"Bone" Series Talkback (Spoilers)

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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#1


Well, I finally got my copy of the last issue of my beloved Bone. It was fantastic. The whole story was wrapped up in an extremely satisfying manner. EVERYTHING was tied up perfectly. Jeff Smith is a genius. And the art was SO BEAUTIFUL! Breathtaking really. All of my favorite characters had their own moments. For Fone Bone it was about making a descision about where he belonged. For Thorn it was about starting a new life. For Smiley and Phoney the issue was them getting itchy to return to Boneville. For Gran'ma Ben, there was sadness as a person very close to her died. The ending tied into the first couple of issues with the snowfall, the Bones lost in the desert, and Fone Bone meeting Thorn in the stream. Everybody showed up for this including Ted the Bug, The Great Red Dragon, and the Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures who finally got their quiche in a reprint of the Bone Winter Solstice four pager which is in continuity after all. Really a great ending chapter to one of the greatest, most complex, satisfying, funniest, and imaginative comic books of all time. Smith has been compared to Walt Kelley and Carl Barks for good reason.

I know there aren't a whole lot of Bone fans on this board but since it IS the last issue of my very favorite comic book I would love to hear some input.

Bone Trade Paperbacks are also available. Here is the main synopisis and the title names.

After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, They find their way to a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures.

Part 1: Vernal Equinox

Volume One: Out From Boneville

This is the first chapter where the cousins are run out of Boneville. The cousins come upon a swarm of locusts and are seperated. After awakening the Great Red Dragon Fone Bone meets Thorn a young woman who knows "Everything about everything" according to Ted the Bug. He stays at her farm with Gran'ma Ben, an old lady with a penchance for racing cows. Meanwhile a hooded person who leads an army of Rat Creatures searches for "The One Who Bears the Star": Phoney Bone! Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Volume Two: The Great Cow Race

The reunited Bone cousins come together as Gran'ma Ben readies herself for the Great Cow Race, an annual tradition in the valley. Meanwhile Phoney Bone Plots to rig the race and bet the farm on Gran'ma Ben after he convinces the niave townspeople to bet on the Mystery Cow A.K.A. Smiley Bone! Written and drawn by Jeff Smith

Volume Three: Eyes of the Storm

Rat Creatures are becoming more commonplace around Gran'ma Ben's farm, while Fone Bone has nightmares involving Moby Dick and the Great Red Dragon. After discussing it with Thorn and a reluctant Gran'ma Ben, Thorn is told of her heritage and her legacy and enemies. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Part 2: Solstice

Volume Four: The Dragonslayer

To repay his debt to Lucius Down Phoney Bone (along with Smiley) is tending bar at the Barrelhaven. Phoney soon learns of the townspeoples fear and mistrust of dragons and exploits it to his advantage as "The Dragonslayer". Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Volume Five: Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border

Fone Bone and Smiley Bone are taking a lost Rat Creature cub back to it's family. Along the way they meet Rock Jaw, a giant mountain lion, who describes who is on whom's side quite elegantly- and dangerously. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Volume Six: Old Man's Cave

Grand'ma Ben, Lucius, and Phoney Bone are at Old Man's cave preparing for war with the Hooded One and the Rat Creatures while Thorn, Fone, and Smiley are deciding their next move. This is the book where we learn the Hooded One's identity, and what he wants with "The One Who Bears the Star". Phoney Bone: "Fone Bone is going to kill me." Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Part Three: Harvest

Volume Seven: Ghost Circles

Discovering the valley seemingly destoyed Thorn, Fone Bone, Phoney, Smiley, and Gran'ma Ben must make their way to the ancient city of Athea while navigating through Ghost Circles: circles of energy that evaporate life. They soon meet an old friend. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Volume Eight: Treasure Hunters

Inside Athea's borders the Bone Cousins find intrigue as a Veni Yan warrior has seized power and forbids dragon worship. Meanwhile Phoney Bone and Smiley go treasure hunting and the Hooded One Makes new allies while the War between the Valley and the Lord of the Locusts begins. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Volume Nine: Crown of Horns

The War of the Locusts. Thorn is told to find the Crown of Horns to stop the Lord of the Locusts but Fone Bone fears the risk may be too great. Everything comes together in the final chapter of the Bone Saga. Written and drawn by Jeff Smith.

Related Books:

Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone Frontier Hero

A Tall Tale in the Boneverse and a prequel as the Bone Cousin's ancestor finds his way to the valley with his pony Blossom and a talking monkey he won in a card game, Mr. Pip. Big Johnson Bone takes it upon himself to rescue the little forest animals parents from the Rat Creatures, who at this point still have tails. Also features the story Riblet. Written by Tom Sneigoski, drawn by Jeff Smith and Stan Sakai.

Rose

A full color painted prequel about the young Princess Rose and her jealous sister Briar. She accidently releases a River Dragon and can only stop it at a terrible price. Written by Jeff Smith. illustraed by Charles Vess.

Well, there's the talkback. Comments?
 
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Ed Liu

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#2
Howdy,

>snif<

First Cerebus, now Bone. Next thing ya know, Terry Moore's going to say he's finishing up Strangers in Paradise.

I had thought I was going to wait until TPB vol. 9 to read the end of Bone, but one look at that cover in the comic shop and I caved. Really happy I did, even if I'm not entirely sure about everything that had happened before.

Massive spoilers in the next paragraph, but this is the talkback so no spoiler blocks for you. Consider yourself warned.

I was about 99% sure that Fone Bone was going to change his mind at the very last second, but in a way I'm kind of glad he didn't. While I think Fone and Thorn are a sweet couple, and while I think they both love each other dearly, I don't know how long Fone would have lasted as consort to a queen, and I know Thorn wouldn't have abandoned her people to go to Boneville. One of those little tragedies that couldn't have worked out any other way, really.

Interesting way to work in the winter solstice issue, but it's appropriate and is a nice way to fill that gap between the snowfall and the Bone's departure.

You guys seen the massive, 1300 page 1-volume Bone saga TPB that's being solicited now? $40 for the whole shebang (50% off if you buy from Discount Comic Book Service). If I didn't have the rest of the TPBs already, I'd have gotten it for sure. As it is, I'm still thinking about it just to see how you bind 1300 pages together without the middle portion chopping off half the artwork.

-- Ed/Ace
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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Framingham, MA
#3
Ace, could you add a review poll for the whole saga? I can't wait to get the Crown of Horns TPB. The 1400 page TPB also looks good. I want them to reprint the whole dang saga in color just like the first issue: it was beautiful.

And yeah, I had to leave Thorn to go back to Boneville. Makes the whole thing go full circle, y'know?;)
 
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randomguy

Came, liked Ike, and left.
Jan 5, 2002
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#4
Ace the Bathound said:
You guys seen the massive, 1300 page 1-volume Bone saga TPB that's being solicited now? $40 for the whole shebang (50% off if you buy from Discount Comic Book Service). If I didn't have the rest of the TPBs already, I'd have gotten it for sure. As it is, I'm still thinking about it just to see how you bind 1300 pages together without the middle portion chopping off half the artwork.
I did hear about that, actually. I've never read Bone, so I think there's a good chance I'll pick it up. Sounds like a worthy investment.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#5
randomguy said:
I did hear about that, actually. I've never read Bone, so I think there's a good chance I'll pick it up. Sounds like a worthy investment.
Trust me, you'll love it. I tried not to list major spoilers in the talkback, even those in the final books so people could discover the pleasurable surprises for themselves. A lot of twists and trust me this is also one of the funniest books ever (especially The Great Cow Race). The arkwork is also beautiful. I urge EVERYONE to pick this up. *****.
 
Jul 9, 2001
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#7
Bone was a watershed comic book for me. My childhood comic book reading coincided with the Nixon administration (no superheroes). I then abandoned the medium for other cartoon outlets (Mad, editorial cartoons, animation, strips) until I discovered Howard The Duck. But Bone was what really got me back into comic books in a big way.

This year's like a 4-pronged final episode year; Friends and Frasier on TV, and Bone and Cerebus in comics. The last Bone was satisfying like a good TV show finale, bittersweet but excellent (Cerebus was one that didn't quite elicit that feeling, but I liked it alot).

It was perfect. The goodbye between Phone and Thorn still gets me. Nice to have good humor on the last page. Plus, I loved the lettering on the "The End".

Thankfully, Strangers in Paradise still has quite a way to go :)
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#8
Yeah, I heard about Cerebus ending. Never read it except in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover. What's it like tone-wise? Funny? Dramatic? Action Packed? Fantasy? Scary? What's it about? Is the first trade paperback still available? How many TPBs were there?

