Jim Franklin (born 1943 in Galveston, Texas) is best known for his poster art created for the Armadillo World Headquarters, and, more specifically, for his detailed, surrealistic illustrations of armadillos. Franklin began drawing armadillos in 1968, and they became a symbol of the hippie counterculture movement in Texas. He featured armadillos on the album art for Shiva's Headband's first record, Take Me to the Mountains and poster art for the Armadillo World Headquarters. His armadillos also appear on Greezy Wheels’ recording Juz Loves Dem Ol Greezy Wheels, for which he also supplied the title, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen's live recording, Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas, and the Freddie King albums, Texas Cannonball and Woman Across the River.
Franklin also wrote Underground Comix and created Armadillo Comics. Franklin's armadillos earned him the nickname, the "Michelangelo of armadillo art”. In 1971, The New Yorker ran a feature story on Franklin and his work, entitled "Armadillo Man”. A portion of Les Blank's recently released 1974 documentary, A Poem Is A Naked Person, depicts Franklin's creation of a mural in Leon Russell's empty swimming pool.
Jim is also a performer who often opened shows at the Armadillo wearing outlandish costumes of his own design, and who has contributed to other performer’s records, including a jews harp track for Greezy Wheels. He continues to paint and is often seen on opening nights at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture.