Chris James was born in New York City and moved to Tucson, Arizona, when he was five, After three years in the desert, his father was offered a job in Evanston, Illinois - birthplace of prohibition.
At the age of 18, Chris moved to London and enrolled in a cram school in order to get the A-levels he needed to get into art college. In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam war, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Luckily, the childhood asthma that had prompted the move to Arizona earned him a deferment. He got his A-levels, but, being impatient to earn a living, decided to take a one year advertising writing course as opposed to spending three years at art college.
In 1970 he found work as an advertising copywriter, going freelance in 1977. Between 1976 and 1981, he made three award-winning animated films - Reel People, About Face and
After Beardsley. (YouTube channel: chrisjames60).
He left England in 1985 to live in Dubrovnik in the former Yugoslavia, but returned three years later when the cracks began to appear in that country. He has two children, Kes James, born 1986, and Bonita James, born 1988. In 2003 he married his high school sweetheart and in 2009 moved to Penzance, Cornwall.