I'm sad Bone's ended but I definately wanna pick up Jeff Smith's new Shazann! miniseries. He's the best!:)
 

Ed Liu

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#9
Howdy,

Fone Bone said:
Yeah, I heard about Cerebus ending. Never read it except in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover. What's it like tone-wise? Funny? Dramatic? Action Packed? Fantasy? Scary? What's it about? Is the first trade paperback still available? How many TPBs were there?
My sentiments towards Cerebus are expressed starting on this page of the "What do you recommend?" thread, with some others from randomguy, too.

Cerebus is set in a fictional, mostly pre-industrial society akin to the world Robert E. Howard created for Conan. Originally, Cerebus wasn't much more than a hilariously funny parody of the Roy Thomas/Barry Windsor-Smith Conan stories. By around issue 13 or so, Dave Sim got it into his head to write a 300-issue limited series that followed Cerebus the character through the story arc of his entire life.

Tone-wise, Cerebus reads like...Cerebus. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's touching, sometimes it makes your blood boil because of something happening to Cerebus, sometimes it makes your blood boil because of something Cerebus is doing. One of the best arcs involves Cerebus running for Prime Minister. One of the other best arcs is 400+ pages of Cerebus being an extended-stay houseguest. It's a lot like life that way.

I actually started reading Bone because of Cerebus. Sim was and is a major proponent of self-published comics, and was happy to plug ones he liked in the back pages of Cerebus. If you're willing to grossly oversimplify, Bone is like an all-ages Cerebus without quite so much pretension.

There are 16 trade paperbacks in all, I think, with #16 due out in a few weeks. Like Jeff Smith, Dave Sim is very good about keeping Cerebus in print. If you're going to start, I suggest going out-of-order and beginning with High Society (which may get the TPB review treatment after I do Batman Year One next month). The first TPB is great, but the early issues are definitely the product of a growing and evolving artist, and they can turn you off from what happens next.

-- Ed/Ace
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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Framingham, MA
#10
Ace the Bathound said:
Howdy,


My sentiments towards Cerebus are expressed starting on this page of the "What do you recommend?" thread, with some others from randomguy, too.

Cerebus is set in a fictional, mostly pre-industrial society akin to the world Robert E. Howard created for Conan. Originally, Cerebus wasn't much more than a hilariously funny parody of the Roy Thomas/Barry Windsor-Smith Conan stories. By around issue 13 or so, Dave Sim got it into his head to write a 300-issue limited series that followed Cerebus the character through the story arc of his entire life.

Tone-wise, Cerebus reads like...Cerebus. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's touching, sometimes it makes your blood boil because of something happening to Cerebus, sometimes it makes your blood boil because of something Cerebus is doing. One of the best arcs involves Cerebus running for Prime Minister. One of the other best arcs is 400+ pages of Cerebus being an extended-stay houseguest. It's a lot like life that way.

I actually started reading Bone because of Cerebus. Sim was and is a major proponent of self-published comics, and was happy to plug ones he liked in the back pages of Cerebus. If you're willing to grossly oversimplify, Bone is like an all-ages Cerebus without quite so much pretension.

There are 16 trade paperbacks in all, I think, with #16 due out in a few weeks. Like Jeff Smith, Dave Sim is very good about keeping Cerebus in print. If you're going to start, I suggest going out-of-order and beginning with High Society (which may get the TPB review treatment after I do Batman Year One next month). The first TPB is great, but the early issues are definitely the product of a growing and evolving artist, and they can turn you off from what happens next.

-- Ed/Ace
What number book is High Society? How many books would I be skipping?
 

Ed Liu

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#11
Howdy,

Fone Bone said:
What number book is High Society? How many books would I be skipping?
High Society is vol 2, so you'd be skipping the first phone book of 25 issues. I don't think Sim really got going until about issue 12 or 13. There may be a handful of jokes in High Society that you won't get, but its nothing you can't figure out from context. I started Cerebus with High Society and then backtracked to vol. 1 before proceeding more or less linearly from there.

If you're worried about missing too much, vol. 1 is a good place to start, too. It just takes a bit longer to get going is all.

-- Ed/Ace
 

SSJPabs

It's just us
May 17, 2002
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#12
You know, I remember the first time I ever read a Bone comic, it was in Disney Adventures little propoganda rag many many years ago. It just seemed flat and rather dumb.

Sorry. But good that you enjoyed it thought!
 

catwoman

I'm the villian in this story.
Jan 27, 2002
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#13
Bone was a fantastic series. It could be funny without being mean, and the characters were classic without being boring. It's also a hell of a lot more family friendly than anything produced by DC or Marvel. Bone is a great example of what a person with a great story can do with complete creative control. It really is a testament to self publishing.

