on August 28, 2010
The bone series is adventurous and funny. It's a page-turner with strong characters and an irresistible plot. It's got magical creatures and an appealing hero who is fighting a powerful and evil enemy who will stop at nothing to regain power. Jeff Smith wrote this book with the idea of creating an epics plot such as The Odyssey or Moby Dick. This book provides a great opportunity to teach about fantasy, epic adventure and mythology. The speeches used by the characters are authentic and reflect the way people speak in real life situation.
As an ESL teacher I found this book very interesting. Comic books are an instant window on the Anglophone worlds that is accessible and familiar to ESL students. This book is funny and will get you reading in no time. I used it in my classroom this year and the kids just loved it. Most of my students bought the other books. Surprisingly kids who did not like reading enjoyed this book. Also, comic books such as bone can help improve reading development for students who struggle with language acquisition as the illustrations provide contextual clues to the meaning of the written narrative. I also used it as a readers' theatre hook, comic stip activities and much more.
Reason for Reading: One of my goals this year is to finally read this series! So, here I go!
Volume One of the Bone series was everything I had hoped it would be. This has been on my must read list ever since Scholastic came out with the colourized editions, so that would make it six years of getting around to it. Happy to say I was not disappointed. The characters are adorable. The writing is funny, even witty, and an interesting journey has begun with a bad guy after one of our heroes for unknown reasons at this point.
The Bone cousins, Phoney, Fone and Smiley have been run out of Boneville, crossed the desert, get lost in the mountains and are separated. We follow Fone Bone, who I believe is our hero, as he is certainly the most likable of the three, as he finds a valley and meets the people and creatures there while he searches for his missing cousins. So far my favourite characters are Fone, of course, Ted the bug, Gran'ma Ben and the Red Dragon. Sometimes when one has heard nothing but praise for a book (or series) over the years, once you actually get to reading it yourself there is a bit of a letdown. I'm pleased to say that Bone, from the start, has lived up to it's expectations. Can't wait to start reading Vol. 2.
on May 10, 2004
Jeff Smith's "Bone" series is a critically acclaimed but criminally overlooked epic for a reason. Critics recognize Smith's masterful storytelling abilities and are drawn to his mix of all-ages humor and decidedly adult darkness, but the black and white art and lack of superheroes is anathema to most comic book readers, making it a hit only in the "underground" sense.
Thank goodness for trade paperbacks, which have allowed new readers unaccustomed to weekly stops at the comic store to follow this marvelous, epic, enchanting series.
Those new to "Bone" should know this: Throw away the term "comic book." It's a term that for many has become defined by superheroes, but Smith's "Bone" is much more than that.
Timeless is every way, "Bone" is an expansive story about three "bone creatures" (you'd have to see them to understand) that find themselves in a valley peopled with an assortment of crazy and interesting characters. Looming over it all is the menace of a great evil, first glimpsed by the ferocious (and funny) rat creatures, but later revealed to be something much more disturbing.
Smith combines the kind of classic storytelling perfected by the likes of the legendary Carl Barks and Bill Watterson - gleefully funny cartooning with outrageously expressive faces and gestures - with the epic and engaging plotting of a sweeping fairy tale. "Bone" walks a tightrope and walks it well, managing to be something fans of both Donald Duck and Bilbo Baggins can enjoy.
"Out From Boneville," the first volume of nine, is in the grand scheme of things little more than an introduction to the people and places that make up the "Bone" epic. We meet Thorn, the sweet girl who our protagonist Fone Bone pines over, the unnaturally tough grandma, the grumpy bar tender, and, of course, the bones themselves. It's a light-hearted introduction to what becomes a more serious tale, and it's good fun to read.
As a first chapter "Out From Boneville" is hardly representative of what "Bone" becomes, but then neither is "A Long Expected Party" in "The Lord of the Rings." Both ease the reader into what becomes an increasingly compelling, tense tale. It's a nice way to introduce us to these characters.
"Bone" is essential reading that no lover of the comic artform should skip. Little doubt people will still be reading "Bone" 50 years from now. Broad in scope yet personal and quaint, this is a charming story in every way that will long outlast 90 percent of other comic works on the shelf.
on April 8, 2003
I love this series. It is fun enough for a young audience(the ages 9-12 that it is attributed to by Amazon), but contains serious enough themes for young adults and adults. The characters fit any fantasy description and the story fits the best definitions for a romance(the Roman kind as well as the kind we are most familiar with). As a fantasy, the situations are exaggerated to be, in a way, more interesting than real life. As a romance, the series is full of hope and optimism; adventure and trials. Fone Bone and the other characters are forced to change their goals as they experience doubts about themselves and their world. The conclusion will be one, very large accomplishment affecting the story's entire valley.
