Creating a viral sensation: "Lackadaisy" director's fable Siegel shares behind-the-scenes stories and artwork.

Since its release on 3/29, the animated adaptation of Tracy Butler's Isner Award・nominated webcomic Lackadaisy's Fable Siegel has sparked a viral sensation with more than 630 million views on youtube and more than 50 million subscribers.

Created as a short and/or pilot for the bigger ones, Lackadaisy is directed by Siegel and produced by Iron Circus Animation, with more than 160 people from around the world. It was able to crowdfunding a budget of more thanPat330,000 from Patreon's 6,000 supporters.

We asked Siegel about the work required to adapt the original cartoon, the aesthetic choices made between development and production, and the balancing act required when animating anthropomorphic cats.

Cartoon Brew: There are some artifacts left from the animation process, but it's very fascinating. 1. It was a stylistic choice, or one of practicality-

Fable Siegel: It was stylistic but also practical. Drafting is a core element of hand-drawn animation, but it is impossible (and sometimes unjustified) to excise the "flaws" that reveal that hand. Instead of hiding it, I accepted it. In a way that keeps an eye on the focal point of the shot, where something of an animator or clean-up artist's work can be shown off, I leave it This is a distinction between hand-drawn and other animation mediums, and a cousin of the stop-motion approach in which the ripples of the thumb and cloth are held.

I believe that the audience knows these are paintings and will still be sucked in. Like a good puppet show, the reality of the performance is part of the performance. Mastery is part of the conspiracy.

It also has a pretty nice knock-on effect that allows me to loosen up a bit when giving notes for already demanding exercise. When making art, perfection is a bad goal.

Ironically, adding construction lines was more work than leaving them. それは実際には完全にクリーンアップの手です Spoil it. And often it reflects the internal state of the character, ala Wolfwalkers. I hope that as Lackadaisy moves forward, we can continue to explore textures as a component of the story. I'm a big fan of dirt. If you notice, to simulate vinyl paint on the cell, there is even a fake "paint voile".

If you look at comic and animated short stories side by side, it is clear that they have the same characteristics, but there are also some important aesthetic differences.

Siegel: Without at least klaus' budget, personnel and software, there's no realistic way to adapt Tracy Butler's epic illustrations to hand-drawn animation. And although Klaus did not have shade, there was no desire to achieve that degree of mastery of rendering. Tracy, like me, loves hand-drawn animation that shows off the raw work of the original animator as much as possible. It evokes movies that inspired us as children in the 1980s and 1990s, and it goes hand in hand with the examination of lackadaisy nostalgia. Despite its beauty, pinning for idealized versions of the past can be a very destructive force. And to the emotional subconscious of the audience to be missed if the Xerox and Renaissance era aesthetics of animation were taken in a different direction

Certainly the appearance of the "rubber hose" would have been suitable for the period depicted, but it would have lacked the visual vitality that we depicted. Besides, what's the darker, more mature animation look we can recall - it was the Xerox era, when grit and experimentation were all the rage; when "Adult animation" rushed out of the long shadow of Disney in the United States. And then came Bruce's strange, more mysterious, darker exploration.

Drawing an anthropomorphic cat for a cartoon and making it move on the screen is a completely different thing. How much did the cat's movement affect the movement of the pilot's character - and how did it balance the human characteristics with the cat's characteristics-

Siegel: If it is an emotion or behavior that can be emphasized through animal characteristics, we will choose it. The animal part acts as a kind of "thought bubble", revealing the personal quirks and anxieties of the character. Rocky's wild mania will never come across exactly the same way without his signature grin. If the Mordecai lacks ears and tail, the emotional state of the Mordecai becomes unreadable. And all without pausing in the flow of conversation and action. All you need to know is the basic body language of a human's other best friend. And if nothing else, it's really interesting.

The act of balancing was to choose how much to emphasize. If their emotions are constantly readable through body language, then it will become part of the character and forget that it is even a cat. Until they get hiss or zoomies. But a rare example where we draw attention to visual pun is getting a laugh by keeping you off guard. You forgot that they were animals. Therefore, it adds to the way of humor more than if they were gushing lines like "NYAH see-" and running catnip with milk instead of alcohol.

Costumes, vehicles and landscapes all provide a very clear picture of when and where this story takes place.

Siegel: For the "real" world, it maintains as much "realism" as possible and leans to unsaturated and monochrome in order to lend weight to the world around the characters, mainly limited pa

But the space of dreams...

Full of saturation and contrast. Realism is abolished and replaced by scenes that have nothing to do with continuity or consistency. Imagination is not bound by the physical world, so they are sensitive to the emotional state of any character they reflect individually and together (either Rocky or Mitzi in the case of pilots).

Rocky's opening poem surrounds him with the distinctive art Deco of the 1920s. The structure and machinery are integrated and amplified into the design. And that romanticization pairs nicely with Rocky's nostalgic prose. Deco's predecessor, a little touch of Art Nouveau, with natural elements compliments its angular structure well. So we're quickly drawn into a world that screams "1920s" without resorting to sepia washes that dominate the usual depictions of the era.

Mitzi's fantasies are much more inspired by Impressionism. Her memory of Lackadaisy's past is literally "rosy," softer and more engaging than the reality we have now witnessed. The indistinct crowd of party participants, hidden in glitz and sparkle, is just a smear of shimmering paint to the tune. And even in the band, the former family (as a former singer and musician), where she entered Lackadaisy, blends into a background covered with a descending logo and closing doors. It's beautiful, but in a way that means danger, we want to explore further.