How to Avoid the Peace

Exciting book news! My next cartoon book, published by Canterbury Press, is now available. ‘How to avoid the Peace – Tips for advanced churchgoing’ is the sixth collection of my ‘Guide to the Church’ series of cartoons, originally published in the Church Times newspaper.

Along with the title cartoon, ‘The Peace* – How to avoid it if it isn’t really your sort of thing’, this volume includes…

  • A sacred office: The changing of the OHP bulb
  • Worship: How to spot when jollity is being enforced
  • Clearing out the church: Deciding what can go in the skip
  • Less demanding options for observing Lent
  • How to reorder your church without anyone noticing
  • Ways to misbehave when visiting clergy are taking the service
  • An A to Z of pastoral visiting
  • Bishops – promotion and relegation
  • What is really going on in the pews during a service?
  • A guide to the places you may or may not sit
  • Instructions for wedding guests
  • How to stop new people joining your home group
  • Church noticeboards: The seven deadly sins
  • The nativity play: Pedantic / scholarly version

…and many more.

One new development: there’s a new format for my books! For the first time in this series this book is in a horizontal landscape format. This will make for easier browsing, and since ‘The Cycling Cartoonist’ my books aren’t going to line up neatly on a shelf anyway.

Some cartoons from ‘How to avoid the Peace’ will appear on my CartoonChurch.com site very soon, but the book will be the only place to find them all. And in any case, cartoons are, I think, best in print.

You can buy in the following places…

*Explanation: ‘The Peace’ takes place during Anglican and other church services. We shake hands and say ‘Peace be with you’, echoing the words of Christ. Other people have written about sharing the Peace more eloquently than I could do: See Scott Gunn: ‘The Peace and how we fail to pass it’; Kester Brewin ‘Sharing the Peace (Then Being Right Haddocks)’

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Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital

This is a cartoon drawn for my accountants, Morgan Cameron, about the Government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ scheme. In summary: from 2019 businesses and people like me will have to submit our tax information four times a year, instead of once, as we do now. You can read more about Making Tax Digital here.

The plan, as I understand it, is for the whole process to be ‘digital’, whatever that means. A lot more time will need to be spent on record keeping, rather than doing it all in one go for an annual tax return. HMRC will get some of the information ‘directly from from employers, banks, building societies and other government departments’.

If you need an accountant to help make sense of it I can recommend Morgan Cameron, who have been helping me with my tax return for a number of years now.

Warning: never take financial or other advice from a cartoonist.

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My WordCamp talk – slides and links

Today I’ve been giving a talk at WordCamp London about WordPress, the software that runs this website. The video of the talk should be online at some stage, but in the meantime here are the slides I used.

Links to websites I mentioned will follow here – sorry that, owing to mild incompetence, they aren’t in the slides.

Here is my ’20 Reasons to Love WordPress’ cartoon, first seen during my talk.

 

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WordCamp talk: The WordPress Cartoonist

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m speaking at WordCamp London in March. WordCamp, for those not in the know, is a conference for people with an interest in WordPress, the software that runs this website.

My talk is entitled ‘The WordPress Cartoonist – a User’s Perspective’. Here is the official description:

WordPress has been an invaluable tool as I’ve made my living as a cartoonist for the last 12 years. In this talk I’ll share some handy hints for running a creative business using WordPress, including some of the themes and plugins I’ve found most useful, lessons learned, and mistakes made (and there have been a few of those). All illustrated with some cartoons, including one or two brand new ones created specially. Drawing experience not required.

I’d thoroughly recommend WordCamp if WordPress is something that interests you. Take a look at the schedule and see whether it appeals. I’ve been the last two years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Quite a few of the talks are rather technical and go right over my head, or are aimed at people who develop WordPress websites for a living, but I’ve always found plenty to keep me interested as a WordPress user and someone using WordPress to run a business. WordCamp tickets are incredibly good value, and include food during the day and a t-shirt. Details here.

My talk is on the Sunday, 19 March. For those who can’t make it, or for whom a whole weekend about websites would be too much excitement in one go: I’ll post a transcript / slides after the event.

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A photo a day in 2017

Needing a distraction from the things I should be getting on with and current world events I am attempting to post a photo a day during 2017. You can find my daily photos in the following places:

So far I have only forgotten once.

The bar for photograph quality is set low. The pictures are taken on my phone, which means that those in low light aren’t always brilliant. And I am realising that for every day I manage an attractive shot of Southend seafront (above) there are several that consist of me not really leaving the house and mostly sitting at the computer or drawing tablet.

I am allowing occasional use of a photo taken on a previous day, but most of the time they are a photo taken that day.

Benefits of this scheme: I can now tell you something I did on most of the days in January. My findings: very little.

Anyone else doing something similar? Let me know.

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New Year cartoon giveaway

Update: Giveaway now closed. A huge thank you for all contributions. The winners are posted below – if you are one you should have received an email.

It is January, which is when I traditionally post a desperate plea for cartoon ideas heavily disguised as a cartoon-merchandise giveaway.

