Thursday, 14 February 2008

Cool for cats: Lackadaisy

Cats reworking the prohibition, that's the obvious catch here, but it really doesn't matter because Tracey Butler's Lackadaisy is one of the best strips in the last three years, no inane rubbish about 'Furry' comics will have an effect once you read this strip.

Her artwork is amongst the lushest I have seen online, the introductory strip is a mouth-slavering use of dense background that shows attention to detail is not going to be a problem here. She gets the feline slyness of the facial expressions just right, this was a time for wiseguys and hucksters, 10 percenting grifters and speakeasys. This strip easily melds together the chancer's smooth tongue and the forbidden luxury of illicit drinking behind the sly fa├žade of a cat's Cheshire grin.

I don't mean to get all ecstatic on you but the level of linework here is amazing , I might have used the term 'cartoony sheen' before but this is the ultimate sheen. Accompanied with this is the goofiness of the strip, which works for me after perusing a legion of po faced horror strips, Disney would be the obvious reference point to use but you would be totally wrong, the surface sleekness hides along-term narrative. It's an obvious point I make in most of my webcomic reviews but I'm wondering why this strip hasn't garnered the praise it deserves. It's a stand-out strip when so many good strips have dissolved into nothingness, (Hellbound, why have you forsaken me?)

Nobody after reading a few strips is going to confuse this with a furry comic, it merely uses cats as a shtick, and it does not really detract from historical verisimilitude, the grime and liquor of the prohibition, the sheer fun here reminds me why I will continually read strips such as Rob & Elliot and Butternutsquash while Megatokyo is a strip I have lately neglected. Additionally, the narrative is comic lots of visual puns, lots of winking and grimacing, physical humour takes over and forces the strip forward into a well-plotted fantasy.

The attention to detail is what mixes the fantastic with the background realism, the first introductory strip alone is dense with 1920's America skimp on serious about this strip, the update schedule isn';t high but the lush strips make up for it, this work obviously takes more time than Sluggy Freelance to actually be created. It's wordy and clever and even facetious but I seriously haven't has this much fun discovering a new webcomic in over a year, this is in my top five discoveries for this year.

*The title is from the song by Squeeze, just, uh, being pedantic.


Sly said...

"She," by the way. The artist, Tracy J. Butler, is female.

As for garnering praise, Lackadaisy has been basking in it before it even launched. She was posting development work from the project on DA.

Lackadaisy brought in a slew of WCCAs its first year, including Outstanding Newcomer and Outstanding Artist. She also landed a publishing deal in Italy...before the first "chapter," if you will, was even finished.

That said, she deserves it. It's a damn good comic.

Scott said...

Heh, okay, that's pretty embarrassing, maybe this shows an innate presumption about gender I might have, meh. I'll try to be more careful.

I haven't noticed the attention, I know, typically I am in my own zombie obsessed world this this strip took me by surprise. All I can say is i was rushed when i wrote this post and was just sending out a spray of devotion that didn't take everything in.