The Jeff Smith/Bone Appreciation Thread

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No question about its classicness, and a thread about it on ILX has been long overdue.

Leee Majors (Leee), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 06:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Has it ended yet? I haven't touched it for a couple of years, because it kept gradually getting worse and worse. The first issues were great, combining Barksian cuteness with this ominous sense of darkness lurking behind it. However, as the high fantasy element took hold of it, the plot turned out to be both cliched and muddled. It sometimes felt as if Smith was inventing the whole background story as he went along, not bothering to check whether the current issue is in coherence with the previous ones - quite often it wasn't. It still had it's moments (Rockjaw for example), but I'm afraid to read it 'til the end and be even more disappointed. Smith should've sticked to the cuteness, which really was his forte, not the inflated fantasy style.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 09:54 (sixteen years ago) link

Tuomas OTM except I wasn't 100% sold on the first issues, the Barks influence was refreshing though and the story seemed pacy. Mind you I always liked the first 100 pages of big fantasy doorstops when the simple farmboy IS just a simple farmboy better than the other 1100 pages where he turns out to be the Chosen One.

I think Bone is kind of salutary though in that it's plainly what Cerebus would have turned out like if Dave Sim had done what some readers wanted and Told The Story Properly And Explained Things. Not that I think how Cerebus DID turn out is any good - but it's probably more interesting.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Sorry Lee if we ruined your appreciation thread, but Bone's classicness isn't as unquestionable as you think. Still, I'd be interested to hear whether it has already ended, and whether it got any better towards the end?

Tuomas (Tuomas), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 13:07 (sixteen years ago) link

It's a good thing I'm bored.

Bone #53: 19/11/2003
Bone #52: 8/10/2003
Bone #51: 2/4/2003
Bone #50: 27/12/2002
Bone #49: 9/10/2002
Bone #48: 10/7/2002
Bone #47: 8/5/2002

Bone #45: 31/10/2001
Bone #44: 6/9/2001
Bone #43: 5/7/2001
Bone #42: 2/5/2001
Bone #41: 21/2/2001


Bone #38: 2/8/2000
Bone #37: 28/7/1999

I didn't realise it was three-and-a-half years since the big hiatus.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 13:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I think there are two issues left if what I remember that it ending at 55 is correct. I actually agree with you about the dip in quality post-"Great Cow Race." The first two volumes are absolute high points, no question, just in how charming and love-filled the stories and characters are (greedy Bone excepted).

I will say that the latest volume (no. 8, "Treasure Hunters") was a great recovery from the blandness that preceded it. e.g. Thorn stopped being an almost-comatose zombie, and the periphery villagers became more than peanut gallery types. Jeff Smith re-emphasized the characters instead of plot devices and gimmicks (hello ghost circles!).

Leee Majors (Leee), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:29 (sixteen years ago) link

three months pass...
I've read very little, mostly around the time of the Great Cow Race; it reminded me (in a good way) of Li'l Abner, which I should relocate and reread so I can start (or revive) a thread on it.

But anyway, dig this: The complete 1300-page epic adventure, from start to finish, in one deluxe paperback!

Tep (ktepi), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 18:06 (sixteen years ago) link

MY GOD.

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 23:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, exactly. I thought the Ultimate Spider-Man omnibus was a good deal, but this? I've already asked for it for my birthday.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:00 (sixteen years ago) link

What am I going to do with the rest of my Bone (7 vols)??

Leeebay (Leee), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Keep it for more portable reading -- or donate it to the library!

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:15 (sixteen years ago) link

The library already has like two copies of each volume! I think a guerilla ebay strike might be in order. Though I'm probably too lazy to bother. The giganto-trade doesn't look durable, ain't no soft-spine can handle any amount of handling, so maybe you're probably right about keeping the regular volumes.

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:31 (sixteen years ago) link

You can also use my this-is-my-third-longterm-relationship perspective: you never know when you'll end up breaking up with someone who wants to keep some of your comics, at which point it's handy to have spares.

(Do you have any idea how many times I've bought Labyrinth?)

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Haha. If my girlfriend and I were ever to break up, there would be comics issues.

