Sorry to have taken so long to answer these. Some are months old, so I'm probably typing mostly to chirping crickets at this point, but I've tried to account for all those that were asked since last time I did this.
Despite Ivy's involvement with the speakeasy, was Atlas her official "Godfather"?
And although college usually separates teens from their parents, was Ivy sent to St. Louis by her parents or did she decide to go there?
Her father sent her money for books (which she promptly spent loosely) so I take it the parents are either far away or even in a different state altogether.
Atlas was her godfather, as appointed by her parents upon her birth. School in St. Louis was certainly her idea, and Mitzi being in need of someone to man the cafe was all the more incentive (access to the speakeasy and the jazz scene were probably of more interest than the university itself, actually). The parental figures reside in Kansas City, Missouri.
Also, what's the current season these events are happening? Referring back to Ivy's spent money, it's somewhat Spring or even Summer already?
In the canon comic timeline, it's May.
This is more speculation or even maybe fanservice question but are there any significant Gangs (Not Speakeasy) that will come in later?
In some sense of the word 'gang', there's another that will figure in.
Asking because I just have to know. Does Doctor Quackenbush's name have anything to do with the late, great Groucho Marx's character from "A Day at the Races?" I have to know, because if it is, that's probably the most awesome reference ever.
It is a rather shameless reference to Dr. Hackenbush. I rationalized that, I guess, not only because I do love Groucho Marx, but because I also happen to know someone by the name Quackenbush who works in feline welfare.
And the earth shaking question is: Does Rocky play a violin or a folk fiddle?
...Yet looking at “Lackadaisy Syncopators” I notice that the bridge of Rocky’s instrument seems to my eyes to be flat like a folk fiddle. The bridge of a violin is more curved. And yes I know I’m now being a violin snob in making the distinction
My understanding is that, when referring to the instrument itself, a violin is a fiddle is a violin. Though the instrument is mostly referred to as a violin in the comic context, it's definitely more of a fiddle-style that he's playing with the band since "violin" music in the classical sense is something an audience might have some difficulty dancing to. =P
The bridge on his violin (or fiddle, as it were) should look shaved down, though this isn't something I was aware of until I got around to painting the Syncopators picture...and even there, it's entirely possible I've not done a terribly accurate job of drawing it (though I try).
did zib and mitzi once had a relationship? because i remember you wrote that Mitzi "dropped out of a prior relationship to be with Atlas". maybe not on that but something happen zib and miitzi?
You could say they had a bit of a thing.
Well, we know Mo'cai's 28, and Mitzi's mum on this particular subject, so that leaves Zib. Tracy, apologies if this has been asked before, but how old is Zib?
He says "forever 29", but that's usually the sort of response you get from someone who has unhappily transcended 30.
what was your very first paid job?
Who, me? I worked as a orthodontic lab assistant/clinician from age 14 up through my college freshman year.
In the likelihood you're asking about art related jobs, though, my first paid jobs were sporadic freelance illustration gigs - some for table top RPGs, but mostly for individuals who simply wanted some artwork done. I was about 16 or 17 when I started doing that.
Do you expect any of the main characters to die? Any characters to die?
Aaaanyways...so tracy, are any of the characters named after someone? (like from their fictional families or the lackadaisy world, not real-life people or anything)
Mordecai is named after a grandfather. It's fairly common practice for Ashkenazi Jews to name children after deceased loved ones.
Wick is named after a surname (Sedgewick) that somehow fits into the family's genealogical roots in England. (Boy, that's full of not-very-interesting.)
I noticed that in particular too in Lackadaisy Preview 0021 but there is a certain variation on this over time I think. Me think also that it is an attempt to go for a Mae West look. But I could be wrong. So Tracy, is Mitzi shapely silhouette inspired by Mae West? And are her beautiful mysterious eyes inspired by Betty Davis, or your own?
It's not an attempt at Mae West, really. Mitzi's design embodies a lot of the 1920's feminine ideal (except for the curves - curves were not in style in the 20's, but Mitzi's got them anyway) - narrow plucked or painted eyebrows, melodramatic kohl-rimmed eyes, cupid-bow lips, bobbed and finger-curled hair, a round moon of a face, etc. There's a lot of Clara Bow and Nancy Carroll in her look...but that accounts for some stylistic overlap with Mae West's 1930's look, too, so I can see how you might draw a connection there.
