The Cartoonist


"The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics" tells the story of one of the most successful journeys in independent comics.  In his acclaimed graphic novel BONE, described as "Bugs Bunny meets The Lord of The Rings," Jeff Smith set out to write and draw the kind of book he had always dreamed of reading.  Inspired by the work of Walt Kelly, Carl Barks and others, Jeff’s dream of telling a spellbinding adventure story with wall-to-wall humor and brilliant drawing began in the earliest imaginings of his childhood.  "The Cartoonist" takes us down that road with Jeff and his characters, through his early years, college comic strips, detours into animation and attempted syndication, and finally toward the decision to self-publish.

Through interviews with cartoonists and experts, including Scott McCloud, Colleen Doran, Paul Pope, Terry Moore, Harvey Pekar and others, "The Cartoonist" provides an inside look into the art and commerce of creating comics independently.

In Jeff's work, alongside his colleagues', the trials and demands of self-publishing helped forge a movement of independent vision in comics that continues to expand literacy and personal expression throughout the world.



  • Executive Producers: Ken Mills and Cameron James
  • Co-Producers: Mike Meyer and Martin Fuller
  • Written and Directed by Ken Mills
  • Narrated by Beth Emery
  • Associate Producer: RJ Cavallaro
  • Directors of Photography: Scott Myers, Jason Hambach, James McCullars, Andy Marshall and Mike Meyer
  • Additional HD Videography: Martin Fuller and Nate Manges
  • Opening Animation: Ben Brown
  • Edited by Mike Meyer, Ken Mills and Jeff Drake
  • Post Production Sound: Mark Snider, Mark Abrams and Chip Houze
  • Studio and Post Production Facilities: Mills James, Columbus, Ohio