Comics

Bone: One Volume Edition

Michael Arner

This story is for anyone who is a fan of family-friendly quest adventures.

Bone

Publisher: Cartoon Books
Subtitle: One Volume Edition
Price: $39.95 US/$54.75 Canada
Writer: Jeff Smith
Item Type: Comic
Length: 1342
Amazon

Jeff Smith published his first issue of Bone in 1991. I was heavily into comic books at the time and quickly heard about it through the comic fan press. I wasn't that impressed with the black and white artwork from the previews but I did finally break down and purchase the first trade paperback when it was published (due in great part to the Neil Gaiman introduction in that volume). At the time, my interests were knee-deep in the (soon-to-be) Vertigo universe from DC Comics and "adult" comics like Cry For Dawn and the (still incomplete) Faust. I did enjoy the book very much, but with no end in sight (then) for the series, I decided that I would just wait for the trades to be published. When the final collection was published, they also announced this all-in-one collection. Unfortunately, the deluxe hardcover edition sold-out rapidly, but the softcover printing, collecting something like 70 single-issues for only 40 bucks, is truly a "steal", especially considering the rapidly rising costs of comics.

Our main protagonists, the Bone cousins, include Bone, Phoney and Smiley. The story of the Bones is a simple one at first. They are trying to get back home after being kicked out of town, thanks to one of Phoney's scheme that goes wrong. During their travels, they get split up by a swarm of locusts. We quickly meet the supporting characters like the Dragon, Ted the Bug, the Rat Creatures and the other main focus of the story, Thorn Harvestar. Bone instantly falls in love with Thorn.

Characters are given life through their attitudes and peculiarities. Phoney has a near insatiable love of money, and Bone is obsessed with the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick, from which he acts out scenes for Thorn. While separated from Bone, the remaining cousins, Smiley and Phoney, befriend a baby rat creature that they name Bartleby (another Melville reference).

The Bone cousins eventually find each other and their quest to find their way home is then diverted by Bone's decision to stay and help Thorn. The light humor which is sprinkled throughout the story then slowly darkens with more character additions including the nightmarish Briar and the menacing Roque Ja, the disintegration of Thorn's sanity and the rat creatures surrounding the valley.

When the story is over, some friends are lost, some are found and some are now left only in memory. The ending wasn't quite what I expected and at first I was disappointed. The more I thought about it, I became happier with the ending as it was presented. I think it's because of my preference for more "final" endings, while Jeff Smith leaves the readers with a bit of an indeterminate finale. This story is for anyone who is a fan of family-friendly quest adventures, and given the resurgence of fantasy with the Lord of the Rings movies, the Harry Potter franchise, and the upcoming Narnia movies, it couldn't have been published at a more opportune time.. Full of interesting characters that will enchant readers, Jeff Smith mixes humor and adventure perfectly, and while story and art are certainly "cartoony", Bone is anything but childish. But, the story doesn't end here. Scholastic has just released the first Bone full color trade paperback. I hope it doesn't take another decade before I can enjoy the Bone: One Volume Color Edition.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2017 highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 20 best albums.


20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta


Keep reading... Show less
Film

Hitchcock, 'Psycho', and '78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene'

Alfred Hitchock and Janet Leigh on the set of Psycho (courtesy of Dogwoof)

"... [Psycho] broke every taboo you could possibly think of, it reinvented the language of film and revolutionised what you could do with a story on a very precise level. It also fundamentally and profoundly changed the ritual of movie going," says 78/52 director, Alexandre O. Philippe.

The title of Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) denotes the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts across a full week of shooting for Psycho's (1960) famous shower scene. Known for The People vs. George Lucas (2010), The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (2012) and Doc of the Dead (2014), Philippe's exploration of a singular moment is a conversational one, featuring interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley and Marli Renfro, body double for Janet Leigh.

Keep reading... Show less

Rather than once again exploring the all-too-familiar territory of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Samantha Silva's debut novel contextualizes the work's origins and gets inside the mind of its creator.


Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been told and retold so many times over the years that, by this point, one might be hard-pressed to find a single soul evenly glancingly familiar with western culture who isn't at least tangentially acquainted with the holiday classic. This is, of course, a bit of holiday-themed hyperbole, but the fact remains that the basic premise of A Christmas Carol has become so engrained in our culture that it would seem near impossible to imagine a time prior to its existence. It's universally-relatable themes of the power of kindness, redemption and forgiveness speaks to the heart of the Christmas season – at least as it has been presented in the 174 years since it was first published in 19 December 1843 -- just in time for Christmas.

Keep reading... Show less
6

Following his excellent debut record Communion, Rabit further explores the most devastating aspects of its sound in his sophomore opus Les Fleurs du Mal.

Back in 2015 Rabit was unleashing Communion in the experimental electronic scene. Combining extreme avant-garde motifs with an industrial perspective on top of the grime sharpness, Eric C. Burton released one of the most interesting records of that year. Blurring lines between genres, displaying an aptitude for taking things to the edge and the fact that Burton was not afraid to embrace the chaos of his music made Communion such an enticing listen, and in turn set Rabit to be a "not to be missed" artist.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image