows the exploits of the Lackadaisy crew, a formerly prosperous crime gang fallen on hard times after the murder of their boss, Atlas May. Now under the leadership of Mitzi, widow of the 'businessman', they attempt to make a living in the criminal underworld of St. Louis. Their major opposition comes from the Marigold gang, headed by Atlas' former partner and filled with former Lackadaisy employees.

The Loveable Rogue protagonist is Rocky Rickaby, a jazz violinist turned whiskey- and gin-runner for the Lackadaisy gin joint. He's a bit eccentric, to say the least. Wild escapades abound as Rocky struggles to do right by Mitzi, the only person 'kind' enough to give him a job in these tough times. Joining him on these less-than-legal adventures are his young cousin Calvin 'Freckle' McMurray, a quiet, earnest youth rejected from the police force because of his, um, enthusiasm; and longtime Lackadaisy 'employee' Viktor Vasko, a surly, grizzled one-eyed Slovak with bad knees. Rounding out the cast are Sedgewick 'Wick' Sable, mining magnate and Mitzi's current paramour; and Ivy Pepper, Atlas' goddaughter and Lackadaisy hanger-on.

And they're all anthropomorphic cats. But that's neither here nor there. Tracy Butler uses cats, not because she identifies with the Furry Fandom, but because she finds them more expressive than humans.

The series is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair with a serious plot line and strong characterizations. The artwork is of a professional level and was first published by ReNoir Comics in Italy and has now been published in English by 4th Dimension Comics for a North American release. English version available for purchase here or other major book stores.

Now has a character page. Please put all character related tropes there.

Tropes used in Lackadaisy include:


A-E

  • All There in the Manual: Much of the back stories of the characters are only alluded to in the comic itself, while much more is elaborated on in supplementary material, such as Viktor serving in World War 1, his partnership with Mordecai, etc, etc....
  • Alliterative Name: Viktor Vasko, Rocky Rickaby, Mitzi May, Sedgewick Sable, Serafine Savoy, recently Dom Drago, you see where I'm going with this?
    • Also, according to Tracy, Mitzi's maiden name was Montgomery which also supports this trope.
      • And according to Zib in a recent comic, her name used to be 'Mary Ellen' which means even if she changed her name, her old name was Mary Montgomery, still an alliteration.
    • And Ivy is dating Calvin, who came after Chad, Claude, and Cecil.
    • Rocky's father, Ransom, would also count.
    • There's also Bobby Bastion and Abelard Arbogast, two of the occupants of the Arbogast Funeral home.
  • Amusing Injuries: Rocky usually suffers from these, getting slapped and popping right back up, totally fine a few panels later. However, the "injury disappears immediately" aspect of the trope is subverted when Rocky is punched in Rumrunner- he receives a black eye that doesn't quite go away until the next day. Averted in Lackadaisy Haymaker, where he gets hit head first by a hearse, receiving a nasty sized gash on his head, being knocked out and possibly dying.
  • Anyone Can Die: Tracy has answered on her forum that yes, one of the main characters will die.
  • Apron Matron: Aunt Nina.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played to a T in this quote:

 Lacy: "Headlamps, Mr. Sable."

Wick: "Right, where would I be without Miss Lacy?"

Lacy: "Hopelessly trapped in the twisted wreckage of your car. Mangled limbs. Probably on fire... With your tax records all out of order."

