Russell's Sunrise Report
Russell is guest blogger on this week’s Sunshine Report - a SubStack feed where a person is invited to write a review of either a sunrise or a sunset. Russell chose the more challenging option of sunrise, which involved getting out of the house at the same ungodly hour as milkmen and investment bankers. You can read his musings on the experience here.
Alex on Fair & Square podcast
Charles and Russell are Adam Batstone's guests on the Hudson Sandler podcast, in which they discuss all things Alex (and quite a few not) from his beginnings as a 1980s Yuppie, through various booms and busts, to how he is coping in today's world of AI.
Click here to listen.
Where is the Best of Alex 2023?
With the end of year in sight it’s time for bankers to start lobbying for their bonuses and their loved ones to think about purchasing the latest Alex annual for their stocking filler. But what has happened to the Best of Alex 2023?
Alex in the Speccie
There’s a namecheck for Alex in the Spectator this week in an article written by Natasha Voase bemoaning the lack of “boomer bankers” in the modern City. According to the article most of the problems that London’s financial markets are currently facing are due to the takeover of the Square Mile by Millennials, something that Alex frequently bangs on about in the cartoon. Alex is delighted at this public approbation of his old-school talents and very much hopes that his headhunter has a subscription to the Spectator.
Alex at the October Club
On October 11th Alex paid his annual visit to the October Club dinner at the Savoy hotel - a gathering of the great and good of the City, who get together each autumn to raise money for charitable causes. Despite the fact that many of the regulars now seem to have retired there was no shortage of cash on offer and a total of over £640,000 was raised from the evening for this year’s good cause - Schoolreaders, a charity which helps children with their literacy. As ever Alex commemorated the event in a cartoon, published in that day’s Daily Telegraph, which revealed some trade secrets about how charity dinners operate. The original artwork sold for a healthy £3,200.
Charles has been tinkering with some animation again. He has brought to life a classic Alex cartoon from February 2022 featuring a Zoomer coming home from his drudge day job to indulge in his secret nocturnal passion.
(Almost) record-breaking cartoon
The world’s second most valuable Alex cartoon.
An Alex comic strip narrowly failed to beat the world record for sale price at a charity auction in Hong Kong on March 29th 2023.
Click more below to read full details.
ALEX CARTOON EXHIBITION
at The Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder St, London SW1Y 6QB
March 14th - 18th 2023
An exhibition of original Alex artwork returns to London's West End with a private view on March 14th.
Click more below for details.
Alex talk with Peattie & Taylor
ON THE MONEY
The life and times of cartoon investment banker Alex Masterley
March 7th 2023
The Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6LQ
An evening with Alex in London's theatreland hosted by the cartoon's creators Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor.
Click more below for a report on the evening.
It was thirty years ago today..
September 1992 was home to some particularly popular and pertinent Alex cartoons and the 30th anniversary gives us a chance to revisit a few of them.
The early 90s was a golden era for the Alex two-framer cartoon, which depicted two separate scenes with ironic parallels. Click more to see two classic examples.
The Antipodean Alex
Many of you (unless you’re Australian of course) may not realise that Alex has had a parallel career Down Under over the last 35 odd years, his daily adventures appearing in the Australian Financial Review. A couple of months ago the AFR’s London correspondent, Hans van Leeuwen, took Charles and Russell out for an old-fashioned boozy City lunch (has compliance not reached Aus?) to chat about all things Alex.
The resulting article appeared in the Australian Financial Review on Saturday 3rd September 2022. You can read it online here. Or for those of you without a subscription to the AFR we have taken the liberty of reproducing the piece below. Click on more.
A new record was set for an Alex cartoon print on 21st May 2022 at an auction on behalf of the Charlie Waller Trust mental health charity. Guests at the dinner at Aldeburgh Yacht Club had bid enthusiastically for lots such as a stay at a villa in Antigua, a weekend in a ski chalet in St Anton and a sailing trip on board an America’s Cup yacht with Sir Ben Ainslie. The strategically placed last item on the auction list was a signed copy of the now infamous Alex TWAT cartoon (see previous news item). By this stage in the evening the guests were well refreshed (optimum conditions for charitable munificence) and the bidding quickly reached four figures, ending with an eager punter securing the item for £7,000. Auctioneer Mark Durden-Smith declared the winner “the biggest TWAT in the room” and pointed out that he could have bought a copy of the print on the Alex website for just £70, so his charitable generosity amounted to a 10,000% mark up. Something of which Alex of course would be immensely proud..
The most popular Alex cartoon ever?
No, not the legendary Magic Flute joke (though that’s been a consistent favourite down the years since it appeared in 1990). On April 7th 2022 we published a sneaky cartoon that had two very rude words (well, sort of) in it. We didn’t think the Telegraph would run it, but our lovely editor held his nerve and passed it. We feared that it might be a little controversial so we slipped it in the paper just before we headed off on our Easter break and kept our heads down.