The Prizes:

10 (ten) prizes of a cartoon book, or a no-longer-available-to-buy cycling cartoon tea towel (slight second). Winners will have the choice of prizes from a list that I will send them. I’d be very happy to sign or dedicate the books. I’ll send the prizes anywhere in the world.

Plus… I may add a mystery prize or two, depending on how the mood takes me.

How to enter:

Post one or more cartoon ideas in the comments below. (The comment must be on this site, not on social media). Ideas can be a topic you’d like me to cover, or something more finished with descriptions of pictures, etc. It can be a church-themed cartoon idea, or something else entirely. Ideas don’t have to be any good.

Rules:

1. I can change the rules
2. Entires must be made here and not on Facebook/Twitter. Reason: I use a random number generator to choose the winners, and that really only works if all answers are in the same place and not scattered here/there/everywhere. It is also difficult to print tweets out for reference.
3. One entry per person will count towards the prize. But you’re welcome to send as many ideas as you’d like.
4. Prize-winners will be chosen at random from all entries given. I will contact you to ask for a postal address, so make sure the email address you use (kept hidden on this site, of course) is current.
5. I reserve the right to use any of the ideas given. When people send me an idea that I use I try to send them an image file of the cartoon, but I sometimes forget.

Closing date: 10pm UK time, Thursday 19 January 2017. I’ll post a list of winners the following day.

If entries don’t appear straight away it is because comments by new commenters are moderated.

Thanks in advance for all ideas given. Ideas sent to me via competitions like this or just via email at other times are always hugely appreciated and make it possible for me to keep this cartooning thing going.

Update: Giveaway now closed. The winners, chosen at random*:

Anne, Richard, Andrew Steer, Andrew Dunlop, Peter Henry, Anne Dowdeswell, Helen, Dave, Wendy, Amy

A huge thank you for all contributions. I will do another giveaway before too long. Subscribe to the blog, or follow on Twitter to be sure to hear about it.

*In-depth technical note about my methodology. I use an online random number generator to choose the comment numbers, being sure to discard any results that are repeat posts so that each person has an equal chance.

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Colouring books and calendars

Dave Walker Colouring Book

I had two items published by Canterbury Press during 2016, my calendar and colouring book. You can find them at at Church House Bookshop, along with all my other books, tea towels, etc. You can buy them elsewhere, but Church House Bookshop is worth supporting if you are going to buy online. For those who prefer Amazon: my Amazon Author page listing all my books is here.

[Update: Christmas cards now sold out] I also have, on a very limited basis, some cycling cartoon Christmas cards for sale. They are the ‘Santa’s Bikes’ design shown below.

santas-bikes

santa-card-wp_20161130_003-706

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Sotheby’s auction

selfie-heath-robinson

One of my cartoons is being auctioned at Sotheby’s on 13 December. It is a cartoon on the theme ‘If Heath Robinson was alive today’, and is entitled ‘Taking a selfie’. The auction, or at least the part of it my work is being sold in, is to raise funds for the Heath Robinson Museum (my blog post about the opening).

You can see the listing here, and a larger version of the cartoon via this link (will open in new tab).

The whole auction, including contributions from some other cartoonists, is visible here, my cartoon is lot no 282.

Update: The cartoon didn’t sell at auction (see below), but I’m hoping that a buyer may have been found.

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Cycling in Amsterdam

wp_20161026_031-b

This week I had the opportunity to ride a bike in Amsterdam, and I took some photos. If, like me, you’ve never cycled in the Netherlands, it is quite an experience to ride with so many people in such a bicycle-friendly place. For more on how the bicycle came to be so central in the Netherlands see this Guardian article, ‘How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world‘.

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An example of a cycle route, this one behind Central Station in Amsterdam. Most roads have some kind of bike lane, many entirely segregated like this one. The surfaces are smooth, and they are designed to give priority to bikes most of the time.

Read more…

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The Cycling Cartoonist book is taking shape

the cycling cartoonist dave walker cover

Friday was the final deadline day for submission of cartoons for The Cycling Cartoonist. I’m pleased to say that I’ve drawn 116 brand new cycling cartoons, which, added to 28 that I’d already done, means that there are 144 in total.

It’s taken 8 months and is by far the biggest such project I’ve attempted, so it is a huge relief to have got it done. There will of course be editing still to do, but the first and largest hurdle has been… hurdled. It is also the first project that I’ve undertaken entirely digitally, using [technical details] an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and the Procreate App. This new way of doing things isn’t perfect and has taken a lot of learning, but it wouldn’t have been possible to get this much work done in the time using my old ‘draw it on paper then scan’ methods.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me with ideas and morale-boosting. This is a picture of me out on the bike, in the cold and rain, fixing a puncture with my friend Mark, while my other friend Sam is holding my bike and taking the picture. They had no idea how important such research in the lanes of rural Essex would be when it came to the cartoon-drawing a month or two later.

fixing puncture

Many thanks too to my publishers, Bloomsbury Sport, who’ve been brilliant, including when I needed just a little more drawing time.

Publication date for the book is 1 June, and the cover might look a bit like the image above.

The Cycling Cartoonist on the Bloomsbury UK website
The Cycling Cartoonist on Amazon UK

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