Bone is definitely a page turner. It is humorous. Throughout the adventure the reader is invited to laugh with and at the antics of its characters. They are likeable(even Phoney) and the reader has instant, additional sympathy for them because of their youth. With the drive of concern for the characters, the artwork catches and keeps the interest of the reader. The style is unique(black and white), fun, consistent while improving, and communicates the tone and the shifts of the tone. Jeff Smith's artistic timing inspires the reader's respect.
Finally, Bone is appropriate for all. The tale is tightly woven and carefully mastered. Nothing in it, distracts or detracts from the story. I would loan or recommend it to my eight year old niece, who loves Harry Potter; my brother in high school; or my mother who just, plain likes a good adventure. It is a rich story with a fun and interesting potential.
on January 1, 2004
Sure, sure, the art and the story were great (even full of enough suspense to choke you), but the main characters, especially Fone Bone (and ESPECIALLY the cigar-chomping Smiley Bone) look very much like long-lost Casper ghosts of certain well-known characters from an ancient comic strip that met an unfortunate tragedy in the modern funnies. Not even the presence of Bone's corrupted, money-hungry twin or the nubile young girl that he befriended or the whole swarming army of so-called "Rat Men" would be enough to distract the reader from such an open fact. Even the organizers of Pogo Fan Club seemed to accept - and even warmly embrace it.
So what's next? Felix the Cat in prehistoric setting with roaring dinosaurs and busty cavewomen and Betty Boop in a futuristic anime with slimy tentacles?
on November 24, 2002
I just want to add my "thumbs up" to all the reviews here. If you haven't read this series, here's where to start. With similarities to "Cerebus" and "Pogo", "Bone" has heart and soul all its own.
The lead character, "Fone Bone" exhibits the full range of human emotions. He gets frightened at times, but keeps on going; he gets infatuated, he is loyal, he is ironic...what I am trying to say is that he brings concrete reality to his cartoon body. The stories are clever page-turners, filled with action, tension and wonderful humor.
I can't imagine this going out of print, but in the comics industry you never know, so I recommend buying "Out from Boneville". I betcha can't read just this one...
on September 28, 2003
This is my favorite comic. This story is about three brothers (Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone) who have been chased from their hometown because of Phoney's overpowering greed and quest for political power. These brothers are little while creatures call Bones. These Bone brothers get lost and separated as they flee their hometown. Individually they stuble into a fantasy world populated by humans. After the brothers get separated, the story focuses on Fone Bone. Fone adapts to living in this new world. During his long winter stay, he runs into Thorn, a human girl. He instantly falls in love and becomes friends with Thorn, but he finds it impossible to express his love. Fone eventually moves in with Thorn and her grandmother. While staying at their house, there is a terrible crisis. They are attacked by the mysterious and terrifying rat creatures. Can they survive? Read it and find out.
The art in this book is simply a pleasure to look at. The story had a simple sweet touch, but really livens up when the action starts. I was especially moved by the love between Fone and Thorn. I'm hoping that Fone will build up his courage and confess his love. If you read only one comic, this is the one you have to read. Don't miss it.
on July 7, 2003
To say too much spoils the surprises that await readers at every turn. But I must confess up front that my early impressions of the artwork were wrong. While these black-and-white pages might look simplistic at first glance, I quickly discovered that the book is packed with detail -- and the expressiveness of Smith's characters, shown through face and body posture, is exquisite.
on December 19, 2002
This whole series is amazing. It's a great all ages comic and I wouldn't have to think twice about recomending it to anyone. It's also a great book for parents to read to their children.
on October 30, 2011
I recently read, "Bone of of Boneville" after hearing a lot of positive things about it. I found the book a riot and a few parts made me blush. The story is about 3 white as ghosts cousins: Smiley, Phoney and Fonebone who were kicked from their town after Phoney let is greed run them out into an endless desert.
Things quickly turn for the worse when the cousins get split apart and end up in a valley just as winter swarms in on them. Find out what will happen in this page-turning, gut busting book.
My favourite part was when Fonebone first encounters Thorn and it ends up as 'love at first...ignite!' I recommend this book to all young adult/teens who love suspense, morphed with humour. This is a good book to teach kids about the consequences of being greedy. Enjoy!