Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lacksadaisy Cats

Lacksadaisy Cats

A comic set in the 1920's prohibition era of the United States of America, with molls & gansters, as cats! Because the internet does not have enough pictures of cats. Actually the process of anthropomorphising the "cats" is quite interesting and Tracey Butler, who creates this comic is able to imbue her characters appearances with attributes that would be hard to represent using a purely human face. Some of the characters are cute because they have pedomorphic body characteristics. A lot of human evolution appears to be the retention of neotonic traits. The comic has high production values.

Look at the lines in the profile of that gangster. Lacksadaisy Cats.

The cuteness of the cartoon characters in terms of body characteristics is a property that is present in Disney cartoons and many examples of artwork predating this, such as the rotoscope creation of "Betty Boop" (Bouldin 48 :  2000), an aesthetic contemporaneous to the setting of the comic Lacksadaisy Cats. In Japan "cuteness" or "kawaii" (かわいい) is part of a cultural commodity that was introduced into toys during the 1970s (Allison 386 : 2003). The first postwar economic burst of 1968 saw a change in childrens styles from "moretsu" (hardwork) to "byuchifuru" (beautiful) (Allison 386 : 2003) which in retrospect was the development of the cultural commodity referred to by "kawaii" (Allison 386 : 2003). The term "kawaii" is derived from the 12th century term "kawayushi" which meant embarrassing, shy & pitiful and was in dictionaries  from the Taisho period (1912 -1926) to 1945 as kawayushi (Kinsella 221 : 1995), which in the 21st century has become semantically broad enough to include parasites displayed in a museum (Washida 57 : 2004).


Allison, Anne. (2003). Portable monsters and commodity cuteness: Pokemon as Japan's new global power. In Post Colonial Studies. Volume 6. No 3. Pages 381 -395.

Bouldin, Joanan. (2000). The Body, Animation and the Real: Race, Reality and the Rotoscope in Betty Boop. In the Conference proceedings for Affective Encounters : Rethinking embodiment in feminist media studies. Pages 48 - 54.

Kinsella, Sharon. (1995). Cuties in Japan. (Edited by Lise Skov & Brian Moeran) In Women, Media and Consumption in Japan. Published by the University of Hawaii. Pages 220 -254.

Washida, K. (2004). Kotoba no kao. Chuo koron shinsha. Tokyo. Page 57.

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