For all my interest in comic books and comic strips, I have to confess the webcomic revolution has mainly passed me by; occasionally I find a series which seems interesting, but I find it hard to develop a keenness to check the site for the next installment and gaps between the arrival of new pages erode the momentum of the story for me.
However! Fairly recently an article at Comics Alliance alerted me to the existence of Tracy J. Butler's Lackadaisy, comparing the series to Blacksad. As an avid Blacksad, I was intrigued. After an afternoon spent reading the webcomic archive, I was hooked.
Set in 1927 St. Louis, Missouri, Lackadaisy is a speakeasy operated by Mitzi May, who inherited the establishment after her husband's death. However, the business has seen better days. Fast-talking and just barely competent, Rocky Rickaby is trying to help keep Lackadaisy's lights on, assuming the job of obtaining their illegal stash of alcohol. This places Rocky in the forefront of violence with rival establishments, which is a problem since Rocky is not a gunman - he's a violinist. Fortunately, Rocky's soft-spoken loyal cousin Calvin has an explosive dark side. Is that all you need to know?
ha, ha! don't hurt me). By the end of volume one, about 48 hours have transpired for the cast; since then, the website has added perhaps 24 more?
If Butler does have a failing, it's in the art of speech balloon placement. Although she has some interesting ideas about overlapping speech balloons to indicate voices being drowned out:
This collected edition of Lackadaisy includes various bonus sketches and gag cartoons. The strips themselves are presented in sepia and run for 68 pages, usually featuring three rows of panels per page. Strangely, three rows per page is not the standard format in the website version - in fact, there is no standard format as many pages go beyond three rows. Consequently, some of the "beats" between pages play out differently in the collection than they did on the website, but it's something only a person who's read both would notice.