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Book venture … Oxford doctor Richard Clinghan with his daughter Alba, aged 2, during his recent talk at the Kaiapoi Library about his book, Jenny and the Eddies. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

Oxford doctor Richard Clinghan was inspired to write his book, Jenny and the Eddies, after New Zealand’s 2019 measles epidemic.

The comic book about viruses and vaccines promotes vaccine safety and confronts conspiracy theorists who oppose their use.

“I wanted to help reassure concerned parents in a non-confrontational manner, whilst providing vaccine-supportive parents with more information to help them to stand up for truth and confront conspiracy theorists,” he says.

Richard, who was born in Northern Ireland and is now a general practitioner at the Oxford Community Health Centre, initially wanted to create a book that was colourful and bright for his waiting room.

However, as work progressed, he began to hope the book could have a wider audience.

The book idea came to Richard during exercise on a treadmill at the gym.

He also did the illustrations for the book project, which took 18 months to complete.

“I was pretty good at art at school but I gave it up for science to become a doctor.

“Writing and illustrating the book was the fun part.”

Marketing and promotion is much tougher. “The marketing part is incredibly hard, and the world of publishing is brutal,” he said during a recent talk at the Kaiapoi Library.

The book is self-published, printed in New Zealand, and is already attracting good reviews on his Facebook page, including one from John Gillies, a retired physician who is also an artist.