Q. What's this comic about?
A. It's about a troupe of jazz musicians and unlikely gangsters running a St. Louis speakeasy in the era of Prohibition. It falls somewhere in the realm of historical fiction, drama, dark comedy, and abject nonsense.
Q. When do you update?
A. The comic has been on hold while the animated short film has been in production, but I will resume updating as often as I can after the film release. In the meantime, though, I've still been sharing lots of art and short comics here. You can find those things in the Gallery.
Q. How can I be notified of updates?
A. Follow any of my social media accounts linked in the title bar above. There’s also a good old-fashioned RSS feed.
Q. Is the comic available in print? Are there books? Where do I find them?
A. The books have been out of print for a bit, but they’re heading for re-print in spring/early summer of 2023 through Iron Circus Comics. There’s also an art book called Lackadaisy Essentials on its way.
Q. Where can I watch the animated film?
A. After March 2023, you can find it on the official YouTube channel! If you’re reading this before the film release, you can still see lots of previews and a trailer there.
Q. Is the animated film a continuation of the comic? Do I have to read the comic before watching the film?
A. Nah, you don’t have to read the comic to understand the film, and vice versa. The animated film is a standalone story that happens outside the canonical timeline of the comic. Reading the comic will provide some extra context for things that happen in the film, though. If you’ve already read the comic, then you’ll also recognize some bits and pieces that were adapted for animation.
Q. Are you going to make more animation?
A. It’d be a dream to produce a series to tell the full story! Whether or not more animation is in store really depends on how well or not-well the film performs, though. In order to make more, I have to find funding somewhere.
Q. Is the soundtrack for the film available?
A. Not yet, but it will be soon!
Q. Can I make translations of your comic / dubs of your animation?
A. Please don’t. Inquire about it first. That kind of thing requires agreements to be made and paperwork to be signed. Otherwise, it’s just copyright infringement.
Q. Is the comic adult in nature? Is it for kids? What about the film?
A. Both contain adult themes, like gun violence, alcohol consumption, mild language and, well, criminals doing crimes. There is nothing especially graphic about the violence, though, and there is no sexual content. They’d probably garner a PG-13 sort of rating.
Q. Why cats?
A. When dealing in sociopathic criminality 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 levity, abstraction and 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.
Q. What does the title "Lackadaisy" mean exactly?
A. It’s the name of the speakeasy that the story revolves around. It’s also an obsolete dictionary word that has come to be better recognized in the form of “lackadaisical”, a term describing half-heartedness or listlessness. However, it’s derived from an old interjection expressing sorrow or regret - “alack the day” or sometimes “alackaday”.
Q. Where does the story take place?
A. St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. I figure there are already plenty of gangster stories that take place in New York and Chicago. Also, it’s where I live and I think it’s kind of an interesting (if diminished) place with a storied past.
Q. When does the story take place?
A. It begins in 1927.
Q. What's Prohibition?
A. Prohibition (or National Prohibition in the context of U.S. history) refers to the period between 1920 and 1933 when the import, production, and sale of alcohol was illegal. As you might imagine, the import, production, and sale of alcohol didn't simply cease because the government said so. Instead it fostered an evolutionary leap in organized crime.
Q. Is this supposed to be historically accurate?
A. Yes and no. There are a lot of real places and references to authentic bits of history in the comic. Simultaneously, there are also a lot of fictional places, and though occasionally historical figures are mentioned, none of the characters directly represent anyone who actually existed. While I strive to avoid glaring anachronisms and excessive artistic license in regard to history, let's not also forget we're dealing with talking cats here. This means you probably don't need to go to the trouble of writing me exhaustive lectures about whatever minor deviations from recorded history I might make in the name of storytelling. If you have some insights though, or notice some error I've made, by all means, cram it.
(Just kidding. I like to chat about history and I appreciate good-faith feedback. You can email me and I probably won't even yell at you.)
Q. Why do some of your characters wear zoot suits? They weren't popular until the 1930's and 40's.
A. Yeah, you can see the zoot suit look in some of the early art. Zoot suits are mostly associated with the 1940s, though, and also have some very specific cultural history that I wasn’t aware of when I first started work on the comic (see the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943). I’ve long since veered away from drawing the suits that way. Grasping 1920s fashion took some learning, as did many other facets of Jazz Age history. Research has been an endless, ongoing part of making this thing, really. I’ve learned so much along the way and I’ve corrected many of my own errors when possible. I’ll inevitably make more of them, though, as any point in history is a vast, branching, convoluted topic.
Q. Did you say you draw all of the comics in pencil?
A. Well, yes, I pencil every panel first, then I scan it and do varying amounts of digital work on top of that. In my earlier comics, you can see it’s mostly just pencil art with some added sepia tone. As time went on, I started doing a lot more complicated digital work on top of my scanned pencil lines, though.
Q. What type of pencil do you use?
A. The…normal kind. It’s just a basic Twist-Erase mechanical #2 pencil you can get anyplace that sells office supplies. I mostly draw on smooth Bristol paper.
Q. What hardware/software do you use?
A. I work primarily in Photoshop, Lightroom and Clip Studio. I currently do most of my digital work on a Wacom Cintiq or a Mobile Studio Pro. Much of Volumes 1 and 2 of the comic were done on an old Intuos tablet, though.
Q. How did you come up with your characters?
A. I'm not sure, really. I used to draw cat characters all over my school notebooks when I was a weird kid. As a weird adult-ish type person, I had all but forgotten them until I started listening to jazz again. They sort of came crashing back in on me. Some of them are loosely based and named after real cats.
Q. Where did you learn to draw? What school did you go to?
A. I didn't go to art school. I did carry a sketchbook wherever I went all through childhood, though. I still do, in fact. It's sort of like a security blanket that I draw on.
Q. Do you take commissions?
A. Not usually. On rare occasions. If you’re looking to get custom drawings from me, the easiest way is through Patreon. I have some tiers with art rewards that I open up pretty often.
Q. Do you allow fan art/guest art/gift art?
A. Yes. I use it to buttress the quivering framework of my fragile ego... er, I mean, sure! I love fan art. You can tag me about it on social media, or post it in the Lackadaisy Discord community fan art section.
Q. Can I create a Lackadaisy OC? Can I write fanfiction?
A. Sure! Have fun!
Q. Where do you get ideas? What resources do you use?
A. Too many places to list, really. Life is quirky and amusing and full of interesting things - ideas come from all directions. For resources, the internet is a good place to start, but it’s wise to double and triple check sources. I have a small collection of books on fashion, crime, and general history from the 1920's and 30's as well. Here’s some of them.
Q. Are you a furry?
A. I draw furries in the sense that I draw anthropomorphized animal characters, but I'm actually a not-very-furry upright primate. I suspect you are too, unless you're a cat walking on the keyboard. Get off the keyboard! On a more serious note, it’s more incidentally furry than explicitly so. Although I know many readers of the comic identify as furries, there are also many who do not. Come at it from whatever angle you like. (But if this is about some hangup/complaint you have with the furry community in general, take it elsewhere. Do better. Get help.)
Q. Do you do other sorts of artwork?
A. Yeah, you can see me drawing things other than cats on my social media accounts. Pet portraits, other animals, even people.
Q. In what ways can I support the making of more comics and animations?
A. See that Patreon thing lurking on every page of this site? That’s how! Also, you can buy merch from the shop. Or you can donate directly here. And if monetary support isn't what you mean, sharing a link to Lackadaisy or just telling someone about it is also wonderful. Word of mouth goes a long way. Also, thanks!