Tax Haven cartoon

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This is a cartoon drawn yesterday in support of various development charities and their tax haven campaigns during the Anti-corruption summit.

It is also one of the first cartoons that I’ve drawn digitally. I’ll write more about this at some point, but in the meantime you can watch my work in progress…

I was pleased that this cartoon was shared by Oxfam International and Christian Aid, though it sounds as if there is a lot more work to be done on the corruption / tax havens front.

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The Elephant bike

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This is a cartoon I have done for the Elephant Bike. In summary: Elephant Bikes are old Post Office bikes that are done up and sold by a charity in a new guise. They are refurbished by young offenders, and each one bought pays for another bike to be shipped to Malawi. The cartoon hopefully explains all of this.

I have my own Elephant Bike (picture below, taken before I’d adjusted saddle to correct height…). I’ve only ridden it to do a few minor errands so far, but the plan is that it will be my supermarket shopping bike as the box at the front carries quite a decent load.

It must be said, these bikes are incredibly good value and I’d thoroughly recommend them. For only £250 (£280 with carrier + basket or box) you get a extremely sturdy low-maintenance (hub gears, drum brakes) bike refurbished to a high standard, and you’re supporting a great cause too. Buy one while you can.

You can find out more via the following links:

Elephant Bike website / Buy a bike
Elephant Bike on Facebook
Twitter – @ElephantBike

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Letter to Bishop Gregory, sent with a gift of some pencils

Dave Walker
[Address supplied]
Langdon Hills
Essex
SS16

Bishop of St. Asaph
The Rt Revd Gregory K. Cameron
Bishop’s Office
Esgobty
St. Asaph
LL17 0TW

12 February 2016

Dear Bishop Gregory,

Last week, on Facebook, you described my black-and-white drawn-as-a-line-drawing ‘We are the church’ colouring page as being ‘very monochrome racially’.

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The image in question was not, I am aware, the best drawing I have ever done. It was originally drawn for another purpose altogether, and lacked several aspects of a healthy church congregation, namely children and people smiling. I regret putting the image up in an unedited form, and recognise that I need to improve these aspects of the picture.

But, by describing my drawing as ‘very monochrome racially’, I would suggest that you are, first of all, misunderstanding the nature of a colouring page. If I was to have supplied a colouring page in any non-monochrome format there would not be much to colour in, and I imagine that those wanting to use the image for its intended purpose would be rather disappointed.

But you are also effectively saying that the figures in this image are white. I don’t know how you can know this, as it is a black and white line drawing. If their skin is white, then their hair, clothes, and shoes are also all white. This would make them an unusual congregation to say the least, and one who would need to spend a significant amount of time taking care of their laundry.

If these figures have white skin, then all the figures in all my black and white cartoons and illustrations (the vast majority of my work) are white. That’s ten years of Church Times contributions, along with just about everything else I’ve done.

I put a huge amount of energy into making my cartoons diverse. I take care to depict clergy (now including bishops) as both male and female, and I try to make the total numbers of characters of either sex in my cartoons approximately equal. I have not always, I will freely admit, made enough effort to include those in wheelchairs, but I have become better at doing so. But the suggestion that I have chosen to depict all the people in all of my cartoons over more than ten years as all being white is quite hurtful, and, if I’m to be honest, made me quite angry when I read it.

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I am enclosing a gift of some multicultural ‘People of the World’ skin-tone pencils. Please print this image off and colour it in. I hope that this will demonstrate that the racial and ethnic composition of this picture is entirely down to the person colouring it, and that seeing a black and white line drawing as only consisting of white people says more about the person viewing it than the artist.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Walker

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How to read in church

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This is a category of cartoons entitled ‘vaguely humorous, but also possibly slightly useful’ in that the advice given is intended to be actually valid.

You can find the cartoon here on CartoonChurch.com: Reading the lesson, or in the book, ‘Heroes of the Coffee Rota‘.

On the subject of reading in church, a reader on Twitter kindly offered the following advice from c1950.

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Climate change cartoon

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This is a new cartoon – not a commission, just one I drew.

I’ve noticed how difficult how difficult it is to get people interested and animated about climate change compared with other headline news, despite the fact that it is probably the biggest challenge facing us. I wonder why this is.

Anyway, not the most remarkable drawing, but I hope it gets the message across. Inspiration came from this tweet by Oxfam. They have a new report on the subject, which is here: World’s richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions, says Oxfam.

Update: This cartoon is now available for CartoonChurch.com subscribers.

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‘I’m a coffee rota hero’ mug

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There’s a new mug on the… mug shelf. It would make an ideal mug to use whilst having a cup of tea and perusing my latest book, ‘Heroes of the Coffee Rota’. Or for someone who has devoted their life to serving from the parish urn. You can buy the mug here from Church House Bookshop. A word of explanation: this mug is by Canterbury Press, so is unrelated to the previously-mentioned cartoon range by Eve2 Media.

Inside information: There is free postage on the mug and all my other stuff (books, calendars, tea towels, etc), at Church House Bookshop, (online orders, UK only I’m afraid) this weekend, including today and Monday.

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Giving cartoon

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This is my cartoon from last week’s Church Times, all to do with the reasons people give for not giving.

Usually the new Church Times ones don’t appear here for a while, but as a one off, after a few requests, I’m making this one free for churches to use in magazines and elsewhere. Full details here: cartoonchurch.com/giving/

Thanks to the Church Times for allowing me to do this, and to the diocesan stewardship advisor who helped me a lot with the idea.

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Reasons to send Christmas cards

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This is the cartoon I did for Traidcraft as part of their Charity Christmas card Week campaign. In summary: people prefer actual written Christmas cards, and by buying charity ones you’re helping other people too. To quote the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu:

“I love social media, but I think something has been lost in our increasing reliance on it to connect with people” says Archbishop Sentamu.

“A ‘like’ on Facebook or a retweet will never satiate the most basic of human needs: to feel connected, loved and belonging to a tangible community.”

So, yes, I’m 100% in favour of written Christmas cards. Just… don’t get too cross with me if it turns out I’ve also been drawing e-cards for someone…

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