Jim Hardison is the creative director and co-founder of Character. He brings the knowledge of character and story he’s gained as a writer, animator and director in commercials and entertainment to his exploration of brand characters.
He started his professional career by producing a low-budget direct-to-video feature, The Creature from Lake Michigan. Making a bad film can be a crash course in the essential elements of good character and story, and The Creature from Lake Michigan was a tremendously bad film. Jim learned his lesson well, and after a brief stint recuperating as a freelance writer and film editor, founded his own production company. During its seven-year run, he wrote, directed and edited live-action and animation productions, including educational films, television commercials and television pilots. Shifting his focus to animation, Jim joined Will Vinton Studios in 1997 as an animation director.
While working at Vinton, he co-wrote the television special Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy with actor Paul Reiser. Jim has appeared on The Apprentice as an expert advisor on brand characters, has written for the PBS children’s series SeeMore’s Playhouse and has authored graphic novels and books. These include The Helm, a graphic novel for Dark Horse comics that was named one of 2010’s top ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by the American Library Association, Demon Freaks, a horror comedy, and Fish Wielder, an epically silly epic fantasy named one of the Five Best Indie Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews.
He’s currently working on A Fish Out of Water the sequel to Fish Wielder.