A 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's former partner and filled with former Lackadaisy employees.
The place: St. Louis, Missouri. The period: The Roaring '20s. The problem: With national prohibition laws in effect, the world of spirits and alcohol has been forced to move underground, starting a massive network of rum-running and speakeasies under the very noses of the authorities. One of the most successful of these speakeasies is the Lackadaisy, an exclusive club founded by one Atlas May, and which may only be entered by those sporting Lackadaisy's unique Clubs lapel pin. For a while, the Lackadaisy was the place to be for those wishing to partake in drink, but all this came crashing down when Atlas is violently murdered. Atlas' wife Mitzi May is left with the reins, but the controversy surrounding his death, including the rumor that Mitzi herself was involved, causes a sharp decline in both staffing and customers. Meanwhile, Lackadaisy's main rivals, the Marigolds gang, are making their resurgence, aided by not only former Lackadiasy employees, but also several other unsavory characters who have no qualms getting their hands bloody.
Amid all this is our Lovable Rogue protagonist Roark "Rocky" Rickaby, a jazz violinist turned whiskey and gin runner for Lackadaisy. 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, er, 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; Ivy Pepper, Atlas's goddaughter and Lackadaisy hanger-on; Mordecai Heller, an overly bookish (and equally sociopathic) Marigold triggerman; and Dorian 'Zib' Zibowski, the sardonic saxophonist.
Oh, and they're all anthropomorphic cats.
The series is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair with a serious plot line and strong characterizations. The artwork is of a high professional level, first published by ReNoir Comics in Italy and now published in English by 4th Dimension Comics for a North American release. English version available for purchase here or other major book stores.
In March of 2020, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund a 10-minute online animated short, as well as an artbook containing never-before-seen Lackadaisy material. The animation will contain several well-known voice actors, most notably SungWon Cho, aka ProZD, as fan favorite Mordecai Heller. The project reached its funding goal within six hours.
Now has a character page. Please put all character related tropes there.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- The Alleged Car: Rocky's car (though technically it belongs to Lackadaisy, Rocky is the one primarily depicted driving it, besides, he lives in it anyway) is in pretty rough shape, sporting several bullet holes, is prone to stalls due to a worn-out clutch, and the interior is a mess. Not surprising, considering Rocky's haphazard, reckless nature, and the fact that the car doubles as his home.
- 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 I, his partnership with Mordecai, etc....
- An Aesop:
- Trying to relive the past will only result in heartache.
- The criminal lifestyle might be exciting, but it's also morally corrosive and violent.
- Building an organization around one person is not a sustainable business model. A charismatic leader can inspire loyalty while they're around, but what will hold the organization together when that leader is gone?
- Anyone Can Die: Tracy's answered on her forum that yes, one of the main characters will die.
- Arc Symbol:
- Playing cards. The logo for the speakeasy is a club, and pictures in the gallery section of the site sometimes features cards. Later, a card game featuring the characters became available.
- Rivers. In volume 1, Rocky composes an ode to the Mississippi River. Captain Kehoe pilots a barge along the river. In volume 3, Mordecai suggests that the Savoys dispose of the bodies of Gracie's henchmen in the river. While reciting a spontaneous poem, Rocky appears as a skeleton submerged in a river.
- Scars. After the Arbogasts strike him with their vehicle, Rocky has a scar down the middle of his forehead. Serafine carves a scar into Mordecai's chest when he refuses to join the Maitre Carrefour cult.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played to a T in this quote:Lacy: "Headlamps, Mr. Sable."
Wick: "Right, where would I be without you, 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 1920s photograph.
- From a more stylistic standpoint, at the start, the art was purely sepia, however as the story continues, and the art and shadowing improved, it starts involving more color. It's still generally sepia, but things such as blood get colored and the more stylized/supernatural things get color as well. And starting with Volume 3, the sepia aspect is mostly gone, with the art regularly employing color, though still very washed out. It doesn't look like old photos anymore, but its not fully colored either.
