FROM A TO B

Title:                 From A to B

Author:             Dave Walker

Publisher:         Bloomsbury

Date:                8/7/21

Format:            Hardback

Pages:              128

ISBN:                9781472978130

Price:                £12.99

 

Reviewed by Richard Peploe

From A to B cover.jpg

Dave Walker, ‘The Cycling Cartoonist’, is back with another selection of cycling-based cartoons: whereas last time the material was wide-ranging, this time (as the title implies) the central theme is that of cycling as a means of transport.

Back in 2017, when we reviewed ‘The Cycling Cartoonist’ , books of cycling cartoons were scarce. That hasn’t really changed: although there are more books now, most of them are actually translations of Walker’s original book into various other languages https://davewalker.com/translations/. We know that different cultures enjoy different humour, so you do have to wonder how well some of the jokes will translate into German or Chinese.

One of the benefits of last year’s lockdown is that it gave Walker the time to finish his next book , exploring one of his favourite topics: “pedal-powered transport”. Most of the cartoons are new, but a few have already been used by Cycling UK, or have appeared in more mainstream media such as The Guardian .

I don’t know if Walker had always planned this follow-up book, but there is remarkably little overlap with his first offering: even if the headings are shared (“Why people don’t cycle”), the content isn’t.

Given the theme of everyday cycling, the names of those who have inspired this book are no surprise: they include “Chris Boardman, for his tireless cycling advocacy, Peter Walker, for the superb ‘Bike Nation’ [book], and everyone involved in cycle campaigning.”

In fact, I would say that many of the cartoons complement his namesake’s book rather well, with both being a manifesto for a better world - where cycling is seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. With the greater emphasis on campaigning in this book, the satire Is as much about making a point as making you laugh.

 

It is clear that Walker has had the relevant experience for him to have come up with his astute observations; it will help with your enjoyment if you are of a similar mind, but you always have to accept that you will appreciate some cartoons more than others – just like last time.

REVIEW PUBLISHED AUGUST 2021

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