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The cover of The Exciting World of Churchgoing
The exciting world of churchgoing

Posted on 22 September 2010, 18:32

How to describe the humour of Dave Walker, whose new book, The Exciting World of Churchgoing, was out at the end of last month? It’s as dry as a communion wafer stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Dave’s visual style is deceptively simple – with childlike drawings of bishops, people in pews and church architecture – and reminds me of Tim Hunkin’s Rudiments of Wisdom cartoons from the Observer in the 1980s. But what takes these above Hunkin is the humour, which is delivered through flatly factual text.

For example, a cartoon on the responsibilities of the church sound desk operator: ‘Moving the slider up a bit. Moving the slider down a bit. Every now and then pressing the “sudden unexpected feedback” button.’

The deadpanning and the simple drawings conceal an artful and inventive brain at work. Working consistently in this style takes time and planning, as well as the ever-necessary banging your head repeatedly on your drawing board.

This is Dave’s third book, following on from The Dave Walker Guide to the Church and My Pew: Things I Have Seen from It. He’s also been busy as cartoonist and blogger for the Church Times and producer of the Greenbelt site map, not to mention running the wondrous The Cartoon Blog.

Religious cartoonists who are genuinely funny should be treasured, because there aren’t many of them. There’s only one, so far as I know, whose speciality is English understatement… and that’s reason enough to buy this book.

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