How expensive is this (and how much does it weigh?!)?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:43 (sixteen years ago) link

$40! That's the thing, that's like ... well, fuck not sounding geeky, that's like the price of the Forgotten Realms supplement for D20, except it's 1300 pages. I don't know if it's super cheapass newsprint or something, though. But really it'd be worth that price even if I only read it once.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:48 (sixteen years ago) link

(Or to put it another way: that's the price of 400 pages of comics-fresh-off-the-shelf.)

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:49 (sixteen years ago) link

Taking any three volumes of Bone, the total is already more than $40, and that there are ultimately 9 books = WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I WAIT.

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Thursday, 20 May 2004 00:51 (sixteen years ago) link

me too!

i had to give up cos i was broke at 43...and now...and now...

mullygrubber (gaz), Thursday, 20 May 2004 02:16 (sixteen years ago) link

pretty good article on bone (the good points and bad points) here: http://www.tcj.com/3_online/w_review_bone.html

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 21 May 2004 04:26 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I want to talk about the final volume but has anyone else read it before I start breaking out the spoilers?

One non-plot thing I can mention is that the art is, surprisingly, the worst of the whole Bone run.

The Dreaded Rear Admiral (Leee), Monday, 19 July 2004 05:11 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Revive

I'm halfway through the one volume edition of Bone (What is that? Like, page 600 or something?) and I have to post something about it before I finish: THIS IS SO GOOD. It's funny and sad, exciting and scary. I just, I can't get over it. I can't put it down. And this HUGE volume is dangerous because I'm constantly saying to myself, "Just one more chapter... Okay, just one more and then it's sleepy time... Eh, I'll be a bit late to work tomorrow, just one more chapter..."

Please, so spoliers yet. I'll hopefully finish it by Monday...

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 10:59 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't read any Bone. I know I will, I'm just working up to that kind of committment. Is the humungo volume available in stores, or was a very limited edition sort of thing?

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 13:25 (sixteen years ago) link

It should be in stores, though many of them got shorted due to Jeff Smith's poor forecasting of demand. I suspect a second printing will be rushed out ASAP, but have no idea when it'll hit.

I'm kicking myself for not getting one of the hardcovers. I'm a big fat dope.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 14:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I didn't know it was available in hardcover. Amazon has it as a "pre-order." ... Eh... When did come out?

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 14:42 (sixteen years ago) link

The hardcover made its debut at the San Diego Comic Con. jeff Smith utterly mis-forecast demand and he sold out of the hardcover on Friday night, I think. I don't know the HC is going to be reprinted (I'd check Jeff's site, don't have it offhand.)

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 14:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I heard November. (I think according to the Cartoon Books booth people.) Likewise, I'm kicking myself for not getting the HC.

Vermont Girl, I'd be interested to hear what you think of the art in the final chapter.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 20:45 (sixteen years ago) link

The HC, for those interested, retails for $125, is gold-leafed, has a special autographed & numbered thingy (I think it's advertised as a "plate" but from what I could see, it was a piece of white cardboard or sommat) and is VERY PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY.

Meanwhile, would anyone like a softcover edition (which according to boneville.com should be back in print on/before Aug 31) with a cute bone sketch on the inside?

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 20:49 (sixteen years ago) link

Does no one else find Bone, whilst certainly very accomplished, somewhat twee? I've only read the first three trades, so maybe it gets less so.

Wooden (Wooden), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 23:01 (sixteen years ago) link

So is #53 the last issue?

Dan i., Wednesday, 25 August 2004 23:35 (sixteen years ago) link

#55 is the final issue.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Thursday, 26 August 2004 03:57 (sixteen years ago) link

btw, if anyone doesn't want to wait for the restock of the Giant Bone Softcover, I'm willing to part with it.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Friday, 27 August 2004 20:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Lee(eee), I've gmailed you about it.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Friday, 27 August 2004 21:22 (sixteen years ago) link

I finished it!! I loooooooved it! [SPOILERS]

My comic seller said to me, "When you get to the end, let me know what you think..." Like, there was going to be some huge cop-out ended (i.e. 'The universe explodes in on itself.' or 'And then Bone woke up.'), but I thought it was a very sweet, appropriate ending.

I loved so many of the characters. I think I liked Bartleby the best. I was really happy to see him again. When he ran off from Smiley and Fone, I was thinking, "[sniff] I hope Bartleby shows up in the story again..." Smiley was really funny. I liked those two rat creature that kept popping up. Saying scary things like, "Prepare to die, small mammal!" The talking about quiche. So funny.

