Cartoonist Tracy Butler’s Webcomic Phenomenon LACKADAISY Is Now an Animated Short, Directed by Fable Siegel

Iron Circus Comics Presents An Ambitious, 27-Minute Animated Film, Starring Michael Kovach, Belsheber Rusape, Lisa Reimold, Ashe Wagner and SungWon Cho, Featuring Music from Sepiatonic

The Highly Anticipated Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film Debuts on YouTube

PRESS RELEASE – (March 29, 2023) Set in St. Louis, Missouri in the midst of Prohibition, Tracy Butler’s Eisner Award-nominated phenomenon Lackadaisy is now an animated short film directed by Fable Siegel. The trailer for the highly anticipated movie has been viewed over 800,000 times since it dropped in January of this year and now Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film is on YouTube. The film features:

  • Michael Kovach (@kovox) as Rocky Rickaby;

  • Belsheber Rusape (@BelRusapeVO) as Calvin “Freckle” McMurray;

  • Lisa Reimold (@lisareimold) as Ivy Pepper;

  • Ashe Wagner (@TheQueenViking) as Mitzi May;

  • and SungWon Cho (@ProZD) as Mordecai Heller!

  • Theme music by Sepiatonic, the Portland-based music and dance experience that performs Electro-Vaudeville and will provide the film’s theme music.

Set in St. Louis, Missouri in the midst of Prohibition, Tracy Butler’s Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Lackadaisy features the Lackadaisy, a speakeasy tucked away in a cave beneath the Little Daisy Cafe, where flashing the club symbol from a deck of cards grants everyone in-the-know access to to all the moonshine and music they desire. The joint’s packed full of gangsters, flappers, crooked cops, rum-runners, and wide-eyed ingenues. And they are, literally, all jazz cats. The sepia-toned story features action and adventure, comedy and crime, and a colorful (if somewhat shady) cast of felines, including the Lackadaisy proprietors Atlas and Mitzi May, rumrunner Rocky Rickaby, and the sharp-tongued, fleet-footed con artist in training, Ivy Pepper.

“The shift from sole writer and artist on Lackadaisy to crew member among more than 150 people working on the animated adaptation was nothing short of jarring,” said Tracey Butler. “The amount of work laid out before us seemed impossible at times. Meanwhile, a global pandemic raged in the backdrop. It was the best time of my life. Throughout production, it hasn’t escaped me that I’ve been existing on some surreal plane of privilege and luck. To be surrounded by a team of incredible artists, all collaborating with me to imbue these characters, this story and setting with all of the motion, voice and music I dreamed in my head? Amazing. I hope viewers will enjoy the film even fractionally as much as I have loved making it.”

“Tracy Butler is a visionary cartoonist and storyteller,” said Iron Circus’ Spike Trotman. “The Lackadaisy webcomic has been running online since 2006 and it has developed a devoted, passionate fanbase whose enthusiast support helped fund the production of this incredible short. In working to produce Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film, our intention was to create an experience that would both thrill the comic’s devoted fans and introduce a whole new audience to the adventures of Rocky Rickaby, the fan-favorite criminal kitty, Mordecai, and the loveable cast of Lackadaisy.”

Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film is the first ever multimedia endeavor from Spike Trotman’s Iron Circus Comics, the trailblazing comics publisher that has raised nearly 3 million dollars over more than 30 crowdfunding campaigns. Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film was originally crowdfunded to the tune of $330,000, thanks to almost 6,000 backers. Ahead of the online debut of Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film, Iron Circus Comics is launching a pre-launch page for a BackerKit campaign for an all-new Lackadaisy Bookset and Plushies of both Rocky Rickaby and Mordecai.

“Michael Kovach, Belsheber Rusape, and Lisa Reimold bring with them an infectious energy as chaos trio Rocky, Freckle, and Ivy,” said director Fable Siegel. “Benni and Malcolm both sell themselves so well as the hitmen duo Serafine and Nicodeme Savoy that you could swear they really were sister and brother, the perfect foils to SungWon Cho’s dry stylings as fan favorite, Mordecai Heller. Mitzi’s southern ennui is conveyed with natural smoothness by Ashe Wagner, balanced well against the uppercrust inflection of Bradley Gareth’s Wick and Valentine Stoke’s sarcastic, smooth talking Zib. And if any voice could grate parmesan via auditory oscillation alone, it would be Jason Marnocha as Viktor, the once-muscle now bartender.”

Praise for Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film:

“Tracy Butler’s beloved 1920s feline adventure will be Iron Circus Studios’ first short film, and it looks fabulous… Iron Circus Comics is bringing the comics to life with a 27-minute, animated short film that, frankly, looks incredible. Seriously, I’m not trying to oversell this. This could have been made by Don Bluth at his apex.”—io9

“This Movie Had Me at ‘Prohibition-Era Gangsters, but Cats’… Absolutely gorgeous.” —THE MARY SUE

“A sumptuous vision of 1920s St. Louis that begs to be lived in… In an age where animated features have largely moved on from this style of work, it’s heartening to see love and craft applied to it once more. Siegel should be proud of the expertise they’ve brought to this feature.”—POPVERSE

Praise for Lackadaisy, the award-winning webcomic:

“Lackadaisy centers around a speakeasy of the same name in St. Louis during the Prohibition era, frequented by the usual bunch of tough guys, crooked cops and femme fatales — except that each and every one is, literally, a cat.”—THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Since launching in 2006, Tracy Butler’s Lackadaisy has established itself as one of the internet’s premier webcomics.”—CBR

“Funny, beautifully illustrated, deeply researched.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

For updates, follow Iron Circus Books on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and follow the Lackadaisy channel on YouTube.

About The Creators:

Tracy Butler left behind a college track in biology to pursue a career in her most beloved childhood interest – drawing stuff. Originally from New England, she relocated to St. Louis, Missouri to work for a small game dev studio, where she worked as an illustrator and concept artist, and later as a 3d character artist, animator and art director. After moving into a century-old home around 2006, she became fascinated with the history surrounding her and set about producing a comic – LACKADAISY – as an ode to that history. And to cats.

Fable Siegel is a veteran animation professional, boasting a resume that includes Titmouse, Starburns, the internet phenomenon Hazbin Hotel, and two Game Grumps Animated shorts, along with storyboard work for Cartoon Network (Ben 10), Stoopid Monkey (Adam Ruins Everything: Reanimated History), Warner Brothers (Wacky Races), Shadow Machine (F is for Family), and more, as well as being a board artist, animator, and designer for Six Point Harness (Like Share Die). Brought onto the Lackadaisy animated short as a production manager, director, and producer, they’ll be overseeing the project utilizing their years of professional experience and skill.

C. Spike Trotman was born in DC, raised in MD, and lives in IL. An artist and writer, she founded Iron Circus Comics in 2007, which has since grown to become the region’s largest comics publisher. Her notable work includes the webcomic “Templar, Arizona,” the Smut Peddler series of erotic comic anthologies, and Poorcraft, a graphic novel guide to frugal living. A Kickstarter early adopter, she pioneered the widely-adopted bonus model that’s since completely reshaped the pay system of the small press, jump-starting the current renaissance of alt-comics anthologies. Iron Circus is also the first comics publisher of note to fully incorporate crowdfunding into its business model, inventing one of the single most effective uses of new media in comics publishing today.

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