(And, haha, no. I have boring, brown eyes.)
In 'wishy washy' Horatio says "You found another one already?" to Ivy, could you clarify a general number there?
Everyone is starting to lose count - probably even Ivy.
What literature would the characters read (if they do read)?
Rocky reads an eclectic mix of things from poetry to published physics papers, apparently - anything he can get his hands on and reinterpret to coincide with his oftentimes bizarre perspective. H.G. Wells and Twain would almost certainly be among his favorites, he probably enjoys deciphering Joyce more than most, he's evidently read some Shakespeare, and possibly took Don Quixote
Mitzi has a bit of morbid fascination for the obituaries column, would almost certainly enjoy historical fiction, and perhaps a little D.H. Lawrence (although she probably can't see what all the fuss is about).
Wick's a reader of financial publications, possibly one of the Journal
's early subscribers, made it through the canon of classics because it seemed like the genial thing to do, and occasionally still picks up autobiographies written by the luminaries and figureheads.
Freckle likes sports almanacs - especially baseball.
Ivy reads McCalls, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Red Book Magazine (Redbook) and perhaps just about anything else that'd give her an excuse not to read her coursework.
Zib has probably taken in his share of Kierkegaard, Kant and Kafka. No doubt some Upton Sinclair as well, and I suspect he finds Dostoyevsky to his liking, even though he would have thought it a dour trudge if he'd had to read Crime and Punishment
or The Brothers Karamozov
Whatever Mordecai reads, it's undoubtedly thoughtful but dry - Bertrand Russell-like stuff. There probably aren't many romance novels on his shelf...or fiction of any sort for that matter.
Viktor doesn't care much for reading in English, and in fact, I doubt he ever bothered to learn to do it beyond a serviceable minimum. It just gives him a headache.
Oh, and also, in the scrapbook, it's says that Mordecai speaks with a slight Northeastern accent. I suppose that this is his New York accent. So he doesn't speak with a German accent at all then?
No. He can speak some German, but he doesn't have a German accent - at least not one that's distinctly German. His exposure would have been to an intermingling of accents of the German-Yiddish and New Yorker type (the New York accent being already influenced by the intermingling of various immigrant languages). Even if he didn't make an effort to speak without too much New York showing, it'd be difficult to point out what came from his parents directly and what came from his other surroundings.
And, to all forumgoers, anyone here that knows good links if you want to listen to different accents and dialects?
There's this: http://web.ku.edu/~idea/
And I think someone already mentioned this one: http://accent.gmu.edu/
1. Oooh… seventeen… how many did he kill? Just one or more? And… how did he do it?
Just one...clumsily with a gun. It was a learning experience.
2. And, because I recently went through Thurinus’ works, what characters can sing and can’t sing? Not necessarily if they DO or WANT to sing, just if they CAN. Or possibly can’t but still do…
I am, however, convinced that Mordecai and Viktor secretly have a Barbershop band together.
It's easier to list the ones who can sing, like Zib, Mitzi and, to a degree, Rocky. Ivy, Nina, Serafine, and Wick might sound decent, if not flat, simply because they wouldn't know any better or never practiced with any seriousness. Maybe Horatio's harboring a fabulous tenor voice. Who knows? It's a safe bet to assume the rest would sound something like a chorus of drowning coyotes.
So, Rocky shaved Freckle's face with a straight edge razor when he was in the single digits? And didn't do any permanent/visible damage? For somebody who waves his arms around so much... But maybe steady hands help him play the violin. I wouldn't know.
He doesn't seem to have left any permanent scars...at least not of the physical variety. ;P
Does Wick have an accent? I tend to assumed the higher the class the less accent, but just look at the Kennedys! And since he apparently had money for college...
He does, though it's fairly understated. The family he was born into wasn't outrageously wealthy anyway - enough to figure somewhat into the social echelon, and likewise inconsequential enough to bear some resentment for the social echelon.