  • Art Evolution: Not that it even needed it from the start, but as you progress through the comic you see the lighting becoming more expressive and detailed (thanks to computer rendering) and the bodies becoming more proportionate and closer to human body types. Now every frame looks like an authentic 1920's photograph.
    • If you ignore the anthropomorphic cats, that is.
  • Artistic Age: Don't be fooled by the big eyes and adorable faces, they just signify that Freckle and Ivy are the youngest of the cast-they're both eighteen. It's not even that big of a gap to the ones who look more adult, Freckle's cousin Rocky is twenty-two.
  • Author Avatar: Appears in a few "Chit-Chat Time" mini-comics interviewing some of the characters. Has been mistaken for some kind of monkey, some kind of leprechaun, a disheveled pixie, and an undercover gremlin.
  • Awesome Art
  • Axe Crazy: Nico and Serafine Savoy. Not to mention Freckle, who was kicked out of the Police Academy for his... enthusiasm for firearms.
    • Though Freckle practically went catatonic after killing those pig farmers.
    • And then there's Mordecai, who actually killed two guys with an axe because he didn't understand that the order was a joke. To further prove this claim, in a flashback he killed a guy because he sneezed one time too many.
      • Alas, poor Sniffles...
  • Badass: Viktor is the obvious contender, but damn does Freckle know how to handle a tommy-gun.
  • Badass Adorable: Calvin/Freckle.
    • Several characters, really, since this is a webcomic about anthropomorphic cats in a prohibition-era setting.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: With the exception of Viktor and the pig farmers, many of the hitmen are very well dressed, especially Mordecai.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mordecai frequently sports one.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Calvin/Freckle is normally a nice guy and quite gentle - that is, until he gets hold of a gun.
    • And Mitzi is a sweet, intelligent lady in every sense of the word... who would probably (hire someone to) kill you in several different ways without hesitation. And airily joke about it to her friends.
    • Ivy - yes, Ivy of the fancy flapper outfits and the ditzy demeanour - has a temper that's proven nothing to sneeze at. She manages to handle a gun well enough to convince some gin-runners she's genuine, too.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Viktor is unusually protective of Ivy, to the point where he's scared away most of her previous boyfriends. Or injured them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted HARD, with Viktor, who tries to help against the pig farmers, has the means to do so, gets to the bar in time, but is unable to help because of stairs.
    • To be clear, the reason stairs were an obstacle is because his bad knees can't really bend anymore.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Rocky, to the point where when the speakeasy is being attacked by the pig farmers, they know him as "The one with the eyebrows."
  • Bilingual Bonus: KUS VOLA! ZABIJEM T'A!
    • He's saying 'You piece of ox! I'll kill you!'; in Slovak, calling someone a 'piece of ox' is a common insult, similar to our English habit of calling someone a jackass.
    • Anything involving Mrs. Bapka.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Nobody in this story is blameless. The protagonists can be nice, they can be funny, and they are certainly usually better than the villains of the story, but let's get a few things straight: just about everyone in the story (including all the protagonists) is a criminal of some description, and over half of them have killed. Even Freckle.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Noise noise noise.
  • Buried Alive: Viktor and Mordecai once used it for interrogation. They killed the guy later, through gun and grenade.
  • Butt Monkey: Oh, Rocky, so much it borders on chew toy territory, though you couldn't tell by looking at him. If you were to make a list of all the people who have hit him, and all who haven't, you would find it to be about even.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Mordecai, apparently.
    • Judging from that comic's footnote on "Bunny Hugs" he should've been knocked out, so definitely not a lightweight.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The cats are all very distinct despite being, well, cats.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Very pronounced when the Lackadaisy staff are under attack from very angry pig farmers.
  • Cat Smile: Par for the course, considering the species of the cast, but Ivy sports a particularly good one in the last panel of this strip.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Rocky, pretty much constantly. His cousin Calvin has this mixed with a little bit of Slasher Smile.
    • Rocky's also frequently verges on slasher-ism.
    • Word of God is that Rocky's constant grin is half genuine and half Sad Clown; he's naturally cheerful of demeanor, but there's also a certain amount of lonely desperation because he knows he's weird and flaky and doesn't have a lot going for him aside from said demeanor, so he's hoping that if you think he's amusing you won't be so quick to discard him once you can afford someone better.
  • Children Are Innocent? HAHAHAHAAA! No. No no no no no.
  • Clingy Jealous Cat: Rocky's starting to show signs...
    • On the other hand, it's just as likely he's only messing with everyone involved. It's hard to tell with that guy.
    • It's implied by the dialogue that Rocky assumes that Mitzi only hired him out of desperation, and that the financial stability represented by the partnership with Wick would once again render him useless/jobless. Of course, he might just wind up that way anyway, given how ticked off Mitzi seemed when Wick confronted her about Rocky's word of warning.
      • Implied nothing. He laments that if Wick does join the partnership, he'll get shanked by a hobo living out on the streets among them.
    • And looking at Rocky's facial expressions in the final panels of this comic, it seems he doesn't just think of Mitzi as his source of income.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Mordecai always has to do things the creepy way.
    • In an interesting near-subversion, Freckle actually noticed Mordecai before Mitzi got in. It's just that nobody pays attention to the soft-spoken little guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Zib.

 (on hacking a body to pieces and arranging its parts in alphabetical order): "...Well, 'A' is for Amygdala, Mr. Sweet."

    • Tracy Butler herself is one; her artist comments and answers to reader questions are filled with snarks to rival Zib's.
  • Death Glare: VIKTOR used GLARE BEAM! it's SUPER EFFECTIVE!
  • Defictionalization: The club-shaped pin, in a case of The Red Stapler.
  • Deliberately Sepiatoned: part of the comic's charm.
    • That said, the side comics where she decides use color are stunning and memorable.
  • Did Not Do the Research: So heavily averted that's it's astounding to see the extent to which the author has shown their work.
    • A very good example is this comic. Where Tracy actually mentions in the footnotes that the radio isn't correct for the time period. Not only does she mention what kind of radio it should be, but also notes the year it was produced, the manufacturers, and adding that she felt bad for not using an accurate radio. All of this for an item which has no bearing on the plot.
    • She once apologized for including a paper napkin, as they had been invented by that point, but were not very common.
  • Dirty Cop: The two who picked up Zib took his money that he had just gotten from Mitzi, and joke about using it to gamble at the next horse race in front of him.
    • They get called on this by Dom Drago, though. Not that his showing up portends good things in the future for Zib and the rest of our merry band...
  • Doing It for the Art: AND HOW!
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: Kinda. Zib grabs Mitzi's pearl necklace. When she pulls away, the necklace breaks and the pearls go everywhere. He didn't do it on purpose, however.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Wick and Mordecai both appear during the flashback in strip 2 of the comic. They join the cast proper in strips 25 and 27, respectively.
    • Asa Sweet has a very early cameo as well. He isn't formally introduced until about 3/4s of the way through the first volume, but if you look close you can see him in the crowd attending Atlas May's funeral.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Zib seems to be turning into quite the competition for Mordecai over the title of Fan Darling.
    • Nicodeme hasn't appeared much yet, but despite this he's already got a large female following.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Mordecai just can't understand sentimental types like Viktor Vasko.

 Mordecai: "The important thing is no one was hurt."

(Cut to a scene of at least 5 dead/dying gangsters and an incredulous Viktor)

Mordecai "...No one who counts."

  Rocky: "You know how when Viktor looks at you, it seems like he's searing a hole through your face? Well, I have a theory about that. By having to pass through that singular ocular of his, the, uh, hate energy he radiates experiences some sort of amplification in a manner not unlike stimulated emission as, uh, Einstein described it, resulting in a kind of highly intensified...glare beam".


