Born and raised in the American midwest, Jeff Smith learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books, and watching animation on TV. After four years of drawing comic strips for Ohio State's student newspaper, Smith co-founded the Character Builders animation studio in 1986. In 1991, he launched a company called Cartoon Books to publish his comic book BONE, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville.
Against all odds, the small company flourished, building a reputation for quality stories and artwork. Word of mouth, critical acclaim, and a string of major awards, which continues to this day, helped propel Cartoon Books and BONE to the forefront of the comic book industry --- an industry not known for its openness to non-action heroes. In the American comic book direct market (the largest system of comic book retail stores) BONE has risen to the #1 spot for humor. In 2005, the Scholastic Graphix imprint published BONE #1: OUT OF BONEVILLE as a full-color graphic novel.
Other titles in the series have followed, including THE GREAT COW RACE, EYES OF THE STORM, THE DRAGON SLAYER, ROCK JAW, OLD MAN'S CAVE, GHOST CIRCLES, and TREASURE HUNTERS. The series has almost two million copies in print and has been called "storytelling at its best," by Entertainment Weekly magazine. Jeff Smith won the "Best Cartoonist" award at the 2005 Harvey Awards honoring excellence in comics.
Jeff Smith's work is published in thirteen languages and has won the highest awards in Germany, France, Italy, and at home. Between BONE and other comics projects, Smith spends much of his time on the international guest circuit promoting comics and the art of graphic novels.
For more information, be sure to check out Jeff Smith's blog at www.boneville.com.