(It wasn't until the 1920's and 30's that the Kennedys ascended to affluence, actually. Coincidentally, there's plenty of rumor and at least a modicum of evidence that bootleg liquor played some part in this.)
Are Avril, Amery, and Emery given those names for max confusion? Is it supposed to be some sick joke?
Yes. I crafted the idea cruelly on an anvil of pure evil with a malicious hammer of hate forged in the forsaken fires of fiendishness, and then I wrote it all down with the crappy, plastic pencil of spite.
Is Benjy's hat an heirloom?
Maybe not an heirloom so much as a hand-me-down, but probably.
On Lackadaisy Scrapbook, it stirs me on what had happened to the trombone player. It seems Zib and the band stayed together, except for this character. Mind illuminating the subject?
As with almost any band that survives for a number of years, members come and go. Sometimes they spread their artistic wings and soar away. Far, far away. From their gambling debts.
No one knows exactly where the trombone player disappeared to, but they knew they'd be in need of a new one. Instead, they got Rocky.
In the development sketches of Nico Savoy, he's seen with a bat and an inappropriately ecstatic face. So, is about to smash someone's skull in, open up a pinata full of cigarette-falvored candy, or is he just a baseball enthusiast?
It could be either of these things, really. He's pretty amenable to baseball...and his job is sort of like a sport to him too.
In Lackadaisy Butterfly there is a book on Freckle's wagon. It seems to be titled "The Poor Boys on the River," but I'm not sure. Is it a realy book? The Rover Boys on The River
, from the Rover Boys series, a popular collection of books for young boys in the early 20th century.
Was Josephine Baker the inspiration of Serafine Savoy?
Somewhat. She definitely influenced Serafine's hairstyle. It'd be something of a disservice to the historical figure to draw more comparison than that, though. Josephine Baker was a talent and a pretty heroic person, and Serafine...uhh, more of a career criminal.
Have/has you/tracy ever drawn any of your characters in attire from modern times or other periods?
Not really, except for a sketch of Ivy in modern clothing I did for an Italian magazine a while back.
So I was looking at one of the preview comics and the phrase "naked lunchtime" at the end caught my eye. Is that a reference to the book, Naked Lunch?
Yes. It seemed an appropriate way to end that particular drug-addled chit-chat time.
Wouldn't the blast be deafeningly loud for her, seeing as she's not wearing any ear protection?
Her ears certainly would have been ringing.
What would the theme song for lackadaisy be??
I think Blackbetty- by Spiderbait
I'm not sure. I haven't really given it any thought. Black Betty isn't quite jazzy enough to fit the comic's theme, I'd say, although it is a fun song. =)
has/will there be/been a emotional argument between rocky and freckle or any other the cats in the comicbook?
Yes...there has been and will be drama. The "emotional" stuff is often camouflaged a bit by attempts at comic levity, so it's perhaps not as obvious when emotional conversations/arguments are occurring as it might be in a straight-up drama.
The first question is: Will you ever let us see the whole photo in the envelope in "Lackadaisy Photomajig" and/or the partly covered photo later? Pretty please? With sugar on top?
NO. It's naughty, naughty blackmail material.
...Just kidding. I didn't actually draw/paint the whole thing in because its intended purpose was to be sticking partly out of the envelope. Sorry to disappoint.
Now possibly a hard one (and yes this is all way too wordy). I’ve been wondering about the handgun Mordecai is using in Lackadaisy Preview 0023. It is hard to determine because of the dark incomplete backlit detail. I’m guessing one of two main types. One is that it is a early Colt automatic (model 1902, possibly a 1905). That would be the most probable and easy to get. Just sort of the disposable firepower Mordecai might need. However it also occurred to me that it might be the much rarer (and cooler) military Steyr-Hahn Model 1912 using the deadly high velocity 9mm Steyr round.
It's just a Colt m1911 at an odd angle and in the dark (part of the top of the gun is visible because of his hand position). I was trying to give it a tiny bit of silhouette so it'd even be distinguishable as a gun at all. I probably over-emphasized the hammer and rear sight as a result.
So my final question is: Is this gesture by Calvin a homage to Harry Carey?