I give it ten out of ten stars.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 30 August 2004 12:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Did anyone else notice Kingdok didn't seem to have a problem talking at the end of the story? Wasn't his, um, tongue missing? He was having trouble talking before...

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 30 August 2004 12:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, and I can't believe ALL OF IT happened in one year. Damn. It was toally epic. You guys thought it was epic, right? Exciting? Touching?

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 30 August 2004 12:32 (sixteen years ago) link

But what about the art in the "Crown of Horns" book? I thought it was very and unusually off. The ending otherwise was excellent, though apropos to JD's link from way above, I'd hoped that ***SPOILER BIT HERE*** Fone Bone had stayed to demonstrate his capacity for growth ***SPOILER ENDS*** but oh well.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Monday, 30 August 2004 22:30 (sixteen years ago) link

How was the art different in "Crown of Horns"? I didn't notice... I will check at home tonight. ***SPOLIER*** I was sad to see the Bones go back home (I actually hoped they would ALL stay in the Valley and live happily ever after), but I think it makes sense. There are no lady Bones for them to settle down with and I highly doubt Fone and Thorn would have been able to pro-create. ***END***

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 31 August 2004 11:40 (sixteen years ago) link

The art was different mostly in the way Jeff drew Thorn (since, drawing the Bones isn't all that hard -- he did a passable Fone Bone while blindfolded once). In the "Treasure Hunters" book, her Jolly Rancher-sized (i.e. wide, sort of rectangular) eyes had fine lashes. But in "Crown of Horns" she had very round, cartoonish eyes, and some other human characters also were a little underdrawn, which made me think that Jeff was under the gun in the final few months of Bone.

Oh oh and ***SPOILER*** was the Jeff handled the scene where Granma realizes that Lucius is dead great or what? ***END***

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Tuesday, 31 August 2004 18:03 (sixteen years ago) link

A-a-and did you find "Ghost Circles" to be the weakest book? (Finally some fannish Bone talk! ILC is finally complete!)

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Tuesday, 31 August 2004 18:08 (sixteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Man, my copy just came in the mail right alongside the Star Wars DVDs and a case of Pepsi Blue -- and I just yesterday picked up the last Dark Tower book and the paperback edition of Stephenson's Quicksilver. How great is my week?

(I'm not going to have time for new comics until October!)

Tep (ktepi), Wednesday, 22 September 2004 21:36 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Help me find the hardcover one volume!

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Tuesday, 23 November 2004 06:08 (sixteen years ago) link

five months pass...
I finally picked up the last volume, and have started from the beginning. I'd forgotten how completely terrifying the running around in the night and the lightning and the woods full of hairy men was.

My vague impressions of the middle books (the one or two after Rock Jaw ie the last I read) was that it turned into Episode I: enough with the running around and being exciting, I bet you're all wondering how the bureaucracy works.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Thursday, 28 April 2005 09:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmm, I'd read more than I thought: I remembered everything up until half-way through Treasure Hunters, though some of it was quite vague due to dullness.

I was reading the last volume thinking "I wonder how this is going to distinguish itself from the LOTR conventions it's digging into... Oh. It isn't. In any way." So that kind of sucked. I thought the art was pretty good all the way through, I was struck by how during the bathing scene with both Fone and Phoney Bone where they're both "naked", they're still clearly themselves.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 08:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Jeff Smith Goes to School
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2005-05-03-educational-comics_x.htm

Huk-L, Thursday, 5 May 2005 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

four months pass...
I finally read my galley of vol. 1 last night. I expected to be put off by the cutesyness, but I really enjoyed the whole thing.

So now I guess I may as well plunk down for the giganto collection, even though the consensus seems to be that it doesn't get better than the beginning?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 19:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Aw sweet, Maddie just reminded me that we have a borrowed copy of the complete Bone sitting in our apartment!

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 20:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Consensus can take a flying one. The tone shifts dramatically from fun and cute (which doesn't ever cross into cloyingly twee territory) to LOTR-style battles, sieges, hairy men, mysticism and so on, which, my never having read LOTR or seen ROTK, is still quite riveting. There is, however, a big drop off in the art in the last volume. That's what I sez, anyway.