- Art Shift: "Expedition" depicts Viktor and Mordecai in human form instead of cat form.
- 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.
- Artistic License Medicine:
- After receiving a serious head injury, Rocky is strong enough to walk around St. Louis the following morning and clear-headed enough to carry out a bootlegging run with Freckle and Ivy the following night. In real life, Rocky would have been out of commission for much longer than one night.
- Rocky leaves his stitched-up head injury unbandaged the next day and repeatedly gets it wet in the rain. In real life, both of these would be huge no-nos with a stitched-up laceration, as they would greatly increase the chances of an infection.
- Artistic License Pharmacology: When Mordecai unwittingly sips Rocky's "space coffee", he immediately experiences dilated pupils and hallucinations. In real life, orally-administered hallucinogens take several minutes to absorb and produce hallucinations. Also, Mordecai takes one sip of the "coffee" and immediately spits it out, meaning that he only swallowed a few drops of the liquid at best. Unless the liquid contained a massive amount of a hallucinogenic drug, Mordecai wouldn't have consumed enough of the active ingredient to experience effects.
- Aside Glance: Zib's response to Rocky being Rocky is an aside stare.
- 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.
- Badass Crew: Mordecai, Serafine, and Nico are each dangerous in their own right, but are even more formidable when acting as a team on behalf of Marigold. The trio kidnapped and murdered two lawyers in volume 1. In volume 2, they slaughter Gracie's henchmen, disable Gracie, and put the fear of God into Gracie's customers.
- Badass Longcoat:
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted 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 and because his bad knees can't really bend anymore.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Calvin and Ivy get a small one of these at the end of "Liason."
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Rocky jokingly reading labels on whiskey bottles to Lackadaisy's patrons in this strip : the names he gives out are, respectively, "disgusting brown gunk" or "rancid rat water". Which, from the sound of it, is what the booze tastes like.
- Most of Mrs. Bapka's dialog is in Slovak. When translated into English, it can be a source of humor. For example, in a side comic in which Rocky is testing the characters' huggability, Mrs. Bapka hugs his face while asking, "Who are you?".
- Black-and-Gray 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 every protagonist) is a criminal of some description, and over half of them have killed. Even Freckle. Especially Freckle.
- Even Mrs. Bapka (Viktor's upstairs neighbor) is a hardened criminal, who stuffed sardines down her kitchen drain before the widespread adaptation of garbage disposals.
- Though we've yet to see Lacy mixed up in any wrongdoings, time will only tell if this remains the case.
- Black Comedy: A lot of it, especially in the side strips, which take this Up to Eleven.
- Blah Blah Blah: Noise noise noise.
- Brick Joke: The first time we meet Mordecai, he's just chopped someone up with a hatchet:Serafine: De hatchet, cher. It was a joke.Nico: We didn' tink you was really gone to use it.
Nico: What's dis work we supposed to be doin' tonight? You got annuder hatchet job in store?Mordecai: No. I've brought more precise instruments this time.
- Eight years and more than 100 strips later, we get this exchange:
- Briefcase Full of Money: Mordecai uses one to block most of a shotgun blast.
- Burial at Sea: After besieging Gracie Grombach's speakeasy, Nico wonders how the Marigold gang will dispose of his henchmen's dead bodies without the pig farmers' help. Mordecai suggests dumping the bodies in the river.Mordecai: It's time to behave like civilized professionals. Let the currents and bottom-feeders do their part with discretion. Which is to say, you have two very large, perfectly serviceable rivers at your disposal.
- Buried Alive: Viktor and Mordecai once used it for interrogation. They likely killed the guy later, through gun and grenade.
- In volume 1, Mordecai murders a man with a hatchet. At the end of volume 2, Nico asks Mordecai if he has another "hatchet job" in store that evening.
- In volume 1, Viktor likens Mitzi to a bear trap. In "Lackadaisy Wisenheimer", Rocky inquires about some bear traps for sale at the Defiance General Store, saying that they remind him of someone dear to him.
