Bad to the BONE

Fone Bone
Fone Bone

 

Bone by Jeff Smith was the first graphic novel I ever picked up. I was at a point in my life when I had an insatiable hunger for comics. I was checking out “Garfield” books from the library left and right and I had just finished reading through my Calvin and Hobbes collection for what seemed like the hundredth time I wanted something new.

Bone  was that something new I was looking for.  The main character of this novel Fone Bone looks like some weird yet cute fusion of Ziggy and Casper the friendly ghost. There are a couple other characters that take that form: Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. I, for one, think of Bone as a bridge between the Sunday comics and the epics of graphic novels. They take these little cartoony fellows and throw them into this heroic quest. In this quest there’s love, betrayal, romance, everything you would find in a fantasy novel about another realm.

(Left to right) Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone
(Left to right) Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone

What makes these characters so appealing is that they are pretty much the only characters that look like this. They take on the cartoony comic style in an otherwise fantasy-realistic world. I loved that you get to see these cute, white, little, anthropomorphic creatures running around battling monsters and dragons with these stylized human beings.

Fone Bone is immediately attracted to the human girl known as Thorn who lives with her grandmother.

Gran'ma and Thorn
Gran’ma and Thorn

Once these characters meet it sets the rest of the plot in action. They must find dragons reconnect with their loved ones and fight rat monsters.

I first picked up the Bone series one summer break during my middle school years and immediately fell in love with it. I could only find them volume by volume in my public libraries and the full series hadn’t even been completed yet. I would later revisit the series after winning a Barnes and Nobles gift card at post prom, buying two books that I wanted to complete Dante’s Inferno and the full Bone volume set while I still have yet to finish my copy of Dante I have read Bone over twice now.

Writing this blog entry right now makes me feel like I’m not doing Jeff Smith’s graphic novel justice. I wish the plot was still fresh in my head; the side jokes, the jokes meant for the more mature audiences, the strong, heroic women of the series.

To anyone who loves graphic novels that hasn’t read Bone; I would recommend it; especially if you enjoy thrilling adventure tales that take you on a quest to a brand new world.

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