The First Ever Iron Circus Comics Multimedia Kickstarter Is a Crowdfunding Sensation
(April 13, 2020) Iron Circus Comics Publisher Spike Trotman, cartoonist Tracy Butler, and director Fable Siegel have partnered for an ambitious, multimedia crowdfunding campaign to adapt Butler’s webcomic phenomenon Lackadaisy into an original animated short, along with a new collection of art and never before published mini-comics, The Lackadaisy Essentials. The project, which launched on March 16th, was funded in 6 hours and there’s still time this week to help the project reach its final two stretch goals: mini comic dubs featuring the voice cast and a live action music video for the Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film featuring Sepiatonic, the Portland-based music and dance experience that performs Electro-Vaudeville and will provide the film’s theme music.
The Lackadaisy: The Animated Short Film will feature:
- 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!
Pledges for Lackadaisy range from The Lackadaisy Essentials eBook to The Complete Lackadaisy Goodie Bag (featuring the Lackadaisy Essentials art book, volumes one and two of the Lackadaisy comic collections in ebook form, a digital wallpaper set, the completed film as an HD digital download, and a download of the soundtrack and storyboards). Remaining backer tiers include: a special thank you credit; an Associate Producer credit; and an animated cameo appearance as a background character in the film. All backers who have contributed $1,000 and over to the project are entitled to a tombstone in the background of the film’s graveyard scene.
“Years ago, I reached out to Fable Siegel, an artist and animator I’ve known for a long time, about putting a pitch together for an animated version of Lackadaisy,” said series creator Tracy Butler. “We were told repeatedly by industry insiders that the best way to clamber over the hurdles posed by a risk averse industry was to prove our case by producing a short animation and demonstrating that it could capture an audience. We calculated the possibilities and concluded that even if this hypothetical animation failed as a series pitch, it was something we both wanted to try – it’d be eminently gratifying as a creative pursuit, and something we would delight in being able to share with the Lackadaisy readership and a general audience.”
Set in St. Louis, Missouri during the days 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 every cat in-the-know access to more moonshine than they could ever drink. The joint’s packed full of tough dames, crooked cops, rum-runners, and wide-eyed ingenues. And they are, literally, all cool cats. The jazzy, sepia-toned crime story features action and adventure, comedy and crime, and a colorful cast of cats, including the Lackadaisy proprietors Atlas and Mitzi May, rumrunner Rocky Rickaby, and the sharp-tongued heiress to the quickly-dwindling Lackadaisy fortune, Ivy Pepper. As the creator of the comic, Butler will play a role as co-director on the animated short, overseeing art direction.
“Who knew the market for murderous, rum-running kitties was so darn robust?!” asked publishing pioneer Spike Trotman. The 30-day campaign is the first ever multimedia undertaking for Iron Circus Comics, the trailblazing comics publisher. Trotman’s Iron Circus Comics were a Kickstarter early adopter, launching their first project in 2009, the year the platform debuted, and have gone on to launch 23 more projects on the platform.
“We’re just days from wrapping the Kickstarter campaign and the support has been amazing,” said director Fable Siegel (Titmouse, Hazbin Hotel). “I’m really astounded everyday I wake up and check what’s happening now. Fan donations are incredible, and we’re truly touched by the support and generosity, particularly in this tough time.”
“The animated short will look and feel quintessentially “Lackadaisy” in nature to readers of the comic, while simultaneously introducing a new audience to this world of Prohibition-propelled mayhem,” said Butler. “One of my biggest hopes for the project is that it provides a space for contributors to exercise their skills and glean some filmmaking cred. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the mentorship, help, and support of many creative people on my way here, so I feel the righteous thing to do is to try to help lift other artists up in the same way. If this were to act like a bit of a stepping stone for burgeoning talents to find future industry or studio work, I’d be thrilled with that. Perhaps for some, this’ll even be a piece of a roadmap for adapting their own personal, original projects for film.”
Here’s what people are saying about Tracy Butler’s Lackadaisy:
“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. Set in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Prohibition era, Lackadaisy revolves around a group of anthropomorphic cats and the speakeasy from which the book draws its name. Over the years, the book has earned multiple high-profile awards and even snagged an Eisner nomination in 2011.”—CBR
“Butler’s wildly popular funny-animal webcomic—all the characters are cats—is funny, beautifully illustrated, deeply researched, and set in 1920s St. Louis among a group of jazz musicians and bootleggers.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
If funded through Kickstarter, pledges will be delivered to backers by April 2021. Lackadaisy is live now.
About The Creators:
A former game dev, illustrator and graphic designer, Tracy Butler began Lackadaisy after researching the history of her century-old St. Louis home, and being inspired by her love of jazz music and 1920s aesthetics. Boasting over 1,600 backers on Patreon, Lackadaisy has been her full-time job for years, garnering a dedicated readership of thousands. As the creator of the comic, Tracy will play a role as co-director on the animated short, overseeing art direction.
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.