Photograph of Employees in Front of the Studio of Character Builders Inc.


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Photograph of Employees in Front of the Studio of Character Builders Inc. is a picture, with genre photograph and group portraits.

It was created around 1988-1991.

Pictured here are staff members of the Character Builders Inc. animation studio that was located at 681 High Street. They are pictured standing and seated in front of the studio’s storefront.

A November 9, 1988 "Worthington News" article describes how Jeff Smith, Jim Kammerud and Martin (Marty) Fuller turned their cartooning passion into a business, opening a production company in Beechwold before moving to the Kilbourne Commercial Building pictured here.

The article goes on to describe how Smith and Kammerud, childhood friends who grew up together in the Colonial Hills neighborhood and graduated from Worthington High School in 1978, went to The Ohio State University, where they were both cartoonists for "The Lantern." The two created moving characters for the scoreboard at Ohio Stadium, which led to a job creating animated public service announcements for the Leukemia Society. Through this work, they met Marty Fuller, an OSU graduate in film and cinematography.

The trio formed the studio that had its start making public service animations and advertisements. The "News" article described their first two national accounts, one for Ghostbusters toothpaste and another for Warner Cable.

As the only cartoon studio operating in Columbus at the time, the cartoonists created concepts, developed scripts, sketches and storyboards, then sent the camera work and mechanical parts of the cartooning process to be done elsewhere, usually in Los Angeles or Chicago.

Adjoining the studio was a gallery selling original outtakes of animated cartoons, as well as political cartoons, posters, videos and books.

A 1999 article from "Animation World Network" describes the studio’s work on their first feature film, "Rover Dangerfield," in 1991. An article from the October 5, 1992 "Worthington News This Week" highlighted the studio’s work helping create the characters and draw the animated action for the film "Bebe’s Kids," which was the first animated film with exclusively African-American characters.

The studio operated in Worthington throughout the ‘90s, eventually moving to Powell.

The studio’s founders individually went on to have their own distinguished careers.

Marty Fuller is a story writer, artist and producer, and has credits for films including "The Secret Life of Pets 2," "Space Jam," "Despicable Me 2," "The Dog Days of Winter," and many others.

Jim Kammerud is a fine artist who has written and directed several animated Disney movies and storyboarded many others, like "The Peanuts Movie" and "Space Jam."

Jeff Smith is the Eisner- and Harvey-award winning creator of the "Bone" series of graphic novels. The books grew out of cartoons he drew as a child in Worthington and later as a popular strip in "The Lantern" while a student at OSU. In 1991, he launched Cartoon Books to publish the series.

It covers the topics business, art and artists.

It features the organization Character Builders Inc..

It covers the city Worthington. It covers the area Old Worthington.

The original is in a private collection.

This file was reformatted digital in the format video/jpeg.

The Worthington Memory identification code is wcd0693.

This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on October 4, 2023. It was last updated November 13, 2023.