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Fanbase Press Interviews Tracy Butler on the Return of ‘Lackadaisy’ to Crowdfunding in Partnership with Iron Circus Animation

The following is an interview with Tracy Butler regarding the recently launched crowdfunding campaign for the multimedia project, Lackadaisy, with Iron Circus Animation—the ambitious new arm of the celebrated and award-winning Iron Circus Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Butler returning to the world of Lackadaisy, her shared creative process with collaborators Spike Trotman and Fable Siegel, the future of the project in new mediums, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: In 2020, you broke new ground with Iron Circus Comics in launching a crowdfunding campaign for their first-ever multimedia project. Now, you have returned to crowdfund all-new editions of your Lackadaisy graphic novels, as well as a 10-minuted animated short! As you look ahead to the new editions and iterations of your years of hard work, what is your experience in seeing the vast world that you have created and the undeniable impact that it has had?

Tracy Butler: Ah, well, it’s been quite a trip! I started Lackadaisy as a solo creator and spent many years making the comics in a state of relative isolation. That’s not as dour as it sounds. It’s pretty magical and pretty privileged to be able to be busily lost in thought, crafting your own world. I’ve found a career and a great deal of artistic fulfillment in that. But now, with a whole crew of artists, actors, and musicians collaborating on Lackadaisy, adding whole new dimensions to it, that world has expanded into something more like a universe. It’s a little difficult to put into words how it feels. I suppose I’d say it’s stressful, and wonderful, and bewildering in all the best ways.

The comic has had a modest, but very stalwart, following for a long time. I’m eternally grateful for their patience and support, because it was their readership that made the pilot production possible. Upon its release, the pilot reached more viewers in a matter of days than the comic has probably ever had in all of its years. But suddenly the comic had a whole new audience of readers, as well! Watching the animation and the comic reverberate off each other like that, well, that was encouraging to say the least.

I deeply hope the impact that it has had on the crew has been net-positive, of course. Some team members have since gone off to begin producing their own animated shorts. I’ll take that as circumstantial evidence that the Lackadaisy pilot provided a little bit of navigational clarity at least! We’ve all been feeling the sting from the generative art discourse at large, the studio layoffs, the animated show cancellations, but I think there are a lot of indicators that there’s fertile ground in the indie sphere, and if that’s true, I hope Lackadaisy can be a part of what grows there and part of what inspires more things to come.

BD: The new animated short is being shepherded by director Fable Siegel and Iron Circus Animation. Given your experience in working with Siegel and Iron Circus for a number of years, how would you describe your shared creative process in bringing each new project to life?

TB: All three of us – Spike Trotman of Iron Circus, Fable, and I – put a lot on the line for the project. We put in the blood, sweat, and tears we counted on it requiring, and then we poured in some more when it needed it. Ultimately, that paid off because we not only ended up with a completed pilot that we’re all quite proud of, but we cultivated a solid working relationship in the process. At this point, we meet very regularly and communicate daily. There’s no question of our mutual investment in seeing this project through, and in terms of how we achieve that, how we raise and maintain a budget, how we promote, produce, and publish the project, we’re all rowing in the same direction. That’s the vital business and logistics engine inside the creative vehicle.

Art-wise, Fable and I work very closely on everything from prop design to writing, to interviewing crew hires, to voice actor directing to merchandise design. We have a good deal of overlap in terms of aesthetic tastes, and we’ve had extensive discussions about our philosophies on storytelling. Perhaps most importantly, we are comfortable enough working together to be honest with each other. If something about a character design that I campaigned for is causing animation difficulties, Fable’s going to tell me in no uncertain terms that we need to change it. If something about an evolving script doesn’t feel to me like it’s working, I know I can be straightforward with Fable and we can set about editing it. There are no eggshells on the studio floor here that either of us have to tiptoe around. And, of course, crucially, we have earned enough of Spike’s trust that we can oversee the day-to-day workings of the crew while she attends to the myriad other projects under the Iron Circus umbrella.

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Lackadaisy’s story will connect with and impact readers?

TB: Lackadaisy is set almost exactly a century ago, in the 1920s. Viewed from a distance, if you’re only looking at old sepia-toned photos of that era and thinking of dry high school history class lectures, it seems quite far away – hazy and removed from our own existences. As I did my research for the comic, though, I realized that when you take a closer look at people – the way they lived their lives, the entertainment trends they were indulging in, the types of financial class disparities they struggled with, the, uh, let’s say zany political atmosphere and global crises they were enduring – there’s actually quite a lot to connect with. Just as we are now, people were doing what they could to survive “interesting times.”

Amidst that sort of chaos and upheaval, there is a deep-seated inclination to plunge into nostalgia, too, and that is one of the more prominent threads traversing Lackadaisy‘s story. The past, distilled by time into romantic epochs of simplicity and security, is very inviting. But what happens if we keep mingling in a wonder-museum of memory instead of setting our sights on the difficult path forward? Societally, generationally, it feels a bit like a crossroads we’re at right now.

BD: As you look ahead, are there any creative visions or hopes that you have for the project that may still be on the horizon – whether it be transitioning to other storytelling mediums or new story arcs/characters?

TB: Very much so! I suppose at this point it’s not a secret that we are essentially announcing our aspirations to produce a full animated Lackadaisy series. The story will be, at its core, the same one told in the comics, but the differences will not be relegated only to the medium. We’re approaching the unfurling of the story a bit differently and we’re looking at expanding upon some of the character backstories with short animations between full episodes, as well. Our ability to do everything we have in mind is reliant on our ability to secure funding for all of it, of course, but we’re not lacking for ideas!

That said, once we’re able to get the machinery of animated episode production running smoothly – if that is in the cards – it remains my intention to resume work on the comic in order to complete that version of the story too.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Lackadaisy’s new crowdfunding campaign on BackerKit and your other work?

TB: There are a multitude of ways to keep up with Lackadaisy news, for anyone who’s interested.

There is, of course, the Lackadaisy website (, that hosts the comic and related artwork, and serves as a hub for all related links.

Fable and I regularly host both public and Patreon-exclusive live streams during which we discuss our production process and our plans. The public streams happen on the Lackadaisy official YouTube channel (, and Patreon supporters get monthly invites to the private streams (

Fable, Spike, and I are also very active on social media. All of us can be found on Twitter (@fablepaint, @ironcircuscomix, @lackadaisycats).

There is a lively and humming Lackadaisy Discord community where administrator and community leader, Zachary “Newt” Nall, posts regular news updates and event announcements (

And we still maintain the dev log we began when we started production on the pilot at the Little Daisy Cafe (!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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