Jeff Smith started the Bone series back in 1994 when I was but a meager ten year old. I can vividly remember going to the grocery store with my Mother and begging her to buy me the latest issue of Disney Adventures. Due to my insistent whining, my Mom finally caved and bought it for me. When I got home and cracked the cover, I eventually made my way to their comics section and gazed upon Fone Bone for the first time.
To the best of my knowledge, that was the only exposure to Jeff Smith’s Boneville I’d ever received. Years later (19 to be exact), my curiosity got the better of me and I grabbed the complete omnibus from my local library. Outside of this panel, which for whatever reason stuck with me through the years, I knew next to nothing about the character or his story.
Fone Bone and his two cousins, Smiley and Phoney, are driven from Boneville following an outlandish scheme involving Phoney’s bid for the Mayor. Lost and alone, the three are trying to find their way home. Following an unplanned separation, the Bone cousins will soon embark on an epic journey involving dragons, rat creatures and a simmering conflict that is about to boil over.
It took Smith ten long years to fully play out the Bone saga and while he amassed 1,300 + pages, it felt like a quick read. In theory, something that takes that long to write and kills that many trees should not be something you can knock out in a week. However, Smith’s storytelling moved it along at such a brisk pace that I hardly noticed how much I was consuming in one sitting.
I will say that while I really enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t recommend reading the black and white omnibus. While the artwork is still something to admire, the full color versions are that much better. Just looking around online, I spotted a few comparison shots that really show off just how tremendous those colorful pages are. If you can stomach paying the additional cost associated with the full color version, I would recommend choosing that one.
Bone is something that will occupy your lap or the arm of your favorite reading chair, not your palms. Hey, if you really want to try and hold this in your hands, don’t blame me if your wrists unexpectedly snap. This is one seriously big book. Smith did divide the epic into 9 separate volumes, all of which are full color and a little easier to grasp. While I did borrow this from the library, it is something I would eventually like to own and I believe the individual volumes may be the best route to go.