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Sonic the Hedgehog animator Tyson Hesse to speak at UofSC

Posted Feb. 7, 2020. Updated Feb. 18, 2020.
Rebekah Friedman, communications manager,, 803-576-7270

Sonic the Hedgehog  animator Tyson Hesse will speak at the first installment of the University of South Carolina’s Studio South Speaker Series on Feb. 20.

Hesse is a graphic novel illustrator and animator best known for his work on the Sonic franchise. He'll share about his animation career and answer questions from students. The event, which is free and open to the public, is from 6-7 p.m. in Russell House Theater. 

A Charlotte native, Hesse has been drawing since childhood. His passion and detail to the craft led him to Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. His career began in comics, with licensed books including The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time and Sonic the Hedgehog. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue storyboarding, working on cartoons such as Bravest Warriors and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. In 2016, he published his first graphic novel, Diesel: Ignition. 

Currently, he works as director for Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog animated shorts. Sonic the Hedgehog  zoomed past expectations to a $70 million debut, and became Paramount Picture’s biggest domestic opening since Mission: Impossible – Fallout over 18 months ago, and the biggest box-office film in history based on a video game. 

“I hope I can share through my experience that there are many paths to your goals in art and animation,” Hesse says.

The speaker series is hosted by the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Studio South and the PHETE Foundation. It's organized by SJMC faculty members Sabrina Habib and Jeff Williams.

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