Benton began his career in a custom design t-shirt shop where he started designing his own characters. At the same time, Jim did illustrations and artwork for magazines and newspapers. People magazine named him "the most visible cartoonist in America" .

Benton also created greeting cards and worked in the magazine and publishing industry. In 1998, his SpyDogs characters became an animated series,
The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs, that aired on Fox Kids. Licensing his own creations brought them widespread attention on products, such as It's Happy Bunny, The Misters, Just Jimmy and more.
Benton currently lives in Michigan, where he operates out of his own studio.

Published works

  • Dealing With the Idiots in Your Life (1993)
  • Cherise The Niece (2008)

Dear Dumb Diary
#1: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (2004)
#2: My Pants Are Haunted! (2004)
  • #3: Am I The Princess Or The Frog? (2005)
  • #4: Never Do Anything, Ever (2005)
  • #5: Can Adults Become Human? (2006)
  • #6: The Problem With Here is That It's Where I'm From (2007)
  • #7: Never Underestimate Your Dumbness (2008)
  • #8: It's Not My Fault I Know Everything (2009)
  • #9: That's What Friends Aren't For (2010)
  • #10: The Worst Things In Life Are Also Free (2010)
  • #11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers (2011)
  • #12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better) (2011)

Dear Dumb Diary: Year Two
  • #1: School. Hasn't This Gone On Long Enough? (2012)
  • #2: The Super-Nice are Super-Annoying. (2012)

It's Happy Bunny
  • #1: Love Bites (2004)
  • #2: Life. Get One (2005)
  • #3: What's Your Sign? (2005)
  • #4: The Good, The Bad and The Bunny (2006)
  • It's Happy Bunny Does Su Doku (2006)
  • It's Happy Bunny Poster Book.

Franny K. Stein
  • #1: Lunch Walks Among Us (2003)
  • #2: Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid (2004)
  • #3: The Invisible Fran (2005)
  • #4: The Fran That Time Forgot (2005)
  • #5: Frantastic Voyage (2006)
  • #6: The Fran With Four Brains (2006)
  • #7: The Frandidate (2008)


  • 2004: Gryphon Award honor book, Center for Children’s Books, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Lunch Walks Among Us)
  • 2005: LIMA International Licensing Award, Best Art Brand License (It's Happy Bunny)
  • 2006: Eleanor Cameron Award, Golden Duck Award Committee (The Fran That Time Forgot)
  • 2006: LIMA International Licensing Award, Best Character Brand License – Soft Goods (It's Happy Bunny)
  • 2007: LIMA International Licensing Award, Best Character Brand License – Hard Goods (It's Happy Bunny)
  • 2007: Austin ADDY Awards (with Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Texas Alliance)
    • Silver award, Public Service Campaign
    • Silver award, Public Service Direct Marketing
    • Bronze award, Public Service postcard
2009: Nomination National Cartoonist Society Book Illustration: Cherise The Niece
2011: National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award in the Greeting Cards Division

Jim Benton Biography


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