What I’m reading…
Last week, as happens every now and then, I was in the mood to check out something that’s a little on the lighter side, but not something that would just be purely eye candy. And Jeff Smith’s Bone just hit the spot.
I knew very little about Bone before picking up the series, other than the obvious, it was an indy black and white comic that looked pretty cartoony.
And I wasn’t wrong.
What I didn’t know, however, was that it was actually pretty good. I guess there’s a reason for it hanging around for about 12 years and 55 issues (and a few specials).
It’s a big ol’ fantasy story suitable for children of any age, but still manages to remain adult-friendly. Smith’s story has lots of humor, smacks a bit of Disney (in good ways), but a dramatic, occasionally darkish storyline keeps things interesting and moving forward.
The main characters are the three Bone cousins. Fone Bone, the straight man of the group who leads with his heart. Phony Bone, the weaselly, greedy one who gets everyone in trouble. And Smiley Bone, who fills the clueless, but inherently lucky Kramer-esque role.
These cousins have been chased out of Boneville due to Phony’s hijinks, and they find themselves drawing both the ire and adoration of a human village, becoming the frequent target of surprisingly frightening rat creatures, and in a battle against a Sauron-like evil.
Bone is an example of excellent black and white comic art. Smith populates the village and surrounding forest with fun, cartoonsy characters and very detailed backgrounds. He’s very much influenced by classic Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, and Walt Kelly of Pogo. Truly a pleasure to look at.
You can grab all 1300 pages of this epic story in one giant cinder block of a volume from Amazon for a bargain basement price of $27. And you’ll get free shipping with that as an added bonus. Check it out.
Bone: One Volume Edition
Collection (C) 2004
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Smith