- In volume 2, Bobby tells Ivy that years before, Atlas, Viktor, and Mordecai bided their time at Defiance General, playing chess until it was time to besiege their rivals' cabin. "Lackadaisy Wisenheimer" includes a shot of Defiance General's front counter with chess pieces in the foreground.
- Cast Full of Crazy: Where do we start? Rocky was manic and reckless from the start, and his head injury in volume 2 has only exacerbated his mental instability. Freckle succumbs to murderous rage in dangerous situations. Mordecai is a sociopath who is devoid of warmth, empathy, or mercy. Serafine is another sociopath with a sadistic streak, and if she truly believes in Maitre Carrefour, is living in a fantasy world. Her brother Nico isn't much better. Wick is an insomniac who works too hard, drinks too much, and is haunted by the ghost of a dead duck.
- Cast of Snowflakes: The cats are all very distinct despite being, well, cats. It's highlighted even more on the current character page, where each character is portrayed in a distinct, period-appropriate art style.
- Casual Danger Dialogue:
- Very pronounced when the Lackadaisy staff are under attack from very angry pig farmers.
- "...so I was hoping after you punch me through a wall you could..."
- "It's possible I've made the situation somewhat worse." Said while running for their lives through a cornfield from a hearse barreling down a hill at full speed.
- Cerebus Call Back: Mordecai and the Savoys debut in the comic after Mordecai has dismembered a man with a hatchet. Readers assume that Mordecai murdered a rival bootlegger, and the scene is played for very dark laughs. Later, the comic reveals that Mordecai and the Savoys kidnapped an innocent lawyer who had no idea what he had done wrong and spent his final moments in terror and pain.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The humor in this story has always been rather dark, and it's always been violent and full of drama, but the first volume was much more comedic and had more emphasis placed on snarkiness and slapstick. Starting around the part where Mitzi steals a checking book from Wick, it's all downhill from there. After Rocky gets injured, things get real dark, real fast.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Rocky tends to pull these when people try to dig into his past.
- In "Hallelujah" when Zib asks Rocky how he got into the rum-running business, Rocky appears to begin answering, only for him to suddenly call attention to a broken string on his fiddle.
- In "Look-see," when Calvin tries to question Rocky over the latter telling Ivy about "the past", Rocky only says that he thought he only dreamed telling Ivy before commenting on the "Beflowered Malafactors from the Crossroad" (Fish and Wes).
- Visual Pun:
- Children Are Innocent? HAHAHAHAAA! No. No no no no no.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Zib really, really needs a freakin' smoke.
- Coffin Contraband: One of their former suppliers was an undertaker who smuggled booze in coffins. Possibly a reference to something that happened in real life.
- Color-Coded Characters: In the color piece Syncopators, the band is this.
- Zib (saxophone, clarinet): Red
- Rocky (violin): Blue
- Sy (trumpet): Green
- Ben (double bass): Yellow
- Mozzie (piano): Black
- Comically Missing the Point: Mordecai, in a side comic where he tries unsuccessfully to "make eyes" at a woman nearby:Viktor: Dark look like Valentino is different thing from dark look like, ehh, I vill like to murder your family...vith icepick, probably.
Mordecai: That wasn't remotely like the icepick look.
- And another one:Viktor: You just shoot Sniffles??
Mordecai: That's "shot", Viktor.
- And another one:
- Cue the Falling Object: Seen in over on the right side of this mini comic as Viktor and Mordecai stand surrounded by a gang they just slaughtered, one of the bodies is slumping over.
- Cult: Serafine leads a cult that follows a corrupted form of Voodoo and worships the loa Maitre Carrefour. She invited Mordecai to join, and when he refused, she forcibly carved a Voodoo symbol into his chest.
- 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: A few characters (see character sheet) and Tracy Butler herself is one; her artist comments and answers to reader questions are filled with snarks to rival Zib's.
- Decade-Themed Filter: The comics filter the panels akin to authentic 1920s photographs.
