The Secret Origin of Alix Q. Starr

Guest blog by one of the IQARUS organisers, Glenn Quigley

Rocketed to Earth as a kitten and raised by a kindly throuple, ALIX Q. STARR uses their amazing costuming skills to help those in need! (And also to promote IQARUS con.)

Back in the dim and distant past of summer 2020, I suggested to the IQARUS committee that a mascot might be useful for advertising the event. Something bright and fun to catch the eye of social media users. We all decided that a cat would make the best mascot because as everyone knows — the internet loves cats.

I started sketching that very evening. I wanted to come up with a design that could do two things:  firstly, it had to make for a cheerful, eye-catching image and secondly, it had to be a character that I could dress up in various costumes as I thought it would be fun for each con panel to have its own graphic. I’d been drawing teddy bears for years for www.themoodybear.com so I was no stranger to cute animal characters.

I tried out a few variations and very quickly this cat design appeared. Almost as if they were just waiting to be born… I refined the face design until I landed on something that was cute and easily replicated in various poses. Once I had the basics down, I sent it to the committee for approval, then started working on the first full-colour design. Next, all the mascot needed was a name. We went through a few variations before landing on the gender-neutral Alix Q. Starr. We also decided that Alix would use they/them pronouns.

We wanted to build a bit of mystery around Alix’s appearance, so in their very first appearance they were shrouded in a fetching purple cape and clutching a scroll. Since then we’ve seen Alix as a Jane Austen romantic lead, a retro sci-fi hero, and a coffee-loving laptop user. And there are LOTS more costumes to come!

The evolution of Alix Q. Starr

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Glenn Quigley (he/him) author photo of glenn quigleyRocketed to Earth as an infant, he crashed into a cornfield and was found by two kindly…wait. No. Glenn is an author and artist originally from Dublin and now living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where he designs for www.themoodybear.com. When not writing or designing, he tries to improve his portraiture skills.