The premise of Lackadaisy by Tracy J Butler is immediately charming: set in St. Louis, Missouri during the Prohibition era, it’s a tale of bootlegging felines vying for a piece of the underground alcohol market.
The action is centered on the Little Daisy Café. Originally owned and operated by the late Atlas May, the unassuming restaurant is actually an entrance to a network of caverns beneath the city. Those St. Louis residents in the know are granted admission to the subterranean Lackadaisy Speakeasy by displaying a club-shaped lapel pin.
Soon, the Lackadaisy Speakeasy has become the most prominent establishment in town, which inevitably leads to challenges. More aggressive bootlegging competition emerges and in 1926, Atlas is found dead, and his widow, Mitzi May, inherits the speakeasy (in spite of the swirling rumors that she bore some degree of responsibility for her late husband’s demise).
A year after she’s inherited the operation, the speakeasy is struggling to stay afloat, with fewer patrons and a smaller crew than before. That’s where Rocky Rickaby comes in. A young, occasionally overenthusiastic jazz musician, Rocky is a newly-enlisted rumrunner who is flying by the seat of his pants (and to be fair, he seems the type who would be bored to death with anything less than that). But when he runs afoul of the Lackadaisy’s stiffest competition, can he manage to make his way out of the mess without getting skinned?
Beautifully rendered vehicles and landscapes, both natural and urban, are paired with the animated and expressive facial expressions of the characters and an amazing color palette to bring this story to vivid life.