- Deconstruction: Of 1920s speakeasy life. Those fun, lively speakeasies were stocked by bootleggers who engaged in bloodshed. The liquor at speakeasies was sometimes adulterated with poisonous substances which could sicken drinkers.
- Deliberately Sepiatoned: Part of the comic's charm.
- That said, the side comics where she does use full color are stunning and memorable.
- Design Student's Orgasm: Where to even start...
- Dig Your Own Grave: To a Chihuahua in this side comic.
- Dirty Cop: The two who picked up Zib took the money that he had just gotten from Mitzi, and joked 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...
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: Sort of. Zib grabs Mitzi's pearl necklace, but when she pulls away, the necklace breaks and the pearls scatter everywhere. He didn't do this on purpose, however.
- Dreamworks Face: Described by Tracy in Expressions as "The Smarm Brow," implying that there are several unnamed characters in other works that need their eyebrow privileges revoked.Tracy: I can't think of a reason anyone who doesn't walk around in a smoking jacket with a pipe clenched in their teeth needs to make this face more than, say, 0.1% of the time...and yet it is everywhere. Always.
- Driving Question: Who killed Atlas May, and why?
- Dysfunctional Family: Oh boy, where to start...All is not well in the McMurray/Rickaby family. Even before Rocky took the blame for....something so bad that it caused him to be kicked out of the only place he truly considered home, there were still plenty of issues besetting them. Rocky's mother died at some point from tuberculosis, and Rocky mentions that his father is "working on the railroad" which pretty much is another way of saying he's out of the picture and is unable or doesn't care enough to return home and take care of his son. As a result, Rocky's only real parental figure is his aunt Nina, a dour and oppressively devout Irish Catholic. On top of this is poor Calvin, Rocky's cousin and Nina's son, who, while at first seeming an earnest and timid kid just trying to get into the police force, has a rather...violent side whenever he gets his hands on a gun, a trait that made him wash out of the police tryouts almost immediately. Still, despite all this, the family still seems to care about one another, with Nina allowing Rocky to hang out with Calvin and washing his clothes on request (if begrudgingly), showing that there is some silver lining behind all the trouble.
- Dysfunction Junction: Rockys a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Freckles a bundle of anxiety and vague and lingering dysphoria, with intermittent outbursts of something. Mitzis perhaps not dealing with the grieving process in the healthiest of fashions, or shes trying to evade it altogether. Not that hes ever been the most jovial of fellows, but Viktor is doing some wallowing lately. Elsa scarcely ventures outside. Wick and Zib seem to be looking for chemical solutions to melancholia. Mordecai's a sociopath with a gaping hole where his soul should be.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Wick and Mordecai both appear during the flashback in the second page of the comic. They formally join the cast in pages 13 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 closely you can see him in the crowd attending Atlas May's funeral in the first few pages.
- Easily Forgiven:
- Viktor regularly brutalizes Rocky, but Rocky continues to treat him as a friend and Mizti keeps him on staff. Viktor has also beaten up Ivy's boyfriends, and yet Ivy continues to be friends with him.
- In a flashback, Mordecai shot his driver, Sniffles, because Sniffles' sinus problems got on his nerves. Mordecai never suffered repercussions for murdering a coworker in cold blood.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: A flashback shows Viktor shoving an injured man into a fireplace and then using his body to light the puddles of moonshine he's using to burn the place down.
- A Father to His Men: Atlas is turning out to be dark subversion of this trope. According to Zib, Atlas had a habit of collecting strays and offering them work and relative safety as his employees. (He helped to get Viktor a lawyer and shorter prison sentence after his arrest and basically paid off Mordecai's angry pursuers from New York and gave him the shirt off his back, literally). However, as much he 'saved' his employees, Atlas did still indenture them into a life of violent crime.
- Fed to Pigs: One of the uses of the pig farm...
