Damian Thompson of the Telegraph calls me "the world's worst cartoonist"

When I walk through the valley of the shadow of the dearth of cartoon inspiration (sorry…) I sometimes need a little encouragement to lift my spirits. Fortunately such a boost occurred yesterday, when I was described by the Telegraph’s Blog Editor Damian Thompson as “the world’s worst cartoonist”. Had he described me as “a mediocre…

damian thompson telegraph

When I walk through the valley of the shadow of the dearth of cartoon inspiration (sorry…) I sometimes need a little encouragement to lift my spirits. Fortunately such a boost occurred yesterday, when I was described by the Telegraph’s Blog Editor Damian Thompson as “the world’s worst cartoonist”. Had he described me as “a mediocre cartoonist” or “a cartoonist of comparatively little merit” it would have stung somewhat, but “the world’s worst cartoonist” is something worthy of being embossed on a plastic keyring, or, as I shall do in due course, written proudly on a blog ‘about’ page, particularly when it comes from such a source.

So how did such an accolade come to be awarded? To quote Damian Thompson’s Twitter message in full:

I have incurred the particular wrath of the world’s worst cartoonist, @davewalker, who jottings decorate the Church Times.

The description of “wrath” was not terribly accurate, but I think he was a little bit cross about a Twitter post of mine.

Please RT: Never supported @earthhour before, but planning to do so just to irritate @holysmoke http://www.earthhour.org/

This was in response to Damian’s post on his Telegraph blog in which he attempted to encourage people to waste as much electricity as they can by turning on all of the lights in their houses during ‘Earth Hour’, a symbolic campaign encouraging people to consider using less electricity. You can read the post in question here: Switch ON your lights for ‘Earth Hour’, 8.30pm, March 27. I think that the fact that my message had been “retweeted” by quite a number of people was the ultimate cause of the grumpiness and grand pronouncement.

Damian Thompson is regarded as something of a figure of fun within Anglican circles. He is one of those people who is unwittingly an evangelist for those things he tries so hard to oppose (Liberals, people who care about the environment, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, Ruth Gledhill, etc etc) owing to the way he tries to make his points. You don’t need me to tell you why – reading his blog will make it evident very quickly. As I said to someone yesterday, if I’m ever in doubt about what I think on an issue I just look up Damian Thompson’s opinion and know I should think the opposite.

Anyway, all most enjoyable, and something that has given me a little bit of a boost during a busy deadline week. Talking of which, I must get back to it. Please excuse a scarcity of blog posts over the next seven days or so.


  1. Wear the badge with pride, Dave, alongside that old ‘Cease and Desist’ — congratulations, noble sir and, in my estimation, cartoonist par excellence!

  2. Welcome to the club Dave. Here’s what Damian Thompson tweeted about me last September:
    ‘you come across on your blog as a caricature of a bland, blokeish, PC Anglican cleric. A mitre awaits, no doubt.’

    At least you are recognised as a cartoonist, I’m just a caricature!

  3. So… if you have to think the opposite of what Damian Thompson, does that mean that you’re actually the worlds best cartoonist?

    I wouldn’t disagree*

    * provided that you add the proviso “who has cartoons in the Church Times, whose name is Dave Walker”. Don’t want you getting big headed or anything 😉

  4. Good lord, Eileen has a point – I wouldn’t mind a cartoon as my profile picture.

    Dave… you’re rubbish… now where’s my cartoon?!

  5. A new fund raiser for you – we send you our photo and you make a cartoon of us – we can use them on FB and Twitter! It would be great.

  6. I will freely admit that my drawings of specific individuals are of variable quality as it isn’t my speciality. If you want a caricature contact my friend Steve Hearn (you can Google him).

    Mouse – perhaps I’ll draw an outrageous diagram of you if you don’t open up the Twurch to lay people. Hang on… I’m not helping myself here am I.

  7. Great acolade! Let’s keep winding up the ultramontane thought police on Twitter…

  8. Dave Walker for Prime Minister! Let’s all get together and launch the Cartoonist’s Party as a real alternative to the cartoon characters currently running the country.

    Where do we see the most concise and to the point political commentary and dialogue but in the cartoons??

    Dave Walker for No. 10! C’mon people: let’s do it!!!

  9. Many congratulations, Dave! I know what. Buy yourself an inspirational toy Dalek. Program it to emit the line “I am the Pope. You Will Obey.” Convince yourself it’s not a fictional object and it’s about to take over the world, ex-ter-min-at-ing about three quarters of real Roman Catholics, along with all Protestants, as it does so. Welcome to the world of Damian Thompson.

  10. Mabel?

    Who is this Mabel? You don’t mean…?

    Look, your afflictions are as nothing compared to His Grace’s. To be ‘the world’s worst’ is trivial. To be a ‘caricature’ is a god-send; His Grace would give his right arm to be ‘bland’. Wait until you have been called a ‘bigot’ (qualified severally with ‘disgusting’ or ‘creepy’), and then you will understand that all of these insults are simply the projection of the attributes, thoughts, and emotions of a deeply disturbed individual who needs to ascribe to others in order to deflect attention from his own self-deceiving nature and avoid scrutiny of a desperate and lonely existence.

  11. ‘The Wrath of Dave’ is a great phrase. I think a new Biblical psalm is in order:

    1. But you who spite Earth Hour, you who leave thy lights on in the evening;
    2. Yea, I will strike at thee, I will cast thee down;
    3. I will send great armies after thee, I will send massed hordes after thee;
    4. I will be great in my anger, my fury will not be spared;
    5. Verily, I will even send Dave after thee, yeah, the wrathful Dave will pursue thee;
    6. With intimidating blog links, and with links in his twitter posts;
    7. With commenters massing into the very tens, and with a cute cartoon
    8. My anger will not be withheld…

  12. I don’t know anything about you, Mr. Thompson, but as long as Joe Martin, “writer” and “artist” of Willy and Ethel and Boffo, still breathes, rest easy – you cannot possibly be the world’s worst cartoonist.

    And I’d be willing to file a deposition to that effect.

  13. In my last comment, change Thompson to Walker, which only makes my point about not knowing anything about you. And I saw your Thurberesque scrawls above, and they’re not just a little better than Boffo, they’re the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel compared to Boffo.

  14. Who- or what- ever Boffo is, I don’t want to know. Probably can’t be worse than ‘For Better or For Worse’, that long-running vomituous soap-opera in comic form out of the US.

    Dave, I reckon you should start doing work for my favourite production of low-brow British comics, Viz Magazine. It would be quite a coup for them to start publishing The World’s Worst Cartoonist.

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