Leeeeeeeee (Leee), Monday, 12 September 2005 20:21 (fifteen years ago) link

If you have, however, seen/read "Lord Of The Rings", or in fact any epic fantasy at all, don't bother with this. I mean, I'm totally an epic battle FITE kinda guy, but most of the latter "Bone" is just dull dull dull exposition and painfully generic characters/situations.

First batch of volume's still great, tho.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Tuesday, 13 September 2005 08:58 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked it. A lot. The whole thing. It's funny, Disney meets LotR meets Evil Dead wrapped in an enigma, baked in an adventure and microwaved in a mythical epic.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 13 September 2005 13:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm halfway (almost exactly) through the complete Bone, and I'm really enjoying it. It probably helps that I'm not expecting groundbreaking plotting or ideas thanks to this thread, but he gets by just fine on style and charm.

It's a fun feeling to go through something that reads so quickly yet there's so MUCH of.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 14 September 2005 17:46 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.hollywoodtoday.net/?p=4075

nickalicious, Tuesday, 18 March 2008 17:18 (twelve years ago) link

Bone. I have no idea about RASL.

remy bean, Tuesday, 18 March 2008 17:21 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

on the PBS News Hour with Lehrer tonight:
Jeffrey Brown profiles the work of cartoonist and graphic novelist Jeff
Smith, best known for his "Bone" comics series.
Set yer tivos.

forksclovetofu, Monday, 21 July 2008 17:39 (twelve years ago) link

Online tomorrow here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

forksclovetofu, Monday, 21 July 2008 17:52 (twelve years ago) link

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/insider/

forksclovetofu, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 19:11 (twelve years ago) link

For anyone in the general region of Columbus, OH - the Wexner Center has been exhibiting Jeff Smith original art this summer, till August 3rd - http://www.wexarts.org/ex/index.php?eventid=2371

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 24 July 2008 22:48 (twelve years ago) link

(A little bit of video of Smith there too - doesn't look at all how I pictured him!)

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 24 July 2008 22:49 (twelve years ago) link

four years pass...

My sister bought the 1,300 page edition for my son 2 Christmases ago. He wasn't doing very good with reading at the time, so I read it to him for a few hundred pages. I gave all the characters their own little voices and everything. We loved it, but eventually his attention wandered. He dusted it off again a few months ago and blazed through it by himself over the course of a couple months. We made some trips to the comic store to pick up Rose, Tall Tales, and the novel trilogy, all of which he finished. So thanks Jeff Smith, for getting my kid to read.

So now I'm dragging it to work with me, reading it on the way in on the bus. I get what Tuomas is saying upthread about the storyline not necessarily being in coherence with previous issues, but I'm not letting it bother me too much. The story moves fast enough that I'm happy to just let the little things pass by.

If you have, however, seen/read "Lord Of The Rings", or in fact any epic fantasy at all, don't bother with this. I mean, I'm totally an epic battle FITE kinda guy, but most of the latter "Bone" is just dull dull dull exposition and painfully generic characters/situations.

I hate, hate, hate Lord of the Rings, but I'm two thirds of the way through this and it's still pretty thrilling. Hope I'm not about to get bored.

how's life, Thursday, 20 June 2013 12:46 (seven years ago) link

I got so bored by then end that I've never re-read it. Taking a week to get through it, rather than having to take over a decade, may ameliorate this.

pink, fleshy, and gleeful (sic), Thursday, 20 June 2013 17:17 (seven years ago) link

have kinda been wanting to reread this.

the revelation, about halfway through, of why the bad guys are so fixated on phoney bone is one of the all-time never-saw-that-coming unexpected twists in all of comics.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Thursday, 20 June 2013 22:30 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, that got a big smile out of me.

how's life, Friday, 21 June 2013 00:20 (seven years ago) link

I don't know if this is sacrilege but I think I prefer the colour version. Only got a few books in then got distracted. Will give it another bash once I've finished DUNGEON - How's Life, you might like that too. Prob not every one of them is kid-friendly though.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 21 June 2013 09:14 (seven years ago) link

I'm always down for good recommendations. What's kid-unfriendly about it? We do our best to steer him clear of content that's overly sexual or exploitative, but that's about it.

how's life, Friday, 21 June 2013 10:33 (seven years ago) link

Depends on your kid's age really. Probably a bit adult for under-12s. There's some grisliness in some of the stories (monsters getting splattered) and occasional sexiness+boobs (it's written by Frenchmen, so QED). But it's pretty harmless. Closer to Spy vs Spy than Garth Ennis. The storytelling is REALLY good though. The same writer has a much more kid-friendly series, Little Vampire, that's also fun.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 21 June 2013 11:44 (seven years ago) link

