Synopses & Reviews
The Bone adventures tell the story of a young bone boy, Fone Bone, and his two cousins, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, who are banned from their homeland of Boneville. When the cousins find themselves mysteriously trapped in a wonderful but often terrifying land filled with secrets and danger and special new friendships they are soon caught up in adventures beyond their wildest dreams. In Out From Boneville, the three Bone cousins are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley where they come face to face with...
"The nine-volume Bone
graphic novel series was the toast of the comics world when it was published by Smith's own Cartoon Books beginning in the early 1990s; in this first volume of Scholastic's new edition, the original b&w art has been beautifully converted into color. Smith's epic concerns three blobby creatures who have stumbled into a valley full of monsters, magic, farmers, an exiled princess and a huge, cynical dragon. The story is something like a Chuck Jones
version of The Lord of the Rings
: hilarious and action-packed, but rarely losing track of its darker subtext about power and evil. This volume is the most lighthearted of the bunch, though, featuring some of the wittiest writing of any children's literature in recent memory a few of Smith's gags are so delicious that he repeated them for the rest of the series. It also introduces the Bone
cast's unforgettable supporting characters: the leathery, tough-as-nails, racing-cow-breeding Gran'ma Ben; the carnivorous but quiche-loving 'rat creatures'; a spunky trio of baby opossums; and Ted the Bug, whose minimalist appearance (a tiny semicircle) exemplifies Smith's gift for less-is-more cartooning. The way his clear-lined, exaggerated characters contrast with their subtle, detailed backgrounds is a product of his background in animation, and so is his mastery of camera angles and choreography. This is first-class kid lit: exciting, funny, scary and resonant enough that it will stick with readers for a long time." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
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"Bone is storytelling at its best, full of endearing, flawed characters whose adventures run the gamut from hilarious whimsy to thrilling drama. Along the way, Smith's musings...take on a greater relevance than you'd ever expect. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"An instantly likeable and intermittently hilarious adventure for children with a subtler, grimmer story about power and corruption at its core." The Washington Post
"A whimsical journey, cunningly told....The story is well paced with smooth transitions. It is dark, witty, mysterious, and exciting....Smith [is] in a league of his own." School Library Journal
"Full of humor and sometimes scathing cultural commentary...a novel-length feast for comic book lovers....[T]he illustrations are...visually stunning and display a depth of story and detail that far outweighs the limited dialogue." Children's Literature
"Bone moves from brash humor to gripping adventure in a single panel." Booklist
"Both cute and scary....While children will read Bone for its breathless adventure...older kids and adults will appreciate the themes of blind fanaticism and corrupting power." Time Magazine
"....magical artifacts, deadly creatures, and long-buried secrets galore....the entire saga is a mammoth achievement in and of itself...never less than entertaining." Chris Bolton, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
In the first volume of a nine-book epic, the three Bone cousins Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are separated and lost in an uncharted desert. Little do the Bones know, there are dark forces conspiring against them.
About the Author
Born and raised in the American midwest, Jeff Smith learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books, and watching animation on TV. After four years of drawing comic strips for Ohio State's student newspaper, Smith co-founded the Character Builders animation studio in 1986. In 1991, he launched a company called Cartoon Books to publish his comic book Bone
, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville.
Against all odds, the small company flourished, building a reputation for quality stories and artwork. Word of mouth, critical acclaim, and a string of major awards, which continues to this day, helped propel Cartoon Books and Bone to the forefront of the comic book industry an industry not known for its openness to non-action heroes. In the American comic book direct market (the largest system of comic book retail stores) Bone has risen to the #1 spot for humor.
Jeff Smith's work is published in thirteen languages and has won the highest awards in Germany, France, Italy, and at home. Between Bone and other comics projects, Smith spends much of his time on the international guest circuit promoting comics and the art of graphic novels.