The response was astonishing. The cartoon went viral on social media. The original artwork sold in minutes and within a fortnight we had shifted sixty copies of it. We certainly didn’t see that coming. In retrospect we have to admit that it’s probably not the wit or even the muckiness of the cartoon that gave it its appeal, it’s the fact that there seems be a groundswell of genuine hatred out there for all the TWATS who can’t be bothered to turn up to work on Mondays and Fridays.
What do you mean you haven’t seen it? Here it is..
Alex's 35th anniversary
The Daily Telegraph ran a rather nice piece, written by Alex Diggins, to celebrate Alex’s august dual anniversaries of 35 years since his first appearance in a newspaper and his 30th year at the Telegraph.
Click here to read the article. Or, if you don't have a Telegraph subscription, go to more..
In February 2022 Alex held an exhibition of original artwork at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London's St James's to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Alex's first publication and his 30th year at the Daily Telegraph.
Alex @ 8,000
2nd November 2021 marked the publication of Alex cartoon strip number 8,000. If all the strips were laid end to end they'd stretch a distance of 1.75 miles. Now there's a fact for your next pub quiz.
Read cartoon number 8,000 here.
The Modern Dinner Party
Happy New Year.
Charles has been making productive use of the latest lockdown and has come up with this animated version of a classic Alex cartoon strip from last year.
Click here to see the results.
"Love, Loss & Chianti" at the Riverside Studios.
If you missed “Love, Loss & Chianti” at Chichester and Edinburgh it’s now coming to the Riverside Studios in London from February to May 2020. Starring Robert Bathurst (who so memorably played Alex on stage in 2007/8) and Rebecca Johnson and directed by Jason Morell it features original animation by Alex’s own Charles Peattie.
Click here to see Robert and Rebecca talking about the show and a few sneak previews of Charles’s animation.
Tickets available here.
20 Years of Alex at the October Club
On October 9th 2019 Alex paid his twentieth annual visit to the The October Club charity fund-raising dinner. A special limited edition coffee table book featuring all 20 Alex cartoons about the dinner was produced for the occasion. It raised £25,000 for the evening's charity Spinal Injuries Association. The original of the day's cartoon plus the chance to have lunch with Alex's creators were also auctioned on the night, taking the total contributed by Alex to over £30,000. The evening as a whole raised £850,000.
Women in the City
On September 11th Russell Taylor gave a talk to The Ladies’ Dining Club, a networking organisation for female professionals. The topic he had boldly chosen was “Women in the City” - a view of the rise of women in the corporate world, as seen through Alex’s jaundiced eye and illustrated with Alex cartoons from the last thirty years. Luckily the audience was receptive to this blatant “mansplaining” on a subject which they knew far more about than the speaker and laughed with recognition at many of the situations and episodes parodied in the cartoons.
Peattie and/or Taylor are always up for a bit of public speaking, especially obviously on the the financial and corporate world. Email [email protected] for details.
Alex City Quiz 2019
Alex's annual charity fund-raising shindig - The Alex City Quiz 2019 - took place on May 22nd at Conway Hall in Bloomsbury with the usual motley association of bankers, brokers and financial PRs in attendance. It raised £2,245 for St Christopher's Hospice.
Click here for a Full write up of the evening.
Alex sets a new charity record
Regular readers will know that Alex went on a business trip to Hong Kong in early April (coincidentally at the same time as the rugby Sevens were being played out there).
The original artwork of the cartoon from 3rd April was auctioned at a charity dinner in Hong Kong to raise money for motor neurone disease. It went for HK$160,000 (GB£15,500 / US$20,000) setting a new record for an Alex cartoon at auction.
You can relive the excitement of this historic moment here.
Another attendee at the dinner was apparently inspired by Alex's endorsement of this worthy cause to make a personal pledge of US$50,000 to the charity - the “My Name'5 Doddie” foundation. Who says bankers can't be a force for good?
Review of the Song of Lunch in The Times
The Song of Lunch at the Edinburgh Festival, starring Robert Bathurst (who played Alex in the 2007 stage show) and featuring animation by Alex's own Charles Peattie. A 5* review from the Times.
Rehearsals for the Song of Lunch
Robert Bathurst and Rebecca Johnson this week in a church hall somewhere in Pimlico doing tech rehearsals for the Edinburgh run of The Song Of Lunch by Christopher Reid, featuring projected scenery, animated walk-on parts, fantasy sequences etc drawn by Charles Peattie. It’s on at The Pleasance, Charles will be in attendance for some of it, so pop in and say hello.