Bone: Lord of the Rings of Comics

Once in a while something comes out that it is so magical, and so charming that as hard as you try to ignore it you simply can’t. In comics I would have to say that for me it was the comic “Bone” written by Jeff Smith.

I can’t say that I was actively trying to ignore “Bone,” or I was even opposed to ever reading it, it just took me a little while to get around to it.

Bone is a bit of a fantasy comic, and if you have never heard of it, it is probably because it was a creator-owned self-published book. Yet, Smith, the creator, must have been a marketing genius because at 11-years-old I knew vaguely what Bone was. Perhaps the reason for this is that Bone was being published in multiple publications when I was a kid. The one I remember specifically reading is a Disney magazine called Disney Adventure.

I can’t say that I wasn’t following the comic at a hard-core level, but I knew what it was.

Fast forward to the future 10 years and I am wandering through a Borders Books with a 30% off coupon and no idea how to spend my money. I wander to the Graphic Novels section and thumb threw about a dozen or more. I come across “Bone the Complete Collection” it is over a thousand pages and with a coupon is going to cost me next to nothing.

So I am thinking, “Hey I remember this comic, it wasn’t that bad, and looks like a good deal.” So I go up to the cash register and the guy working it goes, “Hey Bone! Good choice man.”

I figured once the goofy looking guy working the register said that than it must of been destiny, and it was. The comic was worth every penny and took me only about three days to read it.

What makes “Bone” good is an entertaining story supplemented with great and humorous artwork.

The story follows three exiled cousins Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. Fone is probably the main character starting out in the story; he becomes separated from his cousins and is the first to encounter the Dragon, Thorn and her Grandma Ben.

Later on Phoney and Smiley meet back up with Fone and live with him at Thorn and Grandma Ben’s farm. Often times the characters would meet up in town and Phoney and Smiley would spend their time trying to hustle and scam the townsfolk out of their goods (they are on a barter system).

Fone was the most good-hearted of the three cousins and he enjoyed spending his time with Thorn whom he had a crush on. The funny thing about this though was that Fone doesn’t resemble a human at all where as Thorn is human.

Slowly what is just a fun-loving comic slowly turns into more of an epic fantasy story. It is revealed that Grandma Ben is actually princess Rose thus making Thorn royalty as well. An evil enigmatic character is haunting Thorn, wanting to capture and make her the host body for the Lord of the Locusts who is bent on ruling the world.

Fone, and Thorn make a journey across the countryside to stop the Lord of the Locusts eventually defeating him.

The story is quite delightful and is amazingly humorous, the parts that had me chuckling the most were the parts in which these two inept rat creatures who stalked the Bones would often times get in these ridiculous arguments usually involving quiche.

A recipients of just about every comic book award, Bone is living on in its multiple re-printings in both its Black and White one volume edition, along with color re-printings being put out by Scholastic Books.

Some more cool Jeff Smith artwork


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