His books have touched the lives of millions worldwide, yet he’s not a household name. He’s regarded as one of America’s greatest living cartoonists, yet you won’t see his work in the Sunday funnies. 


Jeff Smith is a living example of the self-made man who followed his childhood dream to success – and the subject of a feature-length documentary by Mills James Productions, which will have a special screening July 24 at Comic-Con International in San Diego, home of the largest comic book and popular arts convention in the world.


“The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics” tells the inspiring story of Jeff Smith’s creation of the epic comic book, BONEhailed by critics as one of the greatest graphic novels of all time.


The film follows Jeff Smith from his beginnings as a budding five-year-old artist drawing on his living room floor through his difficult start-up as a self-published cartoonist and the 13-year journey to complete the book that he describes as “Bugs Bunny meets the Lord of the Rings.”


In addition to discussing Jeff’s early years, influences and philosophies, the film provides a rare inside look at both the art and the business of comics, a field that has gained new respect as a “gateway to literacy” for youngsters and adults who are “reluctant readers.”

Fellow cartoonists Scott McCloud, Colleen Doran, Paul Pope, Terry Moore and Harvey Pekar, as well as friends, associates, experts and Jeff himself, share their stories of the worldwide BONE phenomenon that began in small comics shops and is now found in bookstores, schools, libraries and the homes of millions of adults and children in 25 countries. 


The Comic-Con screening of “The Cartoonist” will be 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 24 in Room 5AB of the San Diego Convention Center. Writer/director Ken Mills, president of Mills James Productions, and co-producer and editor Mike Meyer will be present to introduce the film and answer questions.


For more information on “The Cartoonist” documentary, visit its Web site,