Ohio connection: Resident
Jeffrey Alan Smith was born in 1960 to William Earl and Barbara Smith in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. He grew up near Columbus. As a child, Smith read and was inspired by Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge, Peanuts, and adventure comics like Batman and Superman. Some of his favorite comics are George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and E.C. Segar’s Thimble Theater Starring Popeye.
Smith graduated in 1978 from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington (suburb of Columbus) where he was a classmate of Jim Kammerud. In 1986, Smith and Kammerud created Character Builders, an animation studio to publish his comic book Bone, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville.
After high school, Smith attended Ohio State University, and while there he created a comic strip called “Thorn” for the student newspaper, The Lantern, which included some of the characters who later featured in the Bone series. His work drew the attention of national syndicates, but Smith opted to start his own animation studio and produce Bone himself. Critical response to Smith’s efforts has been favorable. Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Katharine L. Kan, reviewing Bone, Volume Two: The Great Cow Race, observed: “This is one for the whole family to enjoy, full of raucous humor, great dialogue and marvelously twisted plotting.” Reviewing Bone, Volume One: Out from Boneville, Gordon Flagg of Booklist called Smith “a major talent as skilled as the old masters,” adding: “Such gentle, all-ages humor as Bone‘s has all but disappeared; consequently, Smith’s neo-traditionalism seems fresher than anything else the comics medium offers today.”
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 comic projects, Smith spends much of his time on the international guest circuit promoting comics and the art of graphic novels. When not touring, Smith and his wife, Vijaya Iyer, reside in Columbus.
2005: Eisner Award-Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Harvey Award-Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work
Harvey Award-Best Cartoonist 2003: Harvey Award-Best Cartoonist 2002: YALSA/ALA Popular Paperbacks for young adults
Eisner Award Best Painter Charles Vess for Rose 2001: Inkpot Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comic Arts
Sproing Award (Norway)-Best Book 2000: Harvey Award-Best Cartoonist 1999: Harvey Award-Best Cartoonist
Sproing Award (Norway)-Best Book
Yellow Kid (Italy) -Best Author 1998: Spain’s Premios Expocomic-Best Foreign Comic
Eisner Award-Best Writer/Artist, Humor
Lempi International (Finland)-Best International Cartoonist 1997: Harvey Award -Best Cartoonist
National Cartoonist Society -Best Comic Book
Lucca (Italy) -Best Foreign Cartoonist
Georgia -Inducted into Cartoonist Walk Of Fame 1996: Harvey Award -Best Cartoonist
Adamson (Sweden) -Best Comic Book
Premio Fumo Di China (Italy) -Best Cartoon CharacterNational Cartoonist Society -Best Comic Book
Angouleme Alph-Art (France) -Best Foreign Comic Book