Not a deliberate one, though it's interesting that you mentioned that. I had to go look it up.
Anyway, Freckle's posture - often hiding behind his hat or clutching his arm - is really just a reflection of awkward social restraint.
When Victor was shot, he only had a little area of damage especially coming from a shot gun there would be more trauma to the abdomen than shown. As i have seen in the ER and ERTU i am sided to believe that victor would be dead, or unconsious with insurmountable bleeding, his lung would be useless, along with several broken ribs and many torn arteries and such, i just dont see someone being able to do that after being shot from 5-10 feet away, from all things a shotgun.
A few reasons for this. He wasn't hit full-on - it's supposed to be mostly flesh-wound, though clearly something penetrated the chest cavity. All of this may have been badly communicated on my part.
Still, while acknowledging that even catching a couple of 00 pellets is pretty significant trauma, and that your real life experience certainly carries more weight than mine, I have watched enough emergency trauma documentaries and have done enough digging for (gruesome) forensic information to know that shotgun wounds can differ wildly depending on a myriad of variables. I don't think it's easy to lay out an exact list of results given the sort of crudely limited information a comic tends to provide (or at least the crudely limited information mine provided).
Second, while I didn't mean to invoke suspension of disbelief to quite the extent a buddy-cop film might, I also conscientiously decided not to fixate on the gory realism of the extensive tissue damage, pneumothoraces, chest tube insertions and all the other unpleasantries associated with such injuries. It would have only served to interrupt the motion of the story to try to write clunky, expository dialog trying to explain the nature of the injury and detailing precisely how he escaped a more grievous one. Illustrating it explicitly would have awkwardly wandered too far outside the general tone of the comic. Instead, I tried to convey just enough that I felt it was characteristic for the comic, constructive to the progress of the story, and at least partly reconcilable with reality.
From angle of writing, it's always a battle trying to balance accuracy and storytelling like that.
Alright! i have a question buts its more of an opinion, Mordecai reminds me of Brother Leon in The chocolate war any insight would help!
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the material.
I have kind of a trivial/weird question. What are the names of Ivy's friends that you see in Academia?
Nell and Maggie.
Personally I think they are some kind of imaginary projection of Tracy and her best friend Candy. Back at the Ainessa website and the cartoon Butlers in the preview comics have me thinking they are characteristically related to each other.
I have a haircut similar to one of them, but it's not a particularly unique one. I don't draw myself or anyone I know (who isn't a cat) into the comic, at least not so directly.
Does Rocky bully Freckle a lot? Is Freckle afraid of his cousin, even if Freckle does go gun crazy, is he terrified of rocky? Since Rocky is the oldest?
Rocky-propelled adventures frequently end badly for Freckle, but I don't think "bully" is the correct word, since that would imply deliberate malice toward Freckle.
Freckle is wary, I think, but still compelled to follow after someone so seemingly self-assured that it makes up for all the confidence Freckle himself lacks.
I'm not sure if this has been asked before (I don't have time to read through the entire thread XD), but will we ever find out the names of the more minor characters like those of the band? We know Mozzie (mentioned in Lackadaisy Hallelujah), but will we if ever find out the others?
The band is/was comprised of Zib, Ben (double bass), Mozzie (piano), Sy (trumpet), J.J. (trombone), Rocky and Mitzi.
On Mordy's character sheet, you said that you got more of a grip on his character as you drew him. Is that true for all that characters? That is, did you define their personalities more as you drew them?
Yes - it works both ways, I find. Personalities effect design and design effects personality, and it sort of refracts back and forth until there's a whole character there.
I tend to start out with a rough mental sketch of the character's personality and appearance and role in the story. Sometimes my mental grasp on the character starts out stronger than in other cases, but either way, it always becomes more refined once I start putting them on paper. This is how I develop a sense of how they posture themselves, what they wear and how they wear it, the sorts of facial expressions they make, and such. This sort of naturally leads into more detailed contemplation about the character. I might have known they were going to be a little aloof when I started drawing them, but now that I can actually see them, they might appear to be giving off a vibe that indicates they wouldn't like anyone touching them or even standing too close, for instance. Then this becomes one of a dozen or so socket-points I can build from. It just continues to branch out from there until I feel I have a fleshed out concept.
