Bone 1: Out from Boneville

bone volume 1 out from boneville
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 10/10

Great looking all-ages book


Comic Info

Comic Name:  Bone

Publisher:  Scholastic/Graphix

Writer:  Jeff Smith

Artist:  Jeff Smith

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2005


Bone #1

Reprints Bone #1-6 (July 1991-November 1992).  Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, and Fone Bone have been chased out of Boneville due to Phoney’s misfired attempt to become mayor.  When they become lost in the desert and are swept up in a storm of locust, Fone Bone finds himself alone in a vast wilderness known only as “The Valley”.  Trapped by winter, Fone finds a friend in Rose and Gran’ma Ben as he seeks out his cousins.  Others however are searching for the Bones as well.  The evil Rat Creatures have returned to the Valley and seeking Phoney for unknown reasons…who is controlling the Rat Creatures and why has a dragon become involved?

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, Bone Volume 1:  Out from Boneville is Scholastic’s reprinting of Smith’s classic series.  The series has been collected in multiple formats including an omnibus collection of all the issues, but here, the black-and-white comic has been colorized.

I started with Bone when it first jumped to Image and quickly went back and gathered the back issues (which were already deep in reprints by then).  The black-and-comic had a great story that actually was very rewarding to regular readers, but also could be picked up rather easily by newcomers.  Here, we see the beginning of Bone’s journey and Smith’s great story takes flight.


Bone #3

Bone starts out as a pretty unassuming funny book.  The seeds are there for the bigger plot from the beginning, but when you first started reading it, you didn’t really notice.  Things like the child’s map, the search for the “star-bearer”, and other little hints and clues toward the story’s direction are buried in a smart book with smart dialogue…making it extremely readable and addictive.

Bone is loaded with great characters.  All three Bones have classic comic book character personas:  Fone is the “nice one”, Smiley is the “crazy one”, and Phoney is the “Scrooge McDuck one”.  In addition to the primary cast you have the fun Rat Creatures and Thorn and Gran’ma Ben…but other characters briefly met in the collection become important later in the story.

I also love Smith’s art which is honest and child-friendly.  It borrows a lot from Walt Kelly’s revolutionary comic strip Pogo in its visuals, and here in color, the art really pops off the page…though in black-and-white, the series still was classic.

It is pretty rare that a small independent comic book can not only make the jump from comic book store shelves to mainstream readers, but almost impossible to make the jump from comic book stores to elementary schools.  Bone is a near perfect comic, and Scholastic has managed to make it even better.  Bone 1:  Out from Boneville was followed by Bone 2:  The Great Cow Race.

Related Links:

Bone 2:  The Great Cow Race

Bone 3:  Eyes of the Storm

Bone 4:  The Dragonslayer

Bone:  Tall Tales

Bone:  Quest for the Spark—Book 1

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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