“London Walks!” by illustrator/writer Joanna Walsh – aka Badaude– offers a fresh angle on 22 city walks, 3 bus rides and a boat trip, reframing the capital’s streets into a set of kooky cartoons and providing the London-weary with an anti-guidebook. Opening with the message “Surprise your city!”,Walsh makes the case for walking instead of taking the Tube, bagging free stuff instead of paying for big shows and indulging in drifting on a derivé over following strict itineraries like a braindead tourist-cum-commuter. As well as Soho, Notting Hill and other standard prettified parts, Badaude’s bubblesome graphic walks also explore London Fields, Fitzrovia and Waterloo.
Joanna Walsh: I’m not a Londoner born and bred. When I first moved here, I’d just finished a degree in English Literature. I’d spent all my life building up a mental map of the city through books but, although I’d visited a few times, I’d never experienced the city day-in, day-out. It was interesting to draw a map of personal experiences on top of the map of everything I’d read. And, after living in different parts of the city for several years, I found parts of my experience crossed other parts, like lines drawn on a map, some hard and some faint, each erasing and distorting others I’d made. I wanted to draw attention to and replicate this multilayered, four dimensional experience of being in a city.