Out from Boneville (Bone #1) – Jeff Smith

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Published February 1st 2005 by Graphix (first published July 1993)
Written by: Jeff Smith
Colourist: Steve Hamaker
Genre: Comic, Graphic novel, Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 138
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“Still no sign of the townspeople.”

Goodreads synopsis:

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 into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

My review

As a child, comics and comic books were my favourite kind of reading material. I could be found in my bedroom from 6pm onwards reading and laughing my way through volumes of Garfield books. On weekends, I’d be sat reading The Beano (or one of the many annuals that I’d collected). My heart has always had a special place for comic books.

Recently, I’ve been wanting to read more of them and get into a series, but they’re so expensive! But after talking to a friend, he recommended Bone to me, and let me borrow the first in the series. I aquired the book on a Sunday evening, and by Monday morning had finished it.

Where has Bone been all my life? Actually, when I first saw the book I recognise the character. I have no idea where I’ve seen this comic before or the characters in it, but for some reason it was just instantly recognisable. This reassured me that I would enjoy it.

The copy I borrowed is also in full colour, which makes it a lot more fun to read. The story is a proper adventure, and we meet the three main characters: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, when they have just been run out of Boneville. They’re out on their own in unfamiliar territory, and they get split up.

We follow Fone Bone, who is a loveable and likable character. After losing his cousins, he has to try and survive on his own. He meets some interesting characters on the way, my favourite of which is Ted, the little aphid like bug. The fact that this comic even has such a character makes me smile.

There’s humour, adventure and some pretty dark mystery. There are ‘rat creatures’ which are scarily similar to the creature used now in the Temple Run game, and they seem to be interested in the Bone family, particularly Phoney Bone who they identify by the star on his t-shirt. There’s also a majestic dragon who at first seems to be just part of Fone Bone’s imagination, but even so, he always turns up to save Fone Bone from the rat creatures, who are terrified of the dragon.

We also meet a beautiful human girl called Thorn, who lives with her Gran’ma Ben, who is just an incredible character and made me laugh.

Being the first in a longer series, it’s inevitable that the book ends with us wondering what happens next. I just wanted to keep reading. There’s some seriously evil beings laying in wait for the Bone cousins, and I need to know more about who they are and what they plan to do! I know for sure that I will be returning to the bookshelves of my friend and borrowing the rest of the series.

It’s a fun, quick read, and I feel like I’m on the cusp of finally discovering something brilliant which a lot of people have probably been shouting about for years.

Link to the comic on Goodreads: Out from Boneville

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