Lackadaisy is a comic created by Tracy Butler. The comic is named after the speakeasy that serves as one of the central locations. After being asked whether Tracy has conversations with the characters in her head, she drew "Conversations", in which she notes that she just eavesdrops upon them. Tracy has stated that the cats that serve as the main characters are essentially stand-ins for humans, and that their features to some extent correspond to their personalities. Non-felines are standard animals. Tracy has stated that the comic will consist of either four volumes or three with an extra-large third volume, and that she set it following Atlas's death because she felt that would offer better storytelling opportunities than telling the story of a speakeasy at its high point. While the bulk of the published comic has been set in 1927, Tracy has indicated that Volume 3 will go further into the future. Much of the work of creating Lackadaisy is done by Tracy in a spare bedroom in her house. On the whole the story is following an outline, though Tracy will make adjustments if they fit with the storyline or help her with characterization.
In addition to the primary comic, there have been several offshoots that have expanded upon the comic in some manner, though these are often difficult to reconcile with the existing continuity.
- Interviews - A fictionalized version of Tracy asks the Lackadaisy characters questions that the readers have posed to her.
- Tutorials - In which Tracy offers advice and pretty pictures detailing how she does what she does.
A listing of source materials that Tracy has used for reference can be found here. Regarding her inspirations, Tracy has stated-
It's almost perfunctory to cite F. Scott Fitzgerald as an influence, if not a resource, for all works of fiction relating to the Roaring Twenties but written in some later decade. It's warranted, though. Lackadaisy has been no exception. Fitzgerald, in as much as he wrote fiction, chronicled the trends, attitudes, lifestyles and lexicon of an era (albeit within a somewhat limited sphere) and left his American progeny with a very distinct impression of its overriding character. The Great Gatsby and many of his shorter works, including some of the more biographical information and even some of his notes compiled in The Crack-up had a great deal to do with my perception of the time period, my own approach to characterizing it and developing personalities that would (hopefully) seem to be products of it.
Writers such as William Faulkner (mostly in reference to The Sound and The Fury) and Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast) have probably had much to do with my very character-centric approach to storytelling, for better or for worse. I tend to spend more time on the details of character interaction, sometimes at the expense of expedient plot progression, and I suspect this is why - I've enjoyed their work and its semi-voyeuristic fixation on the personalities therein and how their interplay creates a story. I found I prefer this to the inverse in which a story is more or less thrust upon a cast of characters.
Stodgy literati aside, Douglas Adams has long been one of my favorites. To me, his work exemplifies a near perfect combination of humor and substance woven together for maximum enjoyment. It's irreverent, but somehow manages it without wading too far into the shallow end of the pool, and it's satirical without being moralistic. In whatever capacity I can be called a writer, I strive for something similar.
Funny you should mention Maus. I read it back in about 2002 initially, and then read it again while Lackadaisy was still in the development phase to glean what I could from it. Although Spiegelman's graphic novel is of a far more serious-minded nature than mine, and though he uses animals to both lampoon and spotlight notions of nationality and ethnic difference (something I don't do at all), I think it helped validate for me that human characters with animal features can still carry dramatic weight.
I've referenced T. S. Eliot a couple of times for a similar reason - who has ever done a better job of telling stories about humanity with cats? The Waste Land has also colored my perception of post WWI culture to some extent. I referenced it in the middle or Rocky's rather more smug, optimistic (and stupid) poetry...for contrast, I suppose.Bill Watterson's work taught me a great deal about combining visual and written components to tell a story. Though Calvin and Hobbes might not qualify as a literary influence exactly, perhaps it bears mentioning here.—Tracy, 
Tracy has also commented on her musical inspirations for Lackadaisy-
Yeah...I've loved swing jazz for years, but when I started listening to jazz from an earlier decade (namely the hot jazz of the 20's and 30's) it suddenly became clear to me what I wanted to do with the cat characters I had been drawing since I was about 12 years old. I couldn't resist, actually.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers had quite a lot to do with it. They are (or were) a modern band, but most of their music is a throwback to early jazz.
Some of the others I listen to regularly:
Some of those are revival orchestras more focused on swing, which succeeded hot jazz, but worth a listen nonetheless if you're interested in that sort of music.
- Cab Calloway
- Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald
- Louis Armstrong
- Brian Setzer Orchestra
- Cherry Poppin' Daddies
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- A little bit of Bix Beiderbecke—Tracy, 
FlowersRegarding her use of floral artwork within the comic, Tracy had this to say-
It’s deliberate, but it’s sort of a combination of conventions in flower symbolism from various cultures and my own mental associations stemming from...I don’t know exactly where. I’ll try to explain a little bit, but please forgive the ensuing incoherence and poor sentence structure.Ivy’s flowers are always in spring colors - spring for the virtues and pitfalls of youth or burgeoning adulthood; the perennial nature of the culture of youth, metamorphosing continually but remaining the definition of a given place in time (particularly in the 20th Century); unperturbed cheer, being trendy, fresh, in-step and wholly there at that precise moment, however naive. The obvious opiate properties of poppies, the implication of self-medication, sleep, escape, chasing relief and the flower’s association with sober remembrance of past violences, being the color of love but also of blood - the unwanted blood money - led me to connect them to Zib. Clematis of one variant or another often appear with Mitzi because it’s a vine with purple blooms - purple being a color I associate with vanity, the pretentious notion of royalty, cheap disguise, but it can also be a color with curious depth, seemingly able to retain its character even when delving near to black, where other colors are lost and indistinct. The plant is a little unscrupulous about grasping whatever’s in reach to climb upward from the dirt, blankets and overshadows its supports but (if you’ve ever had to yank them off trellises or other plants) clings to them mightily.—Tracy, 
- ^ a b c Forum post by Tracy - January 27, 2011
- ^ "Reader Question: Pets"
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - July 23, 2011
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - February 24, 2011
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - November 4, 2008
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - October 13, 2009
- ^ Forum Post by Tracy - July 10, 2006
- ^ Forum post by Tracy - April 14, 2013