Taylor, Russell 1960(?)-

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Taylor, Russell 1960(?)-


Born c. 1960, in York, England. Education: Attended Oxford University.


Home—London, England.


Journalist, writer, composer. Writer for the "Alex" comic strip in Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers, 1987—; has composed music for television and films, including Kids behind Bars and The Dying Rooms.


Member of the Order of the British Empire, awarded 2003; Best Cartoon Strip of the Year, Cartoon Art Trust, 2003, for "Alex."



Alex, Penguin Books (London, England), 1987.

The Unabashed Alex, Penguin Books (London, England), 1988.

Alex II: Magnum Force, Penguin Books (London, England), 1989.

Alex III: Son of Alex, Penguin Books (London, England), 1990.

Alex IV: The Man with the Golden Handshake, Penguin Books (London, England), 1991.

Alex V: For the Love of Alex, Penguin Books (London, England), 1992.

Alex Calls the Shots, Headline (London, England), 1993.

The Alex Omnibus, Penguin Books (London, England), 1993.

Alex Plays the Game, Headline (London, England), 1994.

Alex Knows the Score, Headline (London, England), 1995.

Alex Sweeps the Board, Headline (London, England), 1996.

Alex Feels the Pinch, Headline (London, England), 1997.

The Full Alex Omnibus: Collected Strips 1987-1998, Headline (London, England), 1998.

The Alex Technique: On Jobs in the City, Headline (London, England), 1999.

The Best of Alex 1998-2001, Carlton Books (London, England), 2001,

The Best of Alex 2002, Carlton Books (London, England), 2002.

The Best of Alex 2003, Carlton Books (London, England), 2003.

The Best of Alex 2004, Prion Books (London, England), 2004.


(With Marc Polonsky) U.S.S.R.—From an Original Idea by Karl Marx, illustrated by Kirill Miller, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1986.

The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner: An Unfit Londoner's Attempt to Run the New York City Marathon from Scratch, Carlton Books (London, England), 2003.


Russell Taylor and Charles Peattie adapted "Alex" for a stage play, 2003.


Though he has never bought a stock share or even worked in an office, Russell Taylor, with artist partner Charles Peattie, created a cartoon strip character that York Evening Press contributor Chris Titley called "Britain's most famous stockbroker." Alex Masterley, wearing what Titley described as a "pin-stripe suit and permanent sneer," starred in the comic strip "Alex," which enjoyed an immensely popular sixteen-year run in major British newspapers, starting with the London Daily News and then going to the Independent and the Daily Telegraph. Taylor and Peattie, who drew the cartoon, created more than 4,000 strips which have been collected in some seventeen "Alex" books.

Taylor knew from an early age that he was good at writing jokes, having created his own humor magazine in school and, later, publishing a satirical travelogue about his post-university visit to the Soviet Union, U.S.S.R.—From an Original Idea by Karl Marx, which he wrote with Marc Polonsky. When Taylor met Peattie, a former portrait painter, at a party in London, the two decided to become partners on a comic strip—though Taylor had never tried his hand at cartoon writing. "I wanted a strip about people living in London," Taylor explained to Titley. "Back in the Eighties, yuppies were the big thing, so we decided we would make him a yuppie. He had a yuppie mobile phone before most people had mobile phones, he drove a BMW, had a lovely home and girlfriend, and was quite objectionable."

Though he is best known for creating "Alex," Taylor has also received glowing reviews for The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner: An Unfit Londoner's Attempt to Run the New York City Marathon from Scratch. As its title suggests, the book chronicles Taylor's experiences training for and running the New York City marathon—a formidable challenge for a confirmed nonathlete, who ended up finishing 7,659th out of 32,000 entrants. London Sunday Times writer Frank Graham chose The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner as "book of the week," calling it a "remarkable triumph" that is "unremitting[ly] witty and amusing." Emily Melton, writing in Booklist, commended Taylor for avoiding potentially tedious details about training regimens and making his book "howlingly funny" throughout.



Booklist, October 1, 2002, Emily Melton, review of The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner: An Unfit Londoner's Attempt to Run the New York City Marathon from Scratch, p. 296.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), December 31, 2002, Becky Barrow, "Years of City Lunches Earn Alex Tea at the Palace"; February 26, 2003, Adam Jay, "Russelled Up a Princely Way with Protocol"; November 27, 2003, Danielle Rossingh, "Off the Page and on the Stage"; December 4, 2003, Simon Goodley, "After Careers Perfecting…."

Evening Press (York, England), January 17, 2003, "Why I Axed Alex, the Smug City Slicker."

Financial News (London, England), November 17, 2002, "Alex Acts as a Guide for Us All."

Mirror (London, England), February 1, 2003, Andrea Henry, review of The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner, p. 56.

Sunday Times (London, England), February 23, 2003, Frank Graham, review of The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner.


Alex Comic Strip Books Gallery,http://www.tonystrading.co.uk/ (September 22, 2004).

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