Bert Vaughn is one of the founders of Animators, Inc., and Anita's boss. There's very little he wouldn't do for money if he thought he could get away with it, and he's more than happy to inflict this ideology on the people who work for him.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
He's 6'4" tall and built like a former athlete with broad shoulders and strong hands. He's very aware of his size, and often tries to use it to intimidate Anita when they get into an argument. He keeps his white hair in crew cut, and during summers gains a boater's tan that makes the hair look somewhat dramatic. His eyes are pale gray, the color of a dirty window glass.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Bert was "born with the ability to make money." He possesses a natural aptitude for business and finance and is thus a natural capitalist who knows how to legally and subtly exploit and manipulate others for his own financial gain. Bert has a bulletproof ego and a high tolerance for insults as he does not care what others think of him; in The Laughing Corpse, Anita calls him a "condescending bastard" right to his face, to which he smugly agrees.
History[edit | edit source]
Bert played football in the college, and it still shows in his physique. He and Manny founded Animators, Inc. in a small room above a garage in 1986. Bert provided the business sense, Manny the ability to raise dead. Later Bert was proved to be completely willing to hire even completely inexperienced but powerful animators. He personally hired Anita after she graduated, and later hires Larry while he's still in college.
At the beginning of the series Bert is the managing partner of Animators, Inc., and the only person in the three-room office who has his own, private office space (the others rotate the two other rooms). He is an unscrupulous boss who is inclined to sign the animators up for almost any job if the price is right.
Bert and Anita often clash over Bert's choices of potential clients and jobs for Anita, as well as over their views on suitable business attire, wearing weapons where clients can see them, and how much of Anita's time the police take up. On the other hand, she brings in the best money and most attention, so Bert doesn't really want to lose her either, despite trying to use the possibility of firing her as a bargaining point sometimes. She's not the only animator in the company who has problems with Bert, but probably the one who has most of them as Anita's deeply ingrained sense of righteousness conflicts deeply with Bert's less-than-subtle moral bankruptcy and lack of consideration for others.
As of Cerulean Sins, Bert's status is downgraded to business manager and most of the animators are upgraded to full partners. In previous books Anita had often thought about taking her business and clients away from Bert's unethical micromanaging, and it's implied that the others had also got fed up with his condescending and exploitative approach to leadership.