This the first one if you feel like trying out: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1561634018

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 21 June 2013 11:51 (seven years ago) link

occasional sexiness+boobs (it's written by Frenchmen, so QED)

Ah, but of course. : D

how's life, Friday, 21 June 2013 11:54 (seven years ago) link

There's some pretty disturbing stuff in some of the Dungeon books; a character is raped in more than one book (and rape is treated quite seriously, unlike the non-sexual violence in the series), and one of Dungeon Monsters stories has a deeply unsettling depiction of the female protagonist being abused. What's weird about Dungeon is that, even though the books are mostly light-hearted, the tone of any story can suddenly change with no warning, from goofy parody to sad and horrific scenes, and then back. That said, I think the main series (Dungeon Zenith) should be okay for older kids.

Tuomas, Saturday, 22 June 2013 10:22 (seven years ago) link

Good to know!

how's life, Saturday, 22 June 2013 10:34 (seven years ago) link

Yikes! Haven't got that far in the series yet.

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 22 June 2013 18:29 (seven years ago) link

Good piece on Dungeon by John Hodgman (!) here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/books/review/Hodgman-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 23 June 2013 15:39 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Just been lent the full colour hardback of RASL by a friend. My anticipation levels are high, but I'm also apprehensive as it's such a big lovely book, I'm terrified of dropping it or damaging it.

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Monday, 12 January 2015 10:25 (five years ago) link

Take the time to wait until you can safely read it without terror. Use this time to dramatically reduce your expectations.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:34 (five years ago) link

i'm about halfway through and so far it's not really hitting the spot like Bone did, sadly.

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:42 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

RASL was lame. I got the nice color hardback and now I'm like, huh. Tesla : indie comix :: Autechre : ILM

El Tomboto, Sunday, 14 August 2016 21:12 (four years ago) link

Felt like Miles and Annie were way more interesting than any of the "main" characters, especially the hero and the (main) villain, both of whom sucked so, so hard

El Tomboto, Sunday, 14 August 2016 21:17 (four years ago) link

I liked it! Seem to remember the ending being quite poor though. And the "Previously, on Tesla..." recap, not so much. But it's fun up until the point that it isn't.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:20 (four years ago) link

The way the incompetent, ugly, fedora AND trenchcoat bad guy keeps calling him "art thief" well into Act 3 is just dumb. A more attentive student of Tezuka would have given the hero a real tragic reason to always order three drinks, not "magic hurts, plus I read the real shit about the Philadelphia Experiment, you don't even KNOW"

El Tomboto, Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:31 (four years ago) link

Tezuka is a bit of an unfair comparison, in that he's one of a small handful of true masters of the comic book form and Jeff Smith is a guy called Jeff.

But - yeah. A more attentive student of Tezuka might also have made the bad guy a bit more three-dimensional and less "bad".

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 15 August 2016 09:18 (four years ago) link

RASL was really disappointing. Just everything about it was kind of flimsy.

TARANTINO! (dog latin), Monday, 15 August 2016 15:59 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Gets it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqN61E-Xmko

Maresn3st, Sunday, 8 September 2019 19:40 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

I got the giant collection for my son (a first-grader), and we’ve been slowly making our way thru it (we just finished the first of the three big volumes that make up the story). I’d never read the series before... just heard it was classic, and great for kids.

It’s clearly a cartooning tour-de-force, but I’m not totally sure what to make of it... the story’s impressively detailed, but not really drawing me in, and there’s a lot of talking & exposition. Somehow it all feels kinda prosaic, and idk, “lacking in imagination” for an epic fantasy involving dragons, rat creatures, talking bugs, etc. (And the characters all sort of talk the same?)

But my kid’s really into it, which is what matters... I wasn’t sure if it would hold his attn. Maybe the story will pay off as it develops? The book’s just very slow-paced — which makes it all the more impressive that it maintained a regular readership in comic form, I guess.

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 04:44 (nine months ago) link

The story doesn't pay off in my opinion - if you're not feeling the charm now, then you're not going to feel it any the more when it heads for a copy of Lord of the Rings in the last book.

