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Bone: The Complete Edition

(Bone #1-9)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  31,783 ratings  ·  1,480 reviews
An American graphic novel first! The complete 1300 page epic from start to finish in one deluxe trade paperback.

Three modern cartoon cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, spending a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone are separ
Paperback, 1344 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Cartoon Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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Nicole I believe I read somewhere that Jeff Smith's first character of the Bone series had a face that looked like a phone- thus he named him "Fone" Bone.…moreI believe I read somewhere that Jeff Smith's first character of the Bone series had a face that looked like a phone- thus he named him "Fone" Bone.

Others believe that it is a homage to Don Martin and his Mad magazines, who's characters were often given the surename: Fonebone.(less)
Kendall Moore It's like LOTR but with actual humor. Plus, it ain't too shabby on the action or character development either.

Also, the prequel (Rose) to…more
It's like LOTR but with actual humor. Plus, it ain't too shabby on the action or character development either.

Also, the prequel (Rose) to this series is awesome as well.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  31,783 ratings  ·  1,480 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-comics, 2018
After being run out of Boneville because of one of Phoney Bone's schemes, the Bone cousins wind up in a valley in the mountains. It's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire when war erupts around the valley and the cousins and their new friends are caught in the middle...

Back in the 1990s, this book was the talk of the town but I was too cool for a comic book about cute characters. Now that I'm much older and also uncool, I decided to finally give it a shot.

Brandon Sanderson
(This review is from 2006.)

I haven’t done a review for a while, so I thought I’d do something a little bit different. A week or so back, a friend loaned me the complete BONE graphic novel.

This is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Not only have I done very little reading in the graphic novel genre, but I’ve heard a lot of very good things about this one. I remember a friend reading issues from the then-serialized comic back during my freshman year of college. It w
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Book #7 for Jugs & Capes!
read a cleaner version of this review on CCLaP!

pre-read: I ordered this online and it arrived today -- not in a padded envelope, as is customary, but in a big-ass box. I should have understood then, but not until I sliced the box open did I realize just how massive this thing is. Good grief! I read on the subway, for heaven's sake; I need my books to be portable! So obviously I took a steak knife and some old Vice magazine covers and DIY'd it into three somewhat more manageable volumes. I haveCCLaP!
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pratchett readers
Once upon a time, the Marx brothers went to a magical kingdom and met a old woman who races cows and stupid, stupid rat creatures who have idenity problems involing the eating of quiche.

It's funny how we change and yet, somehow, stay the same. I've read comics (or graphic novels) at three points in my life so far. In each of these points, it's been a slightly different style. When I was a preteen, my local store sold mainly DC and so I read those. But it was mainly non-mainstream - Rocket Racc
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I loved this comic book. The art style reminded me of Belgian comics of my childhood and the story... I must say should be worthy of Tolkien.
Jackie "the Librarian"
I thought, okay, weird little guys with big noses, lost in the woods, this is going to be goofy humor with throw-away gags. (And what ARE these guys, anyways? I never did figure that one out - there's a whole other story waiting to be told about that.)
And then, it turned into an epic! With kingdoms, royalty in exile, and battles, and life and death danger stuff! AWESOME!
I liked this better than the Lord of the Rings. Shhh. Don't tell the Tolkienites.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel series. Before I read it, I thought it was a kid's graphic novel but once I read the first two volumes I was hooked. The story is simple, fun, and adventurous. This isn't just for kids but adults too. Great series!
Mar 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A friend gave the Bone single volume collection to me a gift one year. I wasn't familiar with the series prior to that but had just finished a semester of graduate english lit courses that focused on cultural studies and serial fiction. Bone is Lord of the Rings meets Dickens. I loved it. The beginning pages hooked me with humor, the middle turned into serious plot with social commentary, then wrapped everything up but was a little too ladden with explanations, I thought, of the authors vision a ...more
J.G. Keely
May 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed, comics
Smith's evocative and energetic drawings tell an enthusiastic and deeply-felt mini-epic. His simple chiaroscuro backgrounds create a fantastical but very real world. His strange cartoons mix with caricatures of realism to produce an easy-to-understand psychological reality.