F-J

  • Face Heel Turn: A pre-story one by Mordecai.
  • Fat and Skinny: Bobby and Abelard (the chubby guy and the spindly preacher who run down Ivy and Rocky) certainly have this going for them physically, but don’t quite fit the personalities associated with the trope
  • Fed to Pigs: One of the uses of the pig farm...
  • Femme Fatale: Mitzi, if you don't think she's The Vamp.
  • Femme Fatalons: Mitzi. Just ask the poor vagrant that tried to take a pearl from the engagement necklace Atlas had given Mitzi back in the good ol' days. Ouch.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • The Flapper: Ivy
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Mordecai.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Justified, since they're all cats.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Tracy herself. As evidenced by her most recent (as of 08/23/2010) journal entry on her deviantArt page, Tracy has recently 'unofficially adopted' her neighbor's cat Luca after she found the poor creature barely alive with several serious facial injuries and a myriad of infections. She took Luca to the vet to have him humanely euthanized, but then found it in her heart (and wallet) to pay for his many many surgeries, antibiotic treatments, and pain medication. The result: Luca is now living happily with Tracy as a sort of bizarre IRL counterpart to Viktor as Luca lost an eye to infection and is generally chewed up body wise. So Tracy is not only a splendid artist, but a splendid human being in general.
  • Funetik Aksent: Viktor Vasko (Slovak), the Savoy Siblings (Cajun), Aunt Nina (Irish), and the pig farmers ('Southern Rustic' English)
  • Funny Animal: Everyone, but quite a few feline expressions are used.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: Why the cast are felines, according to Tracy.
    • Not that she can't draw humans. The cast as humans translate surprisingly well.
    • And normal animals. It's not so much "easier" as "zanier for cartoon roaring-twenties antics".
    • Word of God is that she thought cartoony cat faces were more expressive. She may have a point as when she draws the cast as humans, she shows an inclination to do so with stunning realism.
      • Proof the cat faces are more expressive? Check out "Lackadaisy Expressions" - Tracy's attempt to deliver advice on drawing a multitude of facial expressions, filled with examples utilizing a number of the strip's characters. The range of expressions and emotions is absolutely astounding.
    • Not to mention the option of fluffing up a cat's tail if he's frightened by something, or moving the ears to show interest or displeasure.
  • Furry Confusion: Talking cats and real pigs.
  • Genki Girl: Ivy.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Being The Roaring Twenties, we get everything from flapper dresses, three-piece pinstripe suits and some fashion holdovers from The Gay Nineties. Then there's Rocky's zoot suit...
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: You can't have a story about bootleggers without this one. Viktor shows us how it's done.
  • Hair of Gold: Lacy, Wick's secretary, who is coincidentally the only female not involved with any illegal activities that we know of...
  • Hartman Hips: Mitzi's got 'em.
  • Heel Face Turn: Zib seems to make one, wanting out of the crime business and starting a clean life. Of course since the main characters are criminals a heel face turn is essentially a face heel turn to us.
  • Heroic BSOD: Freckle gets a little... out of sorts after the incident with the pig rustlers.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Serafine seems to practice this for some reason. We've yet to see just how qualified she really is.
  • Hot Chick in a Badass Suit: Serafine Savoy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Viktor and Ivy, respectively.
    • Also Nicodeme and Serafine.
      • Serafine is tall for a woman; it's just that Nico is tall for a man.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: The female cats have human-like head hair, and the males do not.
    • Males do have hints of hair, and Fridge Brilliance can tell that short hair for men was the standard back then.
      • It's especially visible on Nico, whose head fur is longer than that of the other male cats. We can probably guess males would have equally human-like hair if they'd just grow it out.
      • Though that does depend on how seriously you take the characters' human depictions - the boys have hair of varying lengths in this picture, for example.
  • I Call Her "Vera": Serafine calls her automatic rifle "Boudreaux".
    • Appropriate enough for a BAR.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: This is what you get when you mix little Rocky with pancakes.
    • "I CAN SEE ETERNITY."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every page is titled "Lackadaisy [Something multisyllabic]"
  • Improvised Armour: Viktor uses car doors as a shield; nothing too ostentatious, that happens in real life as well. Mordecai also uses his accountant-esque suitcase as a shield at one point.
  • Improvised Weapon: Viktor, naturally, is the undisputed champion of this trope in the comic. He's knocked out someone with a car door, whacked people with heavy whisky bottles, and laid the smackdown on a rival gang with only a crowbar, for starters.
    • Mordecai comes in a close second - he's thought quickly enough to kill someone with a fragmented wood bannister.
  • Incendiary Exponent: One early sequence showcasing Rocky's "logic" -- see Crazy Awesome, on the YMMV page -- lets you know exactly what kind of comic this is going to be.
  • Indy Ploy: "Always be prepared to improvise, Freckle. That's rule number one for jazz players and vigilantes alike."
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Rocky, see Butt Monkey above. For all the hits he takes, he cleans up pretty well.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns/Reckless Gun Usage: In a background extra strip, Rocky shoots himself in the ear when waving around his pistol, giving him the hole in the ear seen in the regular strip.


K-O

  'Mordecai:' That is how one reasons with Viktor.

  • Kubrick Stare: Considering that this is a cast full of sociopaths, heroic, comedic, or emphatically neither, just about everyone gets a panel like this. Even Ivy.
  • Large Ham: Part and parcel of Rocky's shtick, to the point that no one can really tell when he's putting it on for his own esoteric amusement and when he's being genuine.