I stopped reading it around the "Rockjaw" arch because the local comic retailers refused to carry it (they were left in the lurch one too many times because of Smith's erratic publishing habits). The series was starting to get a little complex and it was too hard to read without having some issues to fill in the blanks. I just finished it at a friends place this weekend and it is one of the best written series out there.

If anyone is interested in picking up the series, you may want to wait a little bit and pick up the Bone complete paperback. It ships on July 1st. It's pretty hard to find the Bone individual comics and the trades are hella expensive.


Ace the Bathound said:
My sentiments towards Cerebus are expressed starting on this page of the "What do you recommend?" thread, with some others from randomguy, too.
I've always wanted to pick up Cerebrus, but Sim is such a nut, I was never really sure. I'm pretty feminist and...sane. Do you think I could still enjoy the series? (For those of you that are lost, this is why I called Dave Sim a nut.)


Since the topic came up, another good indie series is Strangers in Paradise, my current obsesssion.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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Framingham, MA
#14
SSJPabs said:
You know, I remember the first time I ever read a Bone comic, it was in Disney Adventures little propoganda rag many many years ago. It just seemed flat and rather dumb.

Sorry. But good that you enjoyed it thought!
You only read the few Disney Adventures Bones and decided the entire series merits entirely by them? Jebus!:eek:

Don't think I'll be picking up Cerebus either. Dave Sim IS a nut (no disrespect to the mentally ill intended, but seriously)... I doubt that kind of hate wouldn't seep through 300 issues of a comic book.

Did Jeff Smith and Dave Sim have a falling out? In the second to last issue of Bone Jeff wrote in Bone-a-fides:

Before I go; A quick shout out to Dave and Gerhard Cerebus #300 shipped this week. The troubles between Dave and I are personal, not professional, so congratulations, boys. You did it, and you did it on time. I know it took a dedication few artists will ever have.
I might give Sim some leeway if he was being ironic in an Andy Kaufman sort of way. If he was serious, I am very reluctant to buy Cerebus.
 

SSJPabs

It's just us
May 17, 2002
7,166
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#15
Fone Bone said:
You only read the few Disney Adventures Bones and decided the entire series merits entirely by them? Jebus!:eek:
They had a few story arcs to get me and they didn't. *Shrugs* Besides I generally hate western comics so yeah. Should I follow it for years before making a decision?
 
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#17
My sole exposure to Bone was also through Disney Adventures in the early '90's. In fact, it was one of the big reasons I bought it for as long as I did. I enjoyed it a lot and I always wanted to get the rest of the story, just never found the opportune time. I think I'm sold on the $27 one-volume deal through Amazon. :D
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#18
SSJPabs said:
They had a few story arcs to get me and they didn't. *Shrugs* Besides I generally hate western comics so yeah. Should I follow it for years before making a decision?
Yes, you should.:) Luckily you won't need to with the complete epic coming out in a couple of months. The Disney Adventures stories just covered five pages of the first three comics! Judging the entire fantasy epic on three issues IS kinda harsh. Although I loved the first three issues the story didn't really pick up steam until the introduction of the Hooded One. Give it a chance!
 

Daredevil_2003

The Man Without Fear
Jul 13, 2002
1,888
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#19
***

It was pretty decent, didn't read more than like 6 issues, but it's solid work. I can see why others like it so much, I just never really got into it as it wasn't my cup of tea. I might read the whole thing one day if I have nothing better to do.
 

Ed Liu

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#20
Howdy,

One quick note before I disappear for vacation, and it's more about Dave Sim & Cerebus than Bone, but I didn't want to start a new thread for that (yet).

Short version: I think Sim is, at best, deranged and, at worst, a great big jerk. I also think it would be far easier to dismiss him out of hand if he weren't so tremendously talented.

Best parallel I can think of is how you can think some pro athletes or actors are complete jerks in real life, but are amazingly talented in their fields otherwise. Most of the time, you can separate the artist from the art, and appreciate the one while acknowledging the flaws in the other.

This is harder in Sim's case, because his way out-there opinions did really start to bleed into the comic by the end. I think he really started going off the deep-end around the 180's, but that still gives you 3000+ pages of some really amazing comics, and even after the 180's, he still pulls off some pretty stunning stuff.

Ahem. Boy, how 'bout that 1300-page Bone TPB, eh? And who was rabid enough to own either the Bone toys or the inflatable Great Red Dragon wall hanging? Heck, I think I'd pay good money for a decent-sized Great Red Dragon action figure.

-- Ed/Ace
 

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