With A Knick-Knack, Paddy-Whack, Give Your Shelf A Bone?
I spent the last two days reading Bone. Again. But this time, in colour!
I was at the library, looking for The Hunger Games (no, I haven’t read it yet), when I spotted a shelf dedicated to Jeff Smith’s Bone. I pulled an issue off the shelf, saw that it was in colour, did my usual squeaky-happy-I-can’t-believe-I-found-this dance, realised I was in a library (and there were people staring), picked them up and ran home. This was two days ago, and I’m still grinning.
Bone is a series of nine issues, about.. 150-200 pages each? That makes it around 1300 pages, total (I googled it). And I know that might seem like a lot if you get the complete volume, or The Incredible Bulk as I like to call it, but when you finish it, you’re going to wish there were a thousand pages more.
Despite appearances, Bone is a really quick read. Or, at least, it feels like a really quick read. The first time I read it, I rushed through it. The illustration is brilliant, by the way, it was just the inner what-comes-next monster in me taking over. This time, though, I spent a lot more time with each frame and was absolutely amazed to find little things, here and there, that I hadn’t noticed the first time.
The first issue starts with the three Bones – Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone – finding themselves in The Valley, after being chased out of Boneville. Pretty soon, we are introduced to Thorn (I can’t give her an introduction without giving stuff away, and that goes against my principles — somebody told me about Sirius in the fifth book before I got to the part and that screwed me up a little), her grandmother – Gran’ma Ben (she’s incredibly awesome, and she races cows, and WINS), Lucius Down – owner of the Barrelhaven Tavern (also pretty awesome), and The Great Red Dragon (who is the definition of awesome. A dragon that smokes a cigarette? Come on, people! Give this guy an award!)
Oh, yeah. And then there’s The Hooded One (cue creepy music), and the rat creatures. Complete with a quiche-craving one. And the Lord of the Locusts, a spirit that’s been imprisoned and is fighting to get out.Which is what the series is all about. Believe me, it’s a lot more gripping than I’m making it sound. I want to tell you just how much I love this, and why I think you should read it, and my favourite bits and everything, but I’m trying my best to make this spoiler-free.
if when you read this? Look at the eyebrows. Jeff Smith draws fantastic eyebrows. And the speech bubbles somehow manage to suit the mood. And man, can this guy choreograph a stampede.
I found a review at Books are my Boyfriends, where Bone was described as being “Charlie Brown meets Lord of the Rings”, and the more that I think about it, the more I agree. And I know that’s really strange to imagine if you haven’t read this (and personally, I think you should fix that – just saying), but in a way, it fits.
[P.S. Other Bone fans out there? Did you know about them being in colour?! I didn’t think it would, but WHAT a difference that makes!]