- After Rocky burns down the pig farmers' house, Freckle struggles to suppress his maniacal laughter. The laughter suggests that Freckle might have darker impulses that readers first thought. Later in chapter 1, Freckle's maniacal laughter returns when he kills three of the pig farmers.
- In chapter 2, after Mordecai enters the Savoy's suite, Nico quickly slams the door shut. Readers later see why the Savoys wanted to make sure he stayed in the suite.
- Four-Fingered Hands: In cat form, each character has three fingers and a thumb on each hand.
- Friend to All Living Things: Tracy herself. As evidenced by her 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.
- Funny Animal: Everyone, but quite a few feline expressions are used (particularly with Ivy).
- Furries Are Easier to Draw: A reason for why the cast are felines, according to Tracy.
- Not that she can't draw humans. The cast as humans translate incredibly well.
- And normal animals. It's not so much "easier" as "zanier for cartoon The Roaring '20s antics".
- Word of God is that she also 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 s/he's frightened by something, or moving the ears to show interest or displeasure.
- Furry Confusion: Averted. The only animals shown to be anthropomorphic are the cats, and there's never been a non-anthro cat. Likewise, other animals are never shown to be anthropomorphic.
- "Pets? Who said there were pets? No one knows anything about any pets."
- Tracy confirms that cats are basically just stand-ins for humans, and that as far as non-feline pets and animals, everything is the same as it would be normally. She also says that there won't be as much emphasis on this in the comics (other than the aforementioned pig farmers) so not to add another layer of absurdity to the series.
- Gilligan Cut:Zib: Indeed. These arms weren't designed for manual labor. I'm afraid I'm relegated to the arts.
Rocky: But you're less like spaghetti. Besides, shouldn't we revel in this opportunity to suffer for our art?
Mitzi: Zib, go suffer for your art.
Cut to Rocky leading the band through the tunnels.
Zib: Your enthusiasm for suffering is somewhat unsettling.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Being The Roaring '20s, we get everything from flapper dresses, three-piece pinstripe suits and some fashion holdovers from The Gay '90s. 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.
- Handbag of Hurt: After a tense meeting with Asa Sweet, Mitzi returns to her car, where Mordecai is waiting to speak with her. She smacks him in the face with her purse before she realizes who he is.
- Hollywood Kiss: Averted. Mitzi and Wick try to have one, but Mitzi gets distracted by a picture of Atlas, and they both trip on floor olives.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Viktor and Ivy, respectively.
- Humanoid Female Animal: The female cats have human-like head hair, and the males have only hints of hair. Justified; short hair for men was the standard back then.
- As Nico's head fur is longer than that of the other male cats, we can assume males would have equally human-like hair if they'd just grow it out. The boys have hair of varying lengths in this side comic, for example.
- It's not just the hair; Mitzi's facial features are notably less feline in appearance than any of the other characters'.
- Recent pages has shown Rocky growing his hair out a little, ostensibly to hide the nasty scar he got from his encounter with the hearse.
- Hypocritical Humor: While Mordecai is trying to find the Savoys, who are staying in a hotel under assumed names:Mordecai: Perhaps you'd know whom I was referring to if I described them as a pair of supposed siblings speaking a sort of Cajun-creole patois rife with francophone interjections and enough inter-dental fricative stops to stagger a New Yorker?
Concierge: [blank look]
Mordecai: Yes, they are a bit difficult to understand.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every page is titled "Lackadaisy [Something Multisyllabic]". "Sketchdumps" on the author's Deviant Art page are commonly labeled "Lackadaisy [Crazy Old-Timey Slang Word]".
- 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."
- Intoxication Ensues:
- Viktor is injured during the pig farmers' siege of Lackadaisy. Dr. Quackenbush administers anesthesia to Viktor before tending to his wounds. Ivy finds Viktor unconscious with a big smile on his face.
- In a side comic, Rocky replaces Mordecai's tea with his "special coffee". Mordecai's pupils dilate, and he recoils in horror when he sees giant microorganisms on the table. The last panel shows a terrified Mordecai curled up in a ball, surrounded by hallucinations of eldritch abominations.
