Iron Circus Animation Plans for Another Round of Animation for LACKADAISY, The Prohibition-Era Webcomic Sensation
The New BackerKit Campaign Will Include Books, Plushes, and An All-New LACKADAISY Animated Short
Stretch Goals Aim to Fund Season One of the Animated Series
(July 25, 2023) Iron Circus Animation—the ambitious new arm of the celebrated and award-winning Iron Circus Comics—is returning to BackerKit for a crowdfunding campaign for LACKADAISY, the Eisner-nominated, Prohibition-Era webcomic by Tracey Butler. The new crowdfunding campaign aims to fund new editions of the acclaimed Lackadaisy graphic novels, the first ever Lackadaisy plushes, and an all-new, 10-minute Lackadaisy animated short, directed by Fable Siegel, that will continue the story begun in the Lackadaisy 27-minute animated pilot, which has been viewed almost 10 million times and become an online sensation since it debuted on YouTube in late March. The campaign is now live on BackerKit.
Set in St. Louis, Missouri in the midst of Prohibition, Lackadaisy features an eclectic cast and a charming, but crime-filled, speakeasy tucked away in a cave beneath the Little Daisy Cafe. Patrons who flash the club symbol from a deck of cards are granted all the moonshine and music they desire. The story features action and adventure, comedy and crime, and a colorful cast of jazz cats, including the Lackadaisy’s freshly-widowed proprietor Mitzi May, jazz fiddler and rumrunner Rocky Rickaby, bespectacled hatchetman Mordecai Heller, and jazz-baby flapper Ivy Pepper.
Former game artist Tracy Butler conceptualized and began work on Lackadaisy as a webcomic in 2006 after researching the history of her St. Louis surroundings, and being inspired by her love of jazz music, and 1920s aesthetics. Tracy co-wrote the script for the animated pilot with director Fable Siegel and oversaw a lot of the ensuing creative direction on the project. “The reception to the Lackadaisy pilot has been truly overwhelming,” said creator Tracy Butler. “A crew of over 150 artists introduced Lackadaisy’s world of gangsters, flappers, jazz musicians to millions of viewers around the world. That kind of success has encouraged us to continue to tell the story of these off-kilter cats in the only way we know how: with complete creative independence.”
“Our three years of experience running a studio has taught us a lot about the animation process and given us a great idea of what we want to do going forward to create more animated episodes of Lackadaisy,” said director Fable Siegel. “So, we’re keeping things very simple with the campaign: any stretch goals for this project will be in the service of creating more animation.”
“The internet is rife with stories of animated series and films debuted with great fanfare and promise, but are shelved, fumbled, canceled, locked in a vault, pulled from streaming, or left to die on the vine, sometimes for no reason other than to balance the books of a corporate merger, or earn a tax break,” said Iron Circus’ Spike Trotman. “We don’t want that for Lackadaisy. We want to retain ownership, direction, and oversight. We want to make more of what millions of viewers have already come to love about our animation. And beyond that? We feel we’ve come to the fore at a potentially critical moment for the future of independent animation. We have a chance to help establish the new normal. We don’t just want to do this, we want to prove it can be done. And to do that, we’re going to need your help.”
The new Iron Circus campaign will include:
- New, lush, 11.25″ x 10.25″ hardcover editions of Lackadaisy;
- The Lackadaisy Essentials, an art-and-lore volume highlighting the scenes and characters of the Lackadaisy universe.
- Limited edition plushies of Lackadaisy’s chaotic protagonist Rocky Rickaby, and fan-favorite criminal kitty, Mordecai Heller.
- A new animated episode feature a top shelf cast including 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.
“If you want more animated Lackadaisy, supporting this BackerKit is the most direct way to make sure that happens! Independent funding like this is the best way to ensure we have the freedom to create this series on our own terms, and see it through to its true conclusion,” said Tracy Butler.
Here’s what people are saying about the Lackadaisy Pilot:
“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’ve not trying to oversell this. This could have been made by Don Bluth at his apex.”—io9
“Ridiculously impressive…. “Lackadaisy” truly looks and feels like nothing else in the adult animated sphere.”—/FILM
“This Movie Had Me at “Prohibition-Era Gangsters, but Cats… The original art is absolutely gorgeous and definitely worth a read.”—THE MARY SUE
“Very charming.”—CARTOON BREW
“This Prohibition-era tale will capture the hearts of not only comic fans, but also animation fans as it comes to life with the efforts of Iron Circus Comics.”—SCREENRANT
“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
“The animation is nothing if not impeccable. A team of 160 independent animators made this project come to life and you can see the passion put into the project. …. This is truly a triumph for Iron Circus Animation.“— MULTIVERSITY
“I cannot wait to see more of the animated Lackadaisy.”— BOOKRIOT
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.