Jeff Smith’s indie comic somehow got picked up by Scholastic. This first volume collects and colorizes the first six issues. Bone certainly feels more like an indie comic than a kids book. In fact, I was frequently reminded of William Messner-Loebs’s mountain man epic Journey. There’s a good deal of humor, but also a shadow of melancholy.
The first volume introduces three less than heroic…uh…bone people? from Boneville who are cast out into the wide world and lost in the wilderness. From there they come across Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and others. And they have run-ins with dark forces.
Like a good epic, you get the sense that there’s a greater story, a wider world, a history. You know Fone Bone and Thorn are going to be a new generation of heroes, but there’s also Gran’ma Ben…or is it Rose?… who obviously got up to some good old fashioned heroics at some point in the past.
There’s something a bit odd and off-putting. The oddly contemporary, almost sit-comy nature of the Bones can be a bit jarring at times. Are they from another reality maybe? They’re wandering around a Medieval Fantasy setting but make references that feel very modern, like a character winking at the camera.
I’ve been meaning to read this series for a long time. So, here I go.