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Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume Paperback – September, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 360 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mere months after publishing the final installment of the long-running fantasy saga Bone, Smith collects all 13 years' worth of it in a single, massive volume. As many comics fans know, the series chronicles the adventures of the Bone cousins--plucky Fone Bone, scheming Phony Bone, and easygoing Smiley Bone-- who leave their home of Boneville and are swept up in a Tolkienesque epic of royalty, dragons, and unspeakable evil forces out to conquer humankind. The compilation makes it evident how fully formed Smith's vision was from the very beginning--although the early chapters emphasized comedy, as do the final pages, the tale quickly found its dramatic bearings. His remarkably accomplished drawing style, in the manner of such comics masters as Walt Kelly and Carl Barks, was fully formed from the start, too. Libraries that have missed out on individual Bone series titles should seize this opportunity to make up for the fact, and those who have collected the series all along will do well to acquire the collected edition to supplement or supplant those doubtless well-worn volumes. But be prepared for overdues: even the most voracious readers will be hard-pressed to get through this hefty, phone book-like tome before they're supposed to return it. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Time Magazine: One of the Ten Greatest Grapic Novels of all Time
Publisher's Weekly: Best Book LIst
The Comics Journal: Book of the Year
American Library Association: Top 25 Graphic Novels for Young Adults
Better Homes and Gardens: 'Must Read' list


Time Magazine
BONE combines the humor and look of early Disney movies with the scope of the Lord of the Rings cycle. While children will read BONE for its breathless adventure and sight gags, older kids and adults will appreciate the themes of blind fanaticism and corrupting power.”

Entertainment Weekly
BONE is storytelling at its best, full of endearing, flawed characters whose adventures run the gamut from hilarious whimsy to thrilling drama. Along the way, Smith’s musings… take on a greater relevance than you’d ever expect. Grade: A.”

Publisher's Weekly
"Charming, character-driven fantasy with an elegant design and masterful story-telling in the tradition of Walt Kelly, Charles Schulz and Carl Barks." (starred review)

ALA Booklist
"Like Pogo, BONE has a whimsy best appreciated by adults, yet kids can enjoy it, too; and like Barks’ Donald Duck stories, BONE moves from brash humor to gripping adventure in a single panel."

Neil Gaiman (author of The Graveyard Book and Sandman)
"Jeff Smith can pace a joke better than almost anyone in comics; his dialogue is delightful—so are all his people, not to mention his animals, his villains, and even his bugs."

Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons)
"I love BONE! BONE is great!”


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Cartoon Books; Revised edition (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188896314X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888963144
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (360 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If Lord of the Rings were much funnier and pervaded with humor, it would be very much like Bone. Not that Bone isn't a serious work, because it is in every way - It's probably one of the comic book masterpieces of our time. Only that the story sometimes twists and turns on laugh out loud plot devices. Many of the characters are funny (Phoney Bone, the stupid stupid rat creatures, Smiley Bone, Bartelby, Gran'ma) but also have a downright serious side (Gran'ma has one VERY serious side; don't mess with her and definitely don't mess with her cows). The story itself is even funny in ways, but it amazingly maintains tension with some horror and shock mixed in. It's adventure, comedy, horror, and fantasy wrapped in a shell of great comic artwork.

Hidden beneath the adventures, jokes, and great artwork also lies some social commentary. When Phoney Bone convinces the townsfolk that dragons are an immediate threat to their safety and, since he's a dragonslayer, they should give him absolute control over the town, this hits almost a little too close to home. Phoney represents greed on steroids. Other innocents get pulled into his plans for money and power (he doesn't seem too concerned with glory or the well being of society in general). Nonetheless, the entire story turns on Phoney's schemes, and they play a vital role in the plot.

Other highlights include: the Great Cow Races; Fone Bone's infatuation with Thorn; Ted the Bug (what an amazing character); the two stupid rat creature's travails with Kingdok (one of them loves quiche); the slow uncovering of Gran'ma and Thorn's true identities; Smiley Bone's pet rat creature; Fone Bone's run ins with The Great Red Dragon; the Giant Bees ("Gimmee dat Cigar!"); Phoney Bone's first very creepy run in with The Hooded One. There's plenty more.
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Format: Paperback
Jeff Smith's BONE is a wonderful comic, and you should definitely take the time to read it, but I want to talk specifically about this "one volume" edition, as there are a few problems that might affect your buying decision.

Please be aware: This volume contains Jeff Smith's wonderful original black and white artwork, not the newly colorized version by Scholastic (which is also very pretty, but not how the comic was originally released).

It's fantastic that BONE is finally available in one volume, and the cover is really cute, but in order to fit this vast story into a single volume, the paper used for printing was chosen to be thin. REALLY thin. So thin that you can not only see the artwork printed on the other side of the page... but also the artwork on the *next* page. That's right, you can see TWO pages worth of imagery coming through the white areas on the page.

Unfortunately it's quite noticeable, and for a comic book comprised of beautifully drawn images, this is a bit of a let down.

However, if you're new to BONE, or on a budget, then by all means grab a copy of the "one volume" version of this brilliant comic. You'll still laugh and enjoy the story, you just won't be getting the best presentation of the wonderful artwork... not by a long shot. (Longtime fans should especially be aware.)

If you want to see the story in higher quality (although not how it was originally presented) then Scholastic's newly colorized version is what you should go for (although you will have to pay more for it). That's your best bet (until a deluxe version of the original black and white artwork is released for us purists :), until then, those new to BONE will probably be happy with this one volume edition.
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Format: Paperback
i have already bought the bones series volume by volume and love its take on mixing fantasy, humor and pogo-like characters. i would wholeheartedly recommend getting the series.

my only problem is with the ONE VOLUME EDITION, and that is only if you are INTERESTED IN THE ART. the volume is smaller in size but even that isn't a real issue. the problem is with the THINNESS OF THE PAGES, the artwork from the other side shows through (kind of like the wording shows through on many bibles). this hurts smith's beautiful black and white inked drawings (to me at least), and since graphics are what makes it a graphic novel, it might be an issue for someone that doesn't get to flip through the pages before buying it.

but it is a GREAT DEAL FOR THE PRICE. and i would still prefer the cheap volume over not having it at all. (BTW, i had to have the last 2 volumes ordered through a bookstore and they came in hardback instead of softcover and they are beautiful with a map on the interior binding, a gold-inked illustration on the front cover, a wrap-around book cover with the softcover art over that, and is worth the $5 or so extra if you are going to buy volume by volume).
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Format: Paperback
This book contains all nine books in Jeff Smith's epic series Bone. It's a real bargain, since you get the complete story at a fraction of the price you would pay if you bought all the individual books. But aside from the price, this is simply a great comic book. I hadn't read Bone at all before I bought this book, and now it is one of my favorite comics. It's 1300 pages long, but once I started reading it, I didn't want to stop. I don't want to give away much of the plot, because part of the enjoyment comes from experiencing the many twists and turns that the story takes. But I will mention that the book is a fantasy adventure with a lot of humor. The "Bone" title comes from the characters of the Bone cousins; big hearted Fone Bone, greedy Phoney Bone and goofy Smiley Bone. As the book opens, the Bones have been run out of their hometown of Boneville. The end up in the Valley, and have the adventure of their lives. And that's all I am going to say. I highly recommend this book.
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