Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Bone - Out From Boneville

Bone:  Out from Boneville
Jeff Smith's series of graphic novels begins with this one, Bone:  Out From Boneville.  In it, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone have been kicked out of Boneville after a mayoral race picnic gone wrong.  They get lost in the desert, and after a herd of locusts separate them, Fone Bone is left on his own in a lush green valley that is home to talking bugs, a giant dragon and very ugly and stupid rat creatures that want to cook him into a quiche.  Fone Bone makes friends easily, though, and soon is at home in the valley, though he still wants to find his cousins and he misses Boneville (a city that, strangely, no one else has heard of).  But he's always on the lookout for his cousins, and he's always just one step ahead of trouble.

I read this as my second book for the Graphic Novel Challenge.  To me, Bone is the traditional graphic novel story.  It's aimed at a younger audience, combines fantasy and realism, is fun and full of adventure.  While I have really enjoyed the two graphic memoirs I've read previously, it was fun to read something that was more what I think "normal" (yes, I know that's a loaded term to use, Ana!) in terms of graphic novels.

Bone excerptI enjoyed Out From Boneville, but it is very obviously the first book in a (long) series, and so I didn't feel completely satisfied by it.  I have heard a lot of wonderful things about this series, but I personally think I'll only feel invested in the series after reading another few volumes of it.  So hopefully, I can get my hands on volumes 2 and 3, at least!  I enjoyed this book, but as it's the first in a series of nine, it felt unfinished to me.  How did the dragon and Gran'ma know each other?  Why does Thorn have bad dreams?  What is going on with the rat creatures?  None of these questions is resolved in this book- instead, this only really concerns Fone Bone finding his cousins, and builds up a lot of questions for the next books in the series.

So now, of course, I have eight other books to read!  Plus the books that center on the grandmother.  And plus the books that center on Thorn.  Sigh- what a dangerous system!

But while I wish that I had a better idea about the over-arcing storyline from this first volume, I really enjoyed the comical (pun intended) aspects of it.  This is a cute story!  I love that Fone Bone tries to talk Moby Dick with everyone puts them to sleep.  I love the bumbling humor of the rat creatures.  I think Fone Bone's crush on Thorn is adorable.  And it's just so fun to see the way everyone interacts.  The characters are so fun and the way they interact is very sweet; I can tell that as the series continues, the depth of each individual and of the story overall will get more and more impressive.

I don't really have much else to say about this book!  It was a fun read, and I look forward to more in the series, and that's all :-)

Note:  I have since gotten a one-volume edition of the Complete Bone series.  So I plan to read the rest of this story soon!

19 comments:

  1. I do love reading Graphic novels but they cost a lot in India. I did read a few like Maus and Persepolis through the library . This one looks so much fun and the illustrations too are adorable. Will look out for this series.

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  2. My three sons all loved this series, so much that I bought The Complete Bone for them after they read the first few from the library. They keep telling me I should read it - I should really do that one of these days. :)

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  3. I should get back to reading the series soon. I think I relegated this somewhere out of my reach, for the moment.

    And much as I'd like to get that gargantuan (hahaha), all-in-one Bone, I really like the colored versions that unfortunately come in more expensive volumes. Oh well.

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  4. Lol do not knwo what to say really other than it looks fun :D

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  5. That story, and series, does look really cute and fun. The only graphic novels I normally read are manga, I've come to understand this is not considered "normal" either! I like the look of that series though, might be time to branch out a little.

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  6. This one has been recommended to me a few times now. I need to try and read a different genre of graphic books as so far I have only read the memoir ones. I really like the sound of the book you have just purchased with all the series in it.

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  7. I feel like everyone I visited today has read graphic novels. I still haven't read any of them because I can't decide which one to read. Great review!

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  8. I know what you mean about the not-quite-completeness of the book. I still had fun with it, but more like this was the first in a bunch that I needed to read. I have vols 2-3, plus 7-8 at home (how's that for useful?). I'll get to them at some point...but t hey feel like they're ones you can wait until you're in the mood to pick up, for me.

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  9. Shweta- They cost a lot everywhere, I think! Yes, this one is adorable and I got it for free, so good all around ;-)

    Carrie- Yes, I don't have kids but adults have often told me they love this series, so here we go!

    Lightheaded- I like the colored versions, too, but they're hard to collect at a used bookstore, so when I saw the complete one, I grabbed it.

    Blodeuedd- That it is :-)

    bitsy- I always thought manga was traditional graphic novels, actually!

    Vivienne- I had only read the graphic memoir up to now, too, except for several years ago, reading a fantasy one.

    Andreea- There are a lot! I didn't realize it until I started finding them, either, and now I realize there are so many kinds!

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  10. This looks like an incredibly cute read! I love the illustrations as well. I still haven't managed to read a graphic novel as of yet, but I do have a few on my shelf! I know what you mean about getting caught up and invested in a series though, it can be hard to find subsequent editions and it does indeed set a dangerous precedence! Very cool review, Aarti! I think this series would be just perfect for my kids as well as myself!

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  11. I got a bit bored with this, and gave up on the Bone series, which really was a bit premature. I know I should give it another shot, and persist at least a bit longer, but there are so many wonderful graphic novels that I've yet to read!

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  12. I still haven't read any graphic novels yet. I would like to, but I'm not really sure where to start. This one sounds fun, though. :)

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  13. Zibilee- I think cute is a really good word for it! I feel like if you were to first read a graphic novel, you might prefer a memoir, though, to this sort of read. But it's fun!

    Jenny- I think I could see that perspective, too. I enjoyed the story, but was frustrated at the way it ended, so if I didn't enjoy it, I think it would be easy to get bored. I don't think you should read books you don't like if you don't want to!

    Helen- I started with a graphic memoir and really enjoyed it. It was very different than I expected.

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  14. I bet I have the same one-volume edition! I haven't cracked mine yet, but when I saw it in Borders, I just had to order it on Amazon (to save money), glad to see you will continue on after the first book!

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  15. I read my gigantic all-in-one volume back to back, but if I hadn't I'm sure I'd have felt as you did about the incompleteness. But anyway, yes, isn't it fun? As I always tell everyone who starts the series...you'll never look at quich├ęs the same way again :D And oh, just wait until you meet Bartelby!

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  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment, but I'll be back to explore your site. :)

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  17. I've seen a lot of reviews of this series, so I've been curious. I'm glad to read your review of the first one! I may skip this series, since it's aimed at younger readers.

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  18. Ooh, my library has this and *if* I dip my toe in the water of the readathon next month then this would make the perfect addition to the pile...

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  19. My daughter loved this book and though Fone Bone's crush was hilarious. She's convinced me that I need to read this so we can post our thoughts at the same time. Glad to see that you enjoyed it.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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