Meet Tizzie-Whizie, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival New Mascot

One of the big comics festivals in the UK gets a new mascot brought to life by Lakes International Comics Festival guest Luke McGarry.

Yep, that’s Tizzie-Whizzie, the new mascot for the Lakes International Comics Festival (14th – 16th October 2022), one of the two big comics festivals here in the UK. Along with Thought Bubble in Harrogate, the Lakes has long been a festival that puts comics front and centre for visiting adults and children – a far cry from many comic conventions where the artists alley seems to come somewhere below the fifth Stormtrooper from the left charging £50 for a photo.

The Lakes has moved to Bowness-on-Windermere for this year’s weekend-long Festival in October, but it’s continuing its long-standing position of engaging the entire town for the festival, including plenty of public outreach for adults and children alike.

And the mascot is a big part of this, giving the festival a fun character to play to the crowds of kids who attend, whether on the weekend itself or on many different events leading up to it.

Tizzie-Whizzie has been created by comic-creator and festival guest Luke McGarry – who attends along with his father, cartoonist Steve McGarry.

Two generations of cartoonists… Luke McGarry and his father Steve McGarry

Luke McGarry is perhaps best known for his Star Wars-inspired creation Sad Chewie and he’s become a very sought-after young cartoonist in Los Angeles with work on animated commercials for the likes of IFC and VISA, plus animated music videos for artists including Jack Black and Tenacious D. His new comic, Palaver, is out now.

Luke’s joined at The Lakes by his father, Steve McGarry, a Brit cartoonist of many years, whose work includes Badlands, which ran for a dozen years in The Sun, and has had work published in soccer mags including Match, Match of the Day, and Shoot!. His comics work included Romeo in the 1970s, Look-In in the 1980s, through to Toxic!. You’ll have also seen his work on movies including Despicable Me 2, The Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets.

And of course… as a mascot, Tizzie-Whizzie gets their own back-story., thanks to the Lakes Festival for these…

“There is a most fascinating folklore tale around Windermere that, alongside being the Lake District’s largest lake, it is also home to the tiny, elusive and utterly adorable Tizzie-Whizie! The Festival has adopted this adorable mythical marvel – or, perhaps, Tizzie-Whizie has adopted us – and you can expect to see a lot more of this shy, water-loving, creature, that is said to be rather fond of ginger biscuits!

Lake District legend has it that if you have your ear to the ground and listen very intently, you may just hear a subtle squeaking. This melodious murmuring has been considered by some to be a thing of myth… but it could very well be the gentle reverberating sound of the elusive Tizzie-Whizie.

If you hear it… be sure to look up quickly and keep your eyes peeled – you might just get a rare glimpse of this adorable mythical marvel!

With delicate dragonfly wings, a spiky hedgehog body, buzzy bee antennae and a supremely fluffy squirrel-esque tail, this marvellously mysterious creature is said to reside along the shores of Windermere.

The shy, water-loving, Tizzie-Whizie is also said to be rather fond of ginger biscuits!

The first known Tizzie-Whizie siting is said to be in 1900 by a Bowness boatman. There is also an extremely rare photograph of a Tizzie-Whizie dating to 1906.”

“So whilst wandering around Bowness-on-Windermere – be on the look out for the tiny Tizzie-Whizie! This might be a subtle plischy plip-plop on the lake… Tizzie-Whizies are exceptionally good underwater swimmers and can occasionally be spotted leaping above the surface.

Or if you see, or perhaps even feel, a small majestic insect-like entity whooshing past you as you gaze out over Windermere, this could be a close encounter with a Tizzie-Whizie who can fly at bullet speed!

(They do not have anything to do with mysterious happenings in other lakes in Cumbria, and are actually, apparently, very cross that anyone would think they would ever eat a goose).”

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2022 with a host of guest already announced including Alison Bechdel, Dave Gibbons, Jaime Hernandez, Bryan Hitch, Rian Hughes, Mick McMahon, Bill Morrison, Sean Phillips, Greg Rucka, Posy Simmonds, Andi Watson and more.

Luke McGarry can be found online here – website, Insta, Twitter, Patreon.

Steve McGarry can be found online here – website, Insta, Twitter.

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