Alexander Williams (cartoonist)

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Alexander Williams
Born (1967-10-18) 18 October 1967 (age 56)
London, England
EducationCamberwell School of Arts & Crafts
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
Known forAnimation, cartoons
Notable workQueen's Counsel
WebsiteAlex Williams Animation

Alexander Williams (born 18 October 1967 in London) is an English cartoonist and animator. He is the son of animator Richard Williams. He has worked on many animated films, and is the author of the Queen's Counsel cartoon strip in The Times, for which he was awarded the Cartoon Art Trust Award for Strip Cartooning in October 2017.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in London in 1967, the son of Canadian animator Richard Williams.[1] He played the voice of Tiny Tim in his father's 1971 television adaptation of A Christmas Carol.[2][3] He was educated at Westminster School, Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, and Merton College, Oxford.


In 1987 Williams was 20 years old and in his first year of studies at the University of Oxford when he started work as an in-betweener on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, working under animator Simon Wells and later as an assistant animator to Marc Gordon-Bates. Williams initially worked unpaid as an intern, and was later invited by producer Patsy de Lord to work on the film full-time.[4] The university agreed to his taking a suspension of studies for a year.[3] The following year, in 1988, he joined the Disney-MGM Studio in Orlando, Florida, working on the short film RollerCoaster Rabbit.[5]


Sir Geoffrey Bentwood QC, one of the Queen's Counsel characters

In 1993 Williams and Graham Francis Defries created the comic strip Queen's Counsel, a satire on law and lawyers, published in the law pages of The Times newspaper, under the pseudonyms Steuart and Francis.[6][7] At the time, Williams and Defries were working as research assistants for Members of Parliament at the House of Commons.[8][4]

A number of collections of the cartoons have been published by Robson Books and HarperCollins.[9]

Williams also drew Writer's Block, a cartoon strip published in the books section of The Times from 2005–6, and The Dealers, published in The Tatler from 1994–95.[10] He also illustrated the characters for the Baby Barista blog by fellow ex-barrister Tim Kevan.[11]


Design by Williams for The Big Egg Hunt.

Williams was a barrister at 12 King's Bench Walk Chambers in London before leaving in 1996 to pursue a full-time career in film animation,[12] joining Warner Bros Feature Animation, where he was lead animator on the villain "Ruber", voiced by Gary Oldman, in Quest for Camelot. Williams gave the character a "nervous twitch", a "wrestler's strut" and "big hands with broken nails that look creepy on close-ups".[13]

His work as an animator includes Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Princess and the Cobbler (1993), The Lion King (1994), Quest for Camelot (1998), The Iron Giant (1999), The Road to El Dorado (2000), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Piglet's Big Movie, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003), Robots (2005) and Open Season (2006).[2]

Williams has also worked on visual effects in Racing Stripes (2005), Monster House (2006), Underdog (2007), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Inkheart (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Marmaduke (2010) and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)[2]

He has contributed designs to Deckchair Dreams, a fundraising event organised by the Royal Parks Foundation in support of the London Royal Parks.[14] In 2012 he contributed a design for The Big Egg Hunt, a charity fundraiser billed as the world's largest ever Easter egg hunt.[15]


He lives in London and teaches at various academies and studios including Escape Studios, however now tutors animation at Bucks New University in High Wycombe as a senior lecturer.[16][17]

Williams has also founded the world's first online based MA in animation at Buckinghamshire New University, beginning in September 2015.[18][19]

In 2012 he founded an online animation school, Animation Apprentice.[20]

Published work[edit]

  • Queen's Counsel – A Libellous Look at The law, Robson Books, 1995
  • Queen's Counsel – Judgment Day, Robson Books, 1996
  • Queen's Counsel – Laying Down the Law, Times Books, 1997
  • The Times – Best of Queen's Counsel, Times Books, 1999
  • Lawyers Uncovered – Everything you always wanted to know but didn't want to pay £500 an hour to find out, JR Books, 2007
  • 101 Ways to Leave the Law, JR Books, September 2009[21]
  • 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. JR books, September 2009[22]
  • The Queen's Counsel Official Lawyers' Handbook, Robson Press October 2011[23]
  • The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus, Law Brief Publishing, 1 October 2013[24]
  • For a Few Guineas More - The Legal Year in Cartoons, Law Brief Publishing, 13 December 2019[25]


  • Nelker, Gladys P, The Clan Steuart, Genealogical publishing, 1970
  • Mazurkewitch, Karen, Cartoon Capers, The Adventures of Canadian Animators, MacArthur & Co, Toronto (1999) ISBN 1-55278-093-7
  • Alexander Williams at IMDb Retrieved June 2011
  • The Jester Monthly Magazine of The Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain, Issue 463, March 2013
  • News item at Retrieved June 2011
  • News item at Hollywood Reporter[dead link] Retrieved June 2011
  • News item at Retrieved June 2011
  • Interview at the Evening Standard Retrieved July 2017


  1. ^ Mazurkewitch, p.234
  2. ^ a b c Williams at Retrieved June 2011
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Ross, Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat, University Press of Mississippi (2019), p.86
  4. ^ a b Anderson, Ross, Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat, University Press of Mississippi (2019), p.289
  5. ^ Anderson, Ross, Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat, University Press of Mississippi (2019), p.145
  6. ^ Queen's Counsel Official Website Retrieved June 2011
  7. ^ Interview at Flip magazine Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 2011
  8. ^ The Jester, Issue 463, p.17
  9. ^ Queen's Counsel at Retrieved June 2011
  10. ^ The Dealers at Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 2011
  11. ^ Baby Barista Blog Retrieved June 2011
  12. ^ Interview with Williams at Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 2011
  13. ^ Mazurkewitch, p.255-6
  14. ^ Deckchair Dreams Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 2011
  15. ^ The Big Egg Hunt Official Website Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 2012
  16. ^ Escape Studios website Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 2011
  17. ^ Bucks new Uni Website Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved May 2015
  18. ^ Bucks Online MA in Animation Archived 20 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved May 2015
  19. ^ Worlds first online MA in Animation Retrieved May 2015
  20. ^ Animation Apprentice Official Site Retrieved August 2012
  21. ^ Review of 101 Ways to Leave the Law at The Law Society Gazette Retrieved 14 August 2019
  22. ^ Review of 101 Uses of a Useless Banker at City AM Retrieved June 2011
  23. ^ The Queen's Counsel Official Lawyers' Handbook at Retrieved September 2011
  24. ^ Law Brief Publishing Retrieved 5 October 2013
  25. ^ Retrieved 3 December 2019

External links[edit]