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Bone #1: Out from Boneville

Bone #1: Out from Boneville

4.4 48
by Jeff Smith, Steve Hamaker (Illustrator)

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Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith, Bone will touch your heart and make you laugh out loud. Smith's charming and award winning story will win over you


Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith, Bone will touch your heart and make you laugh out loud. Smith's charming and award winning story will win over you and your customers.

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.
From the Publisher

“Charming, character-driven fantasy with an elegant design and masterful story-telling in the tradition of Walt Kelly, Charles Schulz and Carl Barks.” -- PW

“Like Pogo, BONE has 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.” -- ALA Booklist

“Bone has the multi-level writing and artwork of the best Chuck Jones cartoons or early Disney movies. It's overflowing with subtext about conflicting philosophies of power, cultural imperialism and political responsibility – though not enough to get in the way of its silly fun.” – CMJ New Music Monthly

“One of the best kid's comics ever.” – Vibe Magazine

“…Sprawling, mythic comic is spectacular.” – Spin Magazine

“ I love BONE! BONE is great!” – Matt Groening

“Jeff Smith can pace a joke better than almost anyone in comics; his dialogue is delightful -- so are all his people, not to mention his animals, his villains, and even his bugs.” -- Neil Gaiman

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Bone Series , #1
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Jeff Smith is the creator of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling BONE series. He was born and raised in the American Midwest and learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books, and TV animation. Visit him online at www.boneville.com.

