A quiet cartoon news day this week … with a main story too serious to tackle, the obvious candidate was lurking on the inside pages. And lurking is the operative word.
After 200 years of tourists visiting the Lake District suddenly, in the last 2 or 3 years, a Mystery Beast has been spotted in Windermere. The lake, not the village.
Now, far be it from me to think that there is anything untoward in the fact that the major promoters of said mystery beast sighting have any vested interests. Being rigorously impartial, I will ignore the fact that they include a photographer (who took the first pic) and a hotelier and a TV psychic (whatever one of those is - someone who can guess what’s coming on next without the aid of the irritating BBC adverts?). And we can skip over the tendency for mystery beast to appear just before the start of the tourist season. Or it’s remarkable resemblance to a pile of old bin bags floating in the lake.
But it does leave the minor question of why the Freshwater Ecology people - who have studied the lake for decades - have found no signs of said creature or indications that it has impacted the local food chain.
Still, it’s been given a jolly name - Bownessie - and no doubt soon soft, cuddly models of the beastie will be appearing in tourist information centres to support the local economy (just as soon as they take deliveries from the manufacturers in China).
Below are my sketches on the story, submitted to The Westmorland Gazette. The last was deemed cruel and unfair. And I suppose comparing a large, unwelcome creature lumbering into the district with a mythical prehistoric monster was a tad insensitive.
As ever, the colour cartoon (and my lawyers) can be found over on my website.