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Vol. 4 takes "Bone" into overdrive,
This review is from: The Dragonslayer (Bone, Book 4) (Paperback)
Timeless is every way, "Bone" is an expansive story about three "bone creatures" (you'd have to see them to understand) that find themselves in a valley peopled with an assortment of crazy and interesting characters. Looming over it all is the menace of a great evil, first glimpsed by the ferocious (and funny) rat creatures, but later revealed to be something much more disturbing.
"The Dragonslayer," the fourth in the nine-volume "Bone" series, ramps up the tension and dramatically increases the scope and scale of the story, while retaining touches of its all ages humor.
This volume picks up where the third left off, as revelations about the main characters and the evil looming over the peaceful valley central to the tale draw the reader more fully into Jeff Smith's wonderfully-woven plot. Though still geared towards an all-ages audience, the deeper issues that make this compelling reading for adults really begin to show here, taking prominence over the humor through a good portion of the book.
Smith combines the kind of classic storytelling perfected by the likes of the legendary Carl Barks (Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge) and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) - gleefully funny cartooning with outrageously expressive faces and gestures - with the epic and engaging plotting of a sweeping fairy tale. "Bone" walks a tightrope and walks it well, managing to be something fans of both Donald Duck and Bilbo Baggins can enjoy.
Jeff Smith's "Bone" series is a critically acclaimed but criminally overlooked epic. Critics recognize Smith's masterful storytelling abilities and are drawn to his mix of all-ages humor and more mature darkness, but the black and white art and lack of superheroes turn off many comic book readers, making it a hit only in the "underground" sense.
And that's too bad, because this deserves to be read. Readers able to look past the lack of men in tights and color artwork will delight in this series. Little doubt people will still be reading "Bone" 50 years from now. Broad in scope yet personal and quaint, this is a charming story in every way that will surely outlast 90 percent of other comic works on the shelf.