Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

Bone - One Volume Edition By Jeff Smith

After twelve years and 55 issues, Jeff Smith's "Bone," American comix' first all-ages epic fantasy, finally reached its end this year, topped off with a 1300-page complete edition. As sweeping as the "Lord of the Rings" cycle, but much funnier, it follows three diminutive "Bone" creatures named Fone (the dreamy hero), Phoney (the avaricious schemer) and Smiley (the goofy comic). Cute and pantsless, the cartoony Bones find themselves lost in a threatening valley of dragons, rat creatures and an evil entity known as the Lord of the Locusts. Fortunately they run into Thorn, a friendly human farm girl living with her mysteriously strong Gran'ma Ben. Amidst comic set pieces such as the Great Cow Race, secrets about Thorn's past emerge, putting the Bones at the center of a monumental struggle between good and evil. One of the medium's most dynamic cartoonists, Smith imbues even simple dialogue panels with animation. Now that it's finished "Bone" should join the ranks of "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" in the young adult pantheon.