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Animation Pioneer Will Vinton Makes Graphic Novel Debut With Jack Hightower

Veteran animator Will Vinton dives into the two dimensional comic world with JACK HIGHTOWER, a new action/adventure/comedy graphic novel about a very unique secret agent.

Tall, daring and handsome, secret agent Jack Hightower had a stellar career, beautiful women and more power and influence than he could shake a supermodel at. The only thing to elude him is the capture of his long-time arch nemesis, Dr. Flagitious Savant. Then, one fateful night, the mad Doctor lured Jack into the beam of a shrink ray. Now Jack must try to put his miniaturized life back together, hunt down the deadly Dr. Savant and reverse the process that made him into the worlds first living action figure.

Vinton, the creator of claymation, has brought to life some of the worlds best known animated characters, including The California Raisins, the computer-animated M&Ms "Red" and "Yellow" and Thurgood Stubs for the Eddie Murphy-inspired television series THE PJS. He founded Will Vinton Studios in Portland, Oregon, which was purchased in 2003 and eventually renamed LAIKA.

"Ive always liked graphic novels, so when Mike Richardson suggested writing a graphic novel story about Jack, Andrew Wiese, my writing partner and I jumped at it," said Vinton. "In some ways creating this character was very similar to creating a character for animation -- it's like storyboarding a film. But with a graphic novel you have whittle it down to the essence of character and story -- you have to be more spare and make everything count¬, then make that really vivid."

To mark his graphic novel debut, Vinton will be making appearances in key cities across the country in the coming year, starting first in the very city the story takes place in, Miami. On Wednesday Jan. 17, 2007, at 11:00 am, he will speak to students and faculty at the Miami International University of Art & Design about the new book and his career as a pioneer of the art of animation. He will also be appearing at Books & Books' Coral Gables location for a book signing that evening at 6:00 pm.

Following that, Vinton plans to appear at Things From Another World at Universal Studios Citywalk in Universal City, California. He will also be making appearances at various animation festivals, comic conventions and bookstores across the U.S. throughout the year.

JACK HIGHTOWER is created and written by Vinton and Andrew Wiese, with art by Fabio Laguna. The 150-page book arrives at retailers on Jan. 17, carrying a $14.95 price tag.