Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Jeff Smith’s Best-Selling Cult Comic BONE Is Coming to Netflix

I was lucky enough to get this 3 book set containing all nine volumes of BONE, one of a very small number of creator owned graphic novels to be used in public education since they are not just comic books, but are comparable to the best of great literature.

Art Spiegelman with Maus and Marjan Satrapi's Persepolis are just two of many example I can make. But those two works are for high school students. For the younger set, the greatest of these educational graphic stories begins and ends with BONE. It is set in an unfamiliar world with strange looking characters but from the start you want to see what happens next. The line art is not fussy. The colors are bright and simple but for some reason Jeff Smith never draws the same tree twice. I believed these characters are on a quest and are father and father from home each day. That is something that cannot be faked and the bright colors are just as important as the words.

I myself have used BONE to help Junior High students understand the principles of storytelling. BONE is also effective bringing poor readers towards better reading comprehension.

First released in 1991 through cartoonist Smith’s own Cartoon Books publisher—which he set up solely to publish the series—the story follows a group of bald-headed characters who live in the town of Bonesville. Taking inspiration from classic Donald Duck artist and writer Carl Barx both visually and narratively, the three cousins—Fone Bone, Smiley Bone, Phoncible P. “Phoney” Bone—begin their adventures after the greediest of their pack, Phoney, runs a corrupt scam to become mayor. Driven out of the place they call home, the trio has to embark on a fantastical adventure that sees them journey through magical lands and eventually become heroes after they encounter a young girl named Thorn and Grandmother who seem to need their help.

With word of a animated series coming to our TVs next year, I thought it was time to pull out the complete saga, in 3 books...9 volumes, which I got for 3 dollars. FOR THE WHOLE SET! I love these characters and these stories. There is a reason they are regularly taught in school English classes. I once got a militant anti-reader to pick up books after he read some Bone. Then I told him about the X-Men. His head exploded.

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