  Rocky: "I don't want to have to leave again! THEY TOLERATE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

  • Laughing Mad: Rocky has a penchant for this... Calvin has also certainly picked up on it.

 Rocky: "My cousin."

Mitzi: "He has your laugh."

  Rocky: "No! Why isn't this corn tall enough? This is terrible corn!"

  Zib: "Who robs a place, then tidies up and dusts the shelves before leaving?"


P-T

  • Pass the Popcorn: What one young cat does after Mitzi and Wick spill out of a photo booth due to an impromptu make-out session.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Rocky and Freckle's wacky hi-jinx.
  • Progressively Prettier: Thanks to Art Evolution, Zib has gotten a lot more handsome looking while Viktor has beefed up considerably.
  • Psycho for Hire: Rocky and Calvin.
    • Also the Savoy Siblings, Mordecai, and to an extent Viktor.
      • They're gangsters, so half the cast qualifies.
      • Viktor's only "to an extent" because his employer wants him to retire (see below).
  • Really Gets Around: Possibly Ivy to a certain degree considering that she has had quite a few boyfriends in the past, and Freckle is her newest addition.
    • She may have had quite a few of them, yes. But how long did each one last?
  • Reflective Eye: Viktor's remaining eye does this when he turns on his Death Glare upon meeting Calvin.
  • Retired Badass: Not quite retired, but Viktor's got only one eye and bad knees and his official job is as bartender. He can still hold his own in a fight.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Rocky does this a couple times, with one strip dedicated to him reciting a poem about the Mississippi River.
  • The Roaring Twenties: Of course.
  • Rule of Cool: The artist has a penchant for drawing Wick dramatically brandishing a revolver, like, all the time. She admits that he would have no idea how to use one, but it makes him look debonair. The same happens to Rocky, who, in an attempt to look "pretty dashing" in one of the early comic previews, promptly manages to shoot part of his ear off.
    • Also, cast members wearing zoot suits, despite those being slightly anachronistic.
  • Rule of Three: In "Lackadaisy Correspondence:"

 Freckle: "It's a three. It's my lucky number... I guess."

Nina (first horizontal panel): "Oh, is it then? Well, it's a good number."

Nina (second horizontal panel): "A holy number."

Freckle (third horizontal panel): *cringe*


U-Z

  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Depends on your taste in women, but Elsa seems to be easier on the eyes than Bobby.
  • Unfortunate Names: Honestly, why would someone as Irish Catholic as Nina name her son Calvin?
    • Calvin is named after one of the author's cats. Not an in-story explanation, but still...
    • Perhaps there is nothing quite like an unfortunate name to instill some good ol' Catholic guilt....
  • The Un-Reveal: Rocky and Zib's conversation in Hallelujah:

 Zib: But before you hightail it out of here, humor me- just what made a lad like you volunteer to go running hooch around in the dead of night?

Rocky: Well, I- oops. Did you see that? One of my strings is broken.

Zib: Alright. I'm glad we settled that.

  • The Vamp: Mitzi has qualities of this, especially when she's with Wick.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The former dynamic duo of Viktor and Mordecai; while not exactly 'best buds', both had a tentative respect for each other's existence. Considering the kind of people Viktor and Mordecai are, a vague kinda-you-sorta respect is probably the closest thing to 'friendship' either one is capable of.
    • The two actually spent time together out of work, if this mini-comic can be trusted.

 Mordecai: "Wha was I saying? Oh, Viktor. Right. Viktor. Viktor's greeaat."

  • Weaksauce Weakness: Viktor, badass, has extreme, near-crippling difficulty with stairs.
    • Explained by the fact that he was kneecapped less than a year prior: in addition to being one of the most painful places to get shot, many victims who've been kneecapped go on to suffer residual paralysis in the muscles of their lower legs.
  • Webcomic Time: The comic started some four years ago. Since then, two days have passed in-story. This is due in large part to how much work goes into the comic, plus some Schedule Slip now and then.
  • World of Funny Animals
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