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 25 February 2020 11:44 (nine months ago) link

sadly, i would agree with "doesn't pay off," once you get past RockJaw the story goes Game of Thrones and spirals. Art's great throughout though!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 15:19 (nine months ago) link

yeah it's a bit of a 'pantser' plot-wise and that came more apparent on my more recent second read-through, which I kinda gave up on half-way through.
But hey, what a ride! Think of it a bit like a soap opera or a Disney Game of Thrones and it who cares about the story arc. I'm in it for the amazing artwork, the humour, the fun little twists and the madcap ideas.
There were a few parts that I actually found quite frightening and would have most likely freaked out on if I were a kid.
Compared to RASL, which was an attempt at a more serious self-contained and shorter story, it's clear JS is better suited to this rambling, epic style

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 16:15 (nine months ago) link

The art is impressive, and it seems remarkably consistent over the 13(?) years of work that the book represents (or so I gather by flipping around).

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 17:34 (nine months ago) link

During the first few years of serialisation, I'd re-read the whole run over and over again. Once it settled in to the wilderness quest, I stopped and have never read the whole series through.

Fantastic. Great move. Well done (sic), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 17:46 (nine months ago) link

Also it sucks that he went back and re-lettered the whole thing on computer

Fantastic. Great move. Well done (sic), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 17:47 (nine months ago) link

“Orphaned, salt-of-the-earth adolescent learns that s/he is descended from royalty/power” is a compelling storyline — and while Bone is hardly the first to employ it, it uses it well (and it predates, say, Harry Potter!).

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Sunday, 1 March 2020 04:17 (nine months ago) link

The revelation of why all the bad guys are fixed on Phoney Bone is (as mentioned above) pretty clever. The book’s pretty exciting around this point, too.

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Monday, 2 March 2020 04:33 (nine months ago) link

The section (apparently) leading up to a siege on the old city gets very dense with the politics and minutiae of the story’s main armed conflict... there’s even a blockade of trade routes and a merchants’ guild (I can’t help but assume The Phantom Menace was an influence, which seems to track with the publication timeframe).

I guess I’m not so into this aspect of the story... reminds me of how every time I tried reading LOTR as a teen, I would get bored and quit halfway through, lol.

tamagotchi revival artist (morrisp), Thursday, 5 March 2020 04:54 (nine months ago) link

(I also should note that my son is reading chunks of the book on his own during the day, and then we’re picking it up together at bedtime; so I’m only reading parts of the story, and getting filled in on what I missed, which obv. doesn’t make for a fair basis to review it.)

tamagotchi revival artist (morrisp), Thursday, 5 March 2020 05:00 (nine months ago) link

four weeks pass...

My son has now read Bone three times (largely on his own), so I’m fully sold on its gold status as a kid’s book.

morrisp, Thursday, 2 April 2020 06:15 (eight months ago) link

aww that's great

Dollarmite Is My Name (sic), Thursday, 2 April 2020 07:01 (eight months ago) link

Any good suggestions for follow-ups; maybe something similarly detailed & epic? I've Googled around a little, but don't know kids' comics very well (and I mostly know superheroes, which he's only mildly into). Thx

morrisp, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 04:03 (seven months ago) link

Amulet, maybe?
https://kids.scholastic.com/kids/books/amulet/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 06:19 (seven months ago) link

Also the Barks books are kinda urgent and key
https://www.fantagraphics.com/series/the-complete-carl-barks-disney-library/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 06:20 (seven months ago) link

Thanks — Amulet came up in my search, I’ll look into that.

morrisp, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 06:58 (seven months ago) link

Not quite as epic (only six volumes) but Cleopatra in Space might be up your alley.

Nhex, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 08:45 (seven months ago) link

I showed the boy these options, and he chose Amulet; we’ll see how he likes Book 1 (I notice, er, that the kids’ father dies in the beginning... *tugs at collar*)

morrisp, Thursday, 16 April 2020 03:05 (seven months ago) link

my 2 year old daughter absolutely loves smith's book for the spiegelman/mouly kids books imprint toon. it's called little mouse gets ready. from where i was sitting tonight i could see her face as my wife read it to her and it was really ridiculously delightful. actually pulled out my big bone phonebook to try and judge when it can be deployed. not yet.

adam, Thursday, 16 April 2020 03:09 (seven months ago) link


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