Bone 1

Bone 1

by Jeff Smith

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. Bone series #1.


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. Bone series #1.

Editorial Reviews

Douglas Wolk
As his clean, fluid drawing style makes clear, Smith was an animator before he began Bone -- his images always suggest how his characters move in space -- and a lot of his best tricks are animators' tricks. (The imperturbable matriarch Gran'ma Ben has exactly two, nearly identical facial expressions, a sour grimace and a sour grin.) He has also picked up his knack for comedy from old animated cartoons. A pair of hairy, slavering "rat creatures" arguing about whether to stew their victim or bake him into a "light, fluffy quiche" (while he gets away) is pure Daffy Duck; that the creatures still seem terrifyingly menacing a few pages later says a lot about Smith's dramatic range.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
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. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Fone Bone finds himself thrown out of Boneville with his cousins, he knows that he's in trouble, but he has no idea of the adventure that lies ahead of him. After a swarm of locusts and a fall down a cliff separate him from his cousins, Fone Bone finds himself in a forested valley peopled by unlikely friends and foes—laughing possum children, bickering rat creatures, a cigarette-smoking dragon, and the beautiful girl Thorn and her cow-racing grandma. When Fone Bone meets and secretly falls in love with Thorn, she promises to help him find his cousins at the spring fair. Before they can get there, they have a close call with the nefarious rat creatures that not only nearly does them in, but also reveals a glimpse of the sinister past of the rat creatures, their cloaked leader, and the valley that they threaten to overtake. With more than a little comedy and the help of the dragon, Fone Bone manages to reunite with his cousins, but it is clear that the rat creatures have more in store for them in the following volumes. Full of humor and sometimes scathing cultural commentary, Smith's first volume in the "BONE" series presents a novel-length feast for comic book lovers. Although the text itself is confined to the histrionics of the comic book genre, the illustrations are—at times—visually stunning and display a depth of story and detail that far outweighs the limited dialogue. 2003, Cartoon Books, Ages 12 up.
—Meredith Ackroyd
Gordon Flagg
One of the most acclaimed new comics of recent years, "Bone" is a Tolkien-meets-Pogo fantasy about the Bone cousins, who leave their home, Boneville, for adventures in the outside world. There they confront monsters and dragons and are befriended by the winsome Thorn and her cantankerous Gran'ma. Smith, with his clean draftsmanship and flawless comic timing, has been compared to comics masters Walt Kelly ("Pogo") and Carl Barks (creator of Uncle Scrooge McDuck). Like "Pogo", "Bone" has a whimsy best appreciated by adults, yet kids can enjoy it, too; and like Barks' Disney duck stories, "Bone" moves from brash humor to gripping adventure in a single panel. Smith demonstrates impressive mastery of the comic strip, yet his comic timing comes straight from classic animated cartoons. Such gentle, all-ages humor as "Bone"'s has all but disappeared; consequently, Smith's neo-traditionalism seems fresher than anything else the comics medium offers today. Obviously, there's still life in old comics genres, and a major talent as skilled as the old masters can come virtually out of nowhere.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

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