- In a flashback, Mordecai sustains an injury and is taken to Elsa for treatment. He flatly refuses to let Elsa treat him, but consents once she injects him with morphine. The last frame shows Elsa holding a hypodermic needle, standing next to a sloshed Mordecai who has collapsed on an operating table.
- In a side comic, Mordecai underestimated the strength of Bunny Hugs cocktails, got himself drunk, and fawned on Viktor.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Ivy, during her confrontation with the Arbogasts in Defiance:Bobby: It's one less of you high school jellybeans I have to worry about, slinking around here, trying to raid our stores.
Ivy: Hey! I'm in college!
- 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.
- Knee-capping: Mordecai did this to Viktor in the recent past.Mordecai: That is how one reasons with Viktor.
- Kosher Nostra: The best hitman in St. Louis is a dapper little Jew. (Going by the name Heller, presumably German Jewish, though it would be a stronger presumption if he was native to the Midwest, rather than New York.)
- Kubrick Stare: Considering that this is a cast of sociopaths, heroic, comedic, or those who are emphatically normal, just about everyone gets a panel like this. Even Ivy.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Let's not sugarcoat it. The Lackadaisy gang may be funny and lovable, but they're still murdering, thieving bootleggers. However, compared to the Marigold Gang, whose ranks include Mordecai Heller (who, let's face it, is the worst of the bunch — though it's worth noting he used to work for the former), they come off as much more sympathetic and easier to root for.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Just take a look at the the cast page, which has entries for almost 30 different characters (although some of them have only appeared in a single scene so far).
- Lost in the Maize: Subverted. Rocky attempts to use it as a means of escape when he and Ivy were found by the owners of some stashed liquor, but the corn was too low-grown to be of any use.Rocky: "No! Why isn't this corn tall enough? This is terrible corn!"
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Here, twice.The Band: "You gave [Rocky] a gun?!"
The Band: "You gave him a child with a gun?!"
- She actually didn't, but Mitzi's flubbed explanation of Freckle didn't help matters.
- Mature Animal Story
- MayDecember Romance: Although Mitzi's age is unknown, and the art makes everyone look younger than they are, it's pretty clear that Atlas May was significantly older than his wife, Mitzi.
- Moe Couplet: Viktor and Ivy, whose relationship is not romantic but definitely cute. Discussed and practically lampshaded here, especially in the last panel.
- Moment Killer: Drunken Vergil ruins a sweet, sad moment between Zib and Mitzi.
- Mr. Fanservice: Nicodeme has barely done anything in canon and the fangirls are all over him. His previous character profile claimed he enjoys "a sort of effortless popularity with the lady-types."
- Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters
- No Honor Among Thieves: Several characters betray their former associates for personal gain.
- Asa Sweet was a close friend of the Mays while Atlas was alive. After Atlas' death, he has no moral qualms about trying to destroy the Lackadaisy or putting Mitzi and her staff in danger.
- Mordecai was devoted to Atlas and worked closely with Viktor. After Atlas' death, Mordecai kneecapped Viktor, defected to the Marigold gang, and stole weapons on behalf of Asa Sweet from the Lackadaisy armory.
- Noodle Incident: Used in a couple of gag comics.
- Not Helping Your Case: Mitzi here, dear God.
- In the two side comics asking Viktor and Ivy, and Viktor and Mordecai, what they think about their respective shippers, Ivy and Mordecai's reactions probably only serve to fan the flames (likely deliberate on Tracy's part). Ivy handles it gracefully, and cheerfully goes over why she and Viktor couldn't work; which is quite convincing, except that in each panel she's being just as much of a Cuddle Bug as usual: Grabbing his face to demonstrate how grumpy he is, trying (unsuccessfully) to put her arms around him to demonstrate the "logistical problems", and wrapping herself in his coat while saying "I just keep him around on account of he's warm in winter". While Mordecai's priceless reaction suggests that maybe he doth protest too much.