However his very strong characterization sometimes falls prey to simple archetype, which weakens the story and the suspension of disbelief. Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable, funny, endearing, and exciting read.

My S/>
Seth T.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Bone by Jeff Smith
[Bad morning.]

I wasn't sure I'd ever review Jeff Smith's Bone. After all, is there much that can be said that hasn't already been said? Bone's so long been part of the canon of comics literature (such as one exists) that reviewing it at this point is like reviewing Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns or Maus. Or for the non-comics-literate, a bit like if someone penned a review today for Huckleberry Finn. I mean, what's the point, really?

Still, I tell myself, there are those who haven't read the book yet. There are those who have read comics for years w
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. This is my final review of this fantastic (and meticulously detailed, cartoon-meets-realist) fantasy epic. Now that I've completed it, I had to dock one-half star for a (to me) incomprehensible ending. I'll save my discussion of that to the end though, so that I can lead with the rave.

Bleach the colors from Walt Kelly's Pogo (with Al Gator as Smiley Bone, Pogo as Fone Bone, and Pork Pine as Phoncible ('Sponsible?) P. "Phoney" Bone) and shove them into Elfquest via Austra
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It was through CCLaP critic Oriana Leckert's write-up for her Jugs & Capes essay series last year (book version finally coming next week!) that first brought Jeff Smith's epic comic Bone to my attention, plus of course the fevered recommendations I'd sometimes hear from the edges of the comics
Jan 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
If somebody had come up to me with this brick and said, "Hey, you should read this! It's like Walt Kelly having a J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired fever dream! For hundreds and hundreds of pages!" I probably would have blinked a couple times and changed the subject.

But this adorably geeky English teacher from one of the Carolinas presented it at a graphic novel forum at NCTE as the only thing the kids in his highly resistant 7th-grade classroom would read cover to cover. And it is oddly gripping, I must s
John Wiswell
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There was a week when we had no electricity and I spent my nights by candlelight and a propane heater. It was freezing in my living room. Those were the circumstances under which I read Jeff Smith’s Bone. At several points I yelled at the page or laughed despite myself. It kept me staying up later in the cold darkness to read more of what was essentially an all-ages comic book. I can’t give it a stronger endorsement than that, but I can talk about what brings this book together.

Bone deceives yo/>
Here is a radical statement: this cartoon comic strip is the one thing I have ever read that comes close to the epic fantasy greatness of The Lord of the Rings. What begins as a silly, Looney Tunes-like story about a couple of "bone creatures" getting run out of "Boneville" (sounds pretty childish, huh?) quickly becomes a complex, profound, and - there's no other word for it - EPIC tale about family history, religious cults and a crazy locust monster.

The way I see it, epic fantasy au
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Three cousins - the Bones - are run out of Boneville and get lost in the desert. They wind up in a mysterious valley, where they meet a young girl Thorn and her Grandma Ben and get sucked into an epic adventure of good versus evil, magic, dragons, yokels, talking bugs, and stupid stupid rat creatures.

This is such a brilliant graphic novel. A cross between the old Disney comics – think Carl Barks’ Donald & Scrooge McDuck or Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse adventure strips - and L
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing

The review is for the Bone series 1-9 plus Rose and Tall Tales. I didn't care for the first very juvenile book, though after all it IS a JF series, but glad I persevered. The more I read, the more it grew on me. The characters became more dimensional, the stores became more complex, and I enjoyed the subtle humor and the illustrations. A classic for good reason.
Don Lloyd
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of graphic novels
Recommended to Don by: F&SF Theory Reading Group
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
L.S. Popovich
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Though “Bone” follows many of the standard fantasy-adventure tropes, it is a wonderful rush of storytelling thanks to likable characters and an interesting world.

If you’re looking for someone to reinvent the fantasy wheel you won’t find it here. Everything from mysterious pasts to sacred swords is present in “Bone.” What saves it is how these different elements are brought together over time and how the characters react to them. The stories start off small and balloon slowly into an
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, favorites, comix
Jeff Smith started the Bone series back in 1994 when I was but a meager ten year old. I can vividly remember going to the grocery store with my Mother and begging her to buy me the latest issue of Disney Adventures. Due to my insistent whining, my Mom finally caved and bought it for me. When I got home and cracked the cover, I eventually made my way to their comics section and gazed upon Fone Bone for the first time.