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Out from Boneville 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, a note to parents: many of you have been saying that there is material in this book that is not appropriate for children. In many interviews the author has addressed this say that while he did not write Bone for a children's audience (the comic books were originally released in black and white starting in the 90's) he says that the comics do not promote smoking and drinking. Neither Thorn or Phone Bone, the main characters partake in either activity. Plus none of the characters are seen getting drunk. I find it hard to believe that a child does not see people smoking on the sidewalk or people having a beer or glass of wine with their dinner. If it makes you more comfortable I would encourage you to read the stories with your child and explain to them that like in the comic, these activities are only for adults. Anyway, moving on. REVIEW: Bone was the first graphic novel I ever read and I was floored. Expecting a light, funny story I found myself caught in what exploded into an epic fantasy. Well told, and though it is, like the author says, Tolkien crossed with Bugs Bunny, the story is very original. When the color editions came out I introduced them to my brother who was struggling with reading, and he was hooked. These graphic novels, comics, books, whatever you want to call them are definitely a great way to get kids to start reading, and are an intriguing adventure for readers of all ages.
Bolf More than 1 year ago
What seems like a book for younger population in the first three books, gets a lot darker after book four. So don't mistake it for a children's book. It's filled with so much humor, mystery, losses and surprises it's unbelievable. Characters are incredibly lovable. I first read it in 2006, and it was my favorite comic book since then. It still feels the same reading it now as it did back then. Recommended to people of every age group.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was very entertaining. Once I started reading I couldn't stop reading it. After I was done with the first one, I bought #2 the next day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was our "breakthrough" book for reading. Prior to the Bone series, my son had virtually no interest in reading, nor the desire to further his reading abilities. After checking this book out from the school library the first time, my son didn't put it down until he'd read it from cover to cover, which was a first for him with any reading material. And yes, two of the characters smoke, but it isn't glamourized, just rather something they shady characters do. I would highly recommend this series of books to any parent who is looking to get their son hooked on reading; it did a whole world of wonder for ours!!!
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Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
Small and white and thoroughly clueless, the bone brothers strike out from Boneville to seek their fortune. Well actually they get kicked out but are determined to make the best of it in a large unknown world. That is the beginning of the book Bone written by Jeff smith. What comes next is an epic tale of adventure and Tom foolery as the Bone cousins get lost, meet new friends, find a Dragon and find, not so nice, rat creatures. The three Bone cousins, Smiley Bone, Phon Bone, and Phoney Bone are happy residence of Boneville. Life is going according to plan until Phoney Bone, the con artist of the three, gets booted for running a scam on the other towns people. They find themselves lost in a desert where they get separated by a swarm of locusts. Phon Bone heads off into the Valley, meets Thorn, a mysterious girl who he becomes friends with. Phon is very helpful and tends to do the right thing or the nice thing in most situations. His cousins Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone have a different approach to most situations. Phoney tends to take advantage of other people and run scams as often as possible. Smiley is not too bright and tends to follow other people's example. This puts them in trouble a lot, especially when it is their time to meet Thorn and her Grandma. The author is trying to teach his audience that there is more than one way to handle a situation. The three Bone cousins show you three different approaches. Phon Bone is smart and tries to be nice to everyone and also tries to do the right thing. Usually everything turns out alright. Phoney Bone, on the other hand, is also smart but tries to take advantage of other people he meets and it tends to get him into trouble. Smiley Bone follows either Phon or Phoney and it usually goes well with Phon but not so well with Phoney. Phon actually spends more time getting his cousins out of trouble than anything else. Bone is a fun and entertaining book with a good message and an even better ending.
TexRogers More than 1 year ago
Bone is an adventurous book about a lost trio that got split up in a dessert. The 3 bones Smiley, Phoney, and FoneBone (he is talked about a lot) are chased from their hometown Boneville and stuck in the mountains. They are separated in a swarm of locusts. Fone Bone has to find his friends before two furry monsters eat him! It Is Hilarious! If you like funny comics and strange adventures this is your book! 138 pages of eye-pulling comics are a hysterical way to start your day.
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slimikin More than 1 year ago
Fone Bone's cousin, Phoney Bone, has been thrown out of town...again. And again Fone and his other cousin, Smiley Bone, have joined him in his exile. Only this time they're lost, and just as they begin to try and find their way back home, the cousins are separated. Now Fone Bone is on his own in a strange valley filled with talking bugs, a dragon, a beautiful maiden...and furry, big-eyed monsters that want to kill him. Can he find his cousins and keep the monsters from overrunning the entire valley? Jeff Smith's graphic novel Out From Boneville is a lot of fun to read, not least because of his wonderful illustrations. Several times in the novel, the frames "read" like scenes from a movie, conveying loneliness, humor, love, and fear so clearly the reader can almost hear a movie score playing in the background.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the books but the first one is very good becausr you are just getting to know all the charactres and don't know what the bone creatures are! When the 3 bones get kicked out of Bonesvill they end up getting lost and breck up with each other.Bone just meets Thorn and cunferts her and tells her about the rat creatures that tryed to ..... him. He even sees a dragon but no-one will believe him untill Thorn sees it too and dosen't know what to do.
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The name of the story is called Bone I read the fist one in it seiners. The author name was Jeff smith. It was about a person named bone his and his friends got kick out of Bonneville and then they gat lost so now there are try to get back to there. Went they got lost they got they got attect by some thing bone fall off the cliff .and he woke up in a frosty were he almost step on a bug name tad witch help him to see a person name torn .I save the rest to you to read , It was a page -turner because you nave know what would happens on the next page .It is not a very hard book to concentrate. I myself I do not have connect what so ever with bone. Yes I do like this kind of genre. I like this book because it he lots stuff. There is one part of the book that surprises me that the old lady has a fist name. The whole book was a cliff hanger. At the end of the book it said" to be continue" it makes me mad when it said that. It was not boring because you can nave guess what was going to happen next. I would have to say that my mind wonder a lot in this book. I would stop in the middle of the page and just wonder what would happen if I turned the page or kept reading on. I would also wonder about if I was bone what I would do.
POOP78 More than 1 year ago
This review is for the book Bone Escape from Boneville by Jeff Smith Fone bone and his two cousins are run out of town thanks to phoney bone and his bad ideas. The three cousins are split up in the middle of the desert by a swarm of insects.Fone bone makes it into a valley and it doesn't take long for him to find thorn and her grandmother. Soon the rat creatures find him and phoney thorns grandmother buy them some time they were ambushed. Then the dragon comes and saves them. And with the rat creatures out of the way the set out to find there cousin. I recommend this book because the plot was unbelievable from when the story started and ended. It had a really good setting and the characters were easy to connect with the characters.