PCOer Alex Matthews has published a book of cartoons with the rather unlikely title of Crystalline Structure Friday. It brings together dozens of single-panel “Alexander” cartoons from magazines such as Private Eye and Prospect, along with previously unseen work.
Bloghorn is amused by Alex’s twisted and surreal view of the world, so we cornered him and asked him some questions.
You’re relatively new to the world of magazine cartooning, why did you decide to do a compilation of cartoons at this stage?
I felt that the first stage of my cartooning career, where I was learning how to write gags, developing a style, and trying desperately to get my first cartoon published, was over. I also had a lot of good gags that had never seen print, so I stuck the best ones in there. It’s a really good thing to be able to give potential clients a book of your work. Better than scribbling down a website address. They’ll remember you.
What’s with the title?
I wanted a title that would make people go “What?” And then, when they’ve read the cartoon that the title is taken from, they get it. And are perhaps a little disappointed. It fits with the black cover and general feel of the book, I think.
As well as being a cartoonist, you teach art and design in Moscow. How do those two things complement each other?
Teaching keeps my mind lively and explaining ideas about illustration helps them to become clearer in my mind. And because my Russian is so bad, I am more isolated than in England. That actually helps in thinking up ideas. I’m less distracted by other people, TV and things. People say Russia must give you so many ideas, but it doesn’t really. My gags are more about having job interviews with pelicans and stuff like that.
Crystalline Structure Friday: A Collection of Cartoons by Alexander is available from lulu.com, priced £9.10