On that note, did you design the cats to reflect certain personality traits? Are their markings or coloring or clothing indicative of their characters?
In almost every way, yes; some shape or color I'm applying to a character has some mental association that makes it seem 'right' to me. Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to figure out what I'm trying to achieve, and sometimes it's so abstract, I'm not sure I can explain my rationale, but in many cases, I can point to design elements and describe my thought process and what I meant to convey.
The upturned points of Rocky's head shape (his ears and cheeks) seemed appropriate for his brand of impudent eagerness. His look is perkier in contrast with, say, the downturned points of Viktor's head shape, and it's no coincidence that his ears make for a devil-horn silhouette. Freckle's design has more circles; his cue-ball head and saucer eyes are meant to look more innocent by comparison. Ivy wears bright colors I associate with spring and youth. Zib wears a suit of passionate red, but it's always unbuttoned and a little disheveled, like he's grown apathetic about it. Mitzi usually dresses in peacock colors - purples and emerald, regal and vain - though whether or not she's just wearing them with wistful irony is up for debate. Mordecai wears a tie like a gash of red, all the more stark against his lack of color, wardrobe and otherwise.
So on and so forth..
Sort of stupid questions here, but is Mordecai a bad guy (I still don't want him to get killed off even if he is)?
This comic is all about bad guys, cast with mostly bad guys.
Are you asking if he's ultimately a "bad guy" in the antagonist sense? Unfortunately, my probably very annoying response to that is "you'll have to wait and see."
(Though, as with many of the other characters, even if he doesn't turn out to be such a "bad guy" in the end, it doesn't really excuse him from being a rather bad guy.) ;P
Also, (I dunno if this is unrelated, so prod me if I'm posting in the wrong area) is there any chance that Tracy would make a 40s/50s setting for some future cat comics?
I don't know. I do love the 40's, but I don't have any such plans at this time. I'm mostly just focused on finishing this comic first. =)
Will there be big explosion?
You can probably make an educated guess about that one.
"Alors pas, peekon."
@Truxillogical - I think that Alors Pas is slang for "of course not," and peekon is being used as a petname. Means "thorn", yeh? I think XD If so, it makes sense in response to Mordecai's "No more jokes."
Crispy is correct.
That said, mais*, I think your Cajun accent on the Savoys is fantastically well done. I'm used to seeing it over-played or just plain wrong (see: Gambit. Ever.), and it's delightful to see the cadance and wording so spot on.
I frequently worry that I'm getting it all wrong or cartooning it up in a manner that makes it insulting. It's difficult to work with given a limited frame of reference (that's why they say "write what you know", I suppose), but I try my best to keep it at least reasonably correct. So, thanks - that's good to hear. By all means, correct me if I make errors, though.
Okay, one more question in regards to one of my favorites. You said earlier that Mordecai had probably only laughed once or twice as an "appropriate response to a situation, and was probably told to not do that anymore." (Shame, that. Breaks my heart, a fella who can't laugh.) Has he ever cried?
As a young child, certainly...but in adulthood, the sorts of higher emotions that might warrant tear-shedding mostly just confuse the hell out of him.
1) Do you lay out a grid, vanishing points, etc, all that jazz, or is your eye for angles just that good? Because it looks perfect, but you must do one heckuva clean-up job if you're gridding it.
Thank you. It's not perfect, though. Looking back, I could point to more than a couple of places where my perspective is off. I think I've gotten a little better at it since I started the comic, though. I ruler out a minimum of lines to figure my vanishing points, and then sometimes make adjustments afterwards in Photoshop where it's easier to draw a more formal grid on top of the pencil art to check for problems.
2)Do you ever sell your original pages? Because I can think of worse ways to spend my paycheck...
I don't. I prefer keeping them in case I'd need to scan them at higher resolution or something at some point. They're sort of scattered anyway. A lot of the 'mini panels' I include among the larger panels are drawn on separate pieces of paper because they don't otherwise fit, and the pages I draw that extend to 4 tiers of panels or more also require more than one sheet of bristol board.