To the best of my knowledge, that was the only exposure to Jeff Smit
When the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are chased out of Boneville and into the desert, they think they’re done for. Even worse, a storm of locust separates the cousins, leaving them to wander alone through a strange valley. When winter falls (quite literally), Fone Bone meets up with Thorn, a beautiful young woman, and her grandmother, Rose. Only Gran’ma Rose suspects what the arrival of the Bone cousins means for her granddaughter. Fone Bone is guarded by a mysterious ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was told by my brother to read this after Moby-Dick, I can see why too. This was really good. Great story telling. Even looking ahead, I couldn't really tell were the story was going. I know this book is popular as a kids comic book, but there are plenty of stuff for adults to enjoy too. Also, this wasn't a quick read, reads more like a book at time rather than a comic book.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dnf
Who am I kidding? I haven't picked this up in three years. Entertaining and I still have it bookmarked halfway through, so may get back to it eventually.
Just want to clean up my Currently Reading shelf.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
all graphic novelists will enjoy this fast paced series
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-favourites, own
Graphic novels were the big revelation of last year for me; I unexpectedly fell in love with them and I've been itching to read more for months. Since I am a fairly new graphic novel fan though, it would only be suitable to read the legendary classics first and Bone is meant to be exactly that. It took me over a month to read (even though I only picked it up a few times during the span of that month and it is basically an omnibus of 9 books) but I absolutely loved every single page of it and fin ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot of modern comics are about mixing fine art techniques into the illustration, and exploring very adult themes (cf the abortion storyline in recent Saga). Many of those books are great, and I'm grateful for them.

Bone is refreshing in that it embraces the traditional comic form. The panels are not lock-step, and so you wouldn't see it in the funny pages, but the strong, contrasting lines and stylized characters are at home in the tradition of Walt Kelly and Herriman. That isn't to say the pa
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, own
Bone is widely considered one of the best graphic novels of all time, but this is no Watchmen or Sandman—it happens to be great and appropriate for children!

Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone get kicked out of Boneville. They're not actual bones; apparently they are mammals but very funny-looking ones with big noses. Very cartoony, very Walt Kelly. Don't let that put you off, even if the first few issues are pretty cartoony and silly. The Bones find themselves in a valley full of monsters and magic and are so
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Until reading this book, I couldn't think of the last time I was actually sad to see a story end. I've read plenty of excellent books in recent years, but none that have left me feeling so sorry to reach the last page!

I'm not sure why I never read this graphic novel earlier -- I think I was turned off by the promotions, which featured drawings of the Bone cousins so much that I misunderstood what the nature of the story was, assuming it was just a funnybook geared toward kids. That r
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I have been wanting to read these books for years, but never bought them. I saw this tome of all 9 books on Amazon and have been waiting to buy it, when lo and behold, the library has it! I am so glad I got to read this graphic novel, finally!

I love the Bone cousins, Fone Bone being my favorite :) The cousins get kicked out of their home town, Boneville, because Phoney Bone cheated the town. He's not that nice of a Bone, but he does alright in the end. At any rate, they get lost in the
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I love these books!! 6 43 Sep 17, 2014 12:54PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors with similar names.

Born and raised in the American mid-west, Jeff Smith learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books, and watching animation on TV. In 1991, he launched a company called Cartoon Books to publish his comic book BONE, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Bonevil

Other books in the series

Bone (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Rose (Bone, #0)
  • Bone, Vol, 1: Out from Boneville (Bone, #1)
  • Bone, Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race (Bone, #2)
  • Bone, Vol. 3: Eyes of the Storm (Bone, #3)
  • Bone, Vol. 4: The Dragonslayer (Bone, #4)
  • Bone, Vol. 5: Rock Jaw Master of the Eastern Border (Bone, #5)
  • Bone, Vol. 6: Old Man's Cave (Bone, #6)
  • Bone, Vol. 7: Ghost Circles (Bone, #7)
  • Bone, Vol. 8: Treasure Hunters (Bone, #8)
  • Bone, Vol. 9: Crown of Horns (Bone #9)