- Offhand Backhand: Not exactly a backhand, but Viktor still pulls off something with the same sentiment. When incapacitated. Poor Rocky just can't catch a break.
- Oh Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: Mordecai, Ivy, and Viktor were made aware they have shippers. Ivy took it gracefully, Mordecai not so much, and Viktor's reactions ranged from stoic silence (when paired with Ivy) to uproarious laughter (when paired with Mordecai).
- When it was mentioned to Rocky that he might have fangirls, he was thrilled.
- Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Mitzi and Wick had one... sort of. And by 1920s standards, it was quite old-fashioned.
- One Head Taller: Nicodeme and Serafine.
- 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.
- While the Pig Farmers are angrily recounting how Rocky burned down their home, Asa Sweet impassively eats Nut Zippers and offers one to Mordecai.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Rocky and Freckle's wacky hijinks.
- The Reveal: A minor one: Rocky lives in his car, and took responsibility for some sort of family tragedy that strained relations with his remaining family, got him kicked out of the house, and started his life of wandering.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Viktor and Ivy get into this, during an argument.Viktor: Chad vas... bad.
Ivy: And Claude? Was that your work too?
Viktor: Claude vas...
Ivy: Let me guess — flawed?
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ivy and Freckle as children. They might both qualify as adults too.
- The Roaring '20s: Of course.
- Rule of Cool:
- The artist has a penchant for drawing Wick dramatically brandishing a revolver. 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.
- Tracey admits that although Zib plays both the saxophone and the clarinet in the band, he is never pictured with a clarinet due to his own vanity at playing the "sexyphone".
- Cast members sometimes wear 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*
- Scrapbook Story: Freckle has kept every letter his cousin has ever sent him-even the very few we're shown on this page paint a very descriptive picture of what Rocky's been up to since he left home (and explains a few things about his shenanigans as an employee of the Lackadaisy speakeasy).
- Scenery Porn: Not just because settings are well rendered, but it's clear she put a great deal of research into it too.
- Self-Deprecation: "For more lies and misinformation, read on to part 2."
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mordecai is prone to this every so often(see Hypocritical Humor above), being one of the most intelligent of the cast yet without the social skills needed to know/care that others (usually Viktor) might not understand the longer words.
- Ship Tease: The artist made a few pages addressed to fans discussing the characters reactions to shippers. Specifically Ivy and Viktor and Viktor and Mordecai.
- Shirtless Scene: Oddly enough, any time any of the male characters take off their shirt to reveal their sleeveless undershirts, they gain +5 sex appeal, whether they be in cat or human form.
- Shown Their Work: Just try to find a historical inaccuracy besides people being anthropomorphic animals (zoot suits being the sole, and acknowledged by the author, exception).
- It is virtually impossible to find a historical inaccuracy, unless the author draws attention to it specifically and explains the reason behind it. It turns out to be very, very minor.
- Seriously, look at literally anything in the comic and try to see something that didn't look like lots of thought and knowledge was put into it.
- Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Level 1, the only talking animals in the setting are cats.
- Sound Defect: Word of God has it that the sound of Viktor's fist hitting a face... is kind of bizarre. At least it is pre-canon. Or maybe just that once.
- Splash of Color: A few of the side comics, such as "Shenanigans" and "Tannenbaum," have color added in a few panels. "Haymaker" and "Powder-keg" have blood drawn in red, contrasting the sepia in the rest of the panels.
- Spoof Aesop: "Truth is pain. 8C"
- Stab the Salad:
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Mordecai discovers the downside of doing this here.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: (Possibly non-canon but) in this reply to a Tumblr query, Mordecai and Rocky.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Not in the comic, but by the fans. During the page Coercion:Ivy (about Rocky): "Will he ever talk sense again?!"
- In the forums immediately after:At least a dozen forum-goers (independent of each other): "He talked sense in the first place?"
- In the forums immediately after:
- Suddenly SHOUTING!:
- "NO FUN FISH!"
- Take That!
- The expressions tutorial would dissuade aspiring artists from relying on Dull Surprise, anime cues, and "DreamWorks Face" (referred to as "The Smarm Brow") as regular crutches.
- In that same section she mentions having eyebrow privileges taken away. Possibly a Take That! at Tom Preston, who is know for odd usage of eyebrows in his comics, usually along with smarmy faces.
- One section of that expressions tutorial looks like it's specifically referencing a certain famous webcomic notorious for its bland, generic expressions.
- Another section of that expressions tutorial seems to be specifically referencing another famous webcomic notorious for its use of Cheeky Mouth and snout shaped noses.
- Her most recent tutorial also shows a strong disdain to a certain artist.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: Lackadaisy's bootleg liquor has been adulterated with harmful substances. In one scene, Mitzi samples a bottle of liquor, winces, and jokes that if it kills her customers, she can steal their belongings. Ivy finds a bottle of embalming fluid in the Arborgast's funeral home and asks if they're adulterating their liquor with it, adding that one of Lackadaisy's previous vendors did so.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The female characters are drawn with humanoid, styled hair, but most of the males' fur is consistently the same length, like real cats. Possibly justified; see Humanoid Female Animal above.
- Throwing Your Gun Always Works: Zib demonstrates. Though it was established beforehand that he's quite inexperienced with firearms.
- Given that the pistol in question was a .25 caliber Beretta (and his total lack of gun-kata), Zib could probably do more damage by throwing it rather than firing it. Freckle, on the other hand...
- Title Confusion: More than a few people have referred to the comic as "Lackadaisy Cats." The comic's title is pretty clearly just "Lackadaisy," but "Cats" appears in the web address — hence the confusion.
- Toilet Humor: When a fan asked Tracy what kind of eraser she used, they got this.
- Two Guys and a Girl:
- Rocky, Freckle, and Mitzi seemed to be the first characters thought of and designed. The initial proto-sketches and artwork were mostly images of the three of them getting into wacky criminal hijinks together. Though Tracey now admits it would be dreadfully out of character for Mitzi these days.
- Lackadaisy's current bootlegging team consists of Rocky, Freckle, and Ivy.
- A team consisting of Mordecai, Serafine, and Nico carries out dirty work for the Marigold gang.
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Discussed by Mordecai and Joey, a speakeasy bartender. Or, rather, by Joey — Mordecai just appreciates symmetry.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Highly subjective of course, but Elsa and Bobby are an example.
- Unkempt Beauty: Lacy. Observe: regular, tidy Lacy versus mussed hair Lacy (especially panels 8 & 14).
- The Unreveal: 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.
- Visual Pun:
- Asa Sweet is an overweight feline who wields a great deal of power in the St. Louis crime world. He's literally and figuratively a fat cat.
- While inside Gracie's pool hall, Mordecai locates Gracie's hidden speakeasy when he noticed smoke escaping from behind a picture of two cabaret girls. The girls in the picture were literally and figuratively smoking hot.
- In "Lackadaisy Preview 0029", Mordecai is wearing a tuxedo, which is fitting because he's a tuxedo cat.
- 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."
- The two actually spent time together out of work, if this mini-comic can be trusted.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The thugs working for the Marigold gang are constantly at each other's throats. Wes punched Fish after Fish called him "Weaselface". Serafine forcibly carved a Voodoo symbol into Mordecai's chest, and readers can safely assume that Mordecai is plotting revenge. Not only that, but "Illumination" implies that his loyalty to Asa Sweet is showing to not be as solid as originally thought, given that instead of just killing Gracie, he instead brings him to a secluded location to question him as to why Marigold is cleaning house.
- Webcomic Time: In at least one case, a span of six years equated to two days in-story. This is due in large part to the excessive amount of work that goes into the comic, plus some Schedule Slip now and then.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Q: "Did Zib and Mitzi's gang have some wild adventures back in the day?" A: "They don't remember."
- World of Funny Animals: With bootleg liquor. And car chases. And guns.