A Bone to Pick

Graphic novels are SO not my thing. Reading from box to bubble annoys me, the pictures are distracting and the type face is usually more fun than functional. Not to mention the fact that really, this is nothing more than a glorified comic book. Make that a very expensive comic book.

But then I’m not a 10-year-old boy.

And according to my 10-year-old boy, BONE is the best graphic novel series out there. He should know. He owns all nine books in the series.

Mixing humor with magic and mayhem, BONE follows the adventures of three cousins after they are exiled from Boneville. The illustrations are clean and simple and believe it or not, Time Magazine compares the story to Lord of the Rings, naming the BONE series as one of the 10 greatest graphic novels of all time. You know you’ve made it when Time Magazine is reviewing your comic books!

The funny thing is, the Bone series started out as black-and-white comic books that author Jeff Smith published himself when no syndicate would take on his comic strip. He started his own company, Cartoon Books, in Columbus, OH and over the course of 12 years, put out BONE as a series of 55 comic books. Scholastic started publishing the colorized versions as books in 2004. With the final book released back in January, the series has captured a whole new market that wasn’t even alive when the original books premiered!

So while these books may not be the first thing I reach for, they are certainly a publishing success story. I can appreciate that. In fact, my son has saved up his own money to buy most of the BONE books in his collection. At ten bucks a pop, that’s no small investment. For a 10-year-old, it’s nothing short of true love.

What a novel concept πŸ™‚

19 thoughts on “A Bone to Pick

  1. Kelly: You're welcome! Hope he enjoys πŸ™‚

    Susan: Graphic novels are great for reluctant readers. Give it a try!

    Shannon: Drew's 4th grade teacher introduced him to these books last year. He highly recommends them πŸ™‚

  2. I love this anecdote. While not a fan of graphic novels myself (I'd rather let my imagination give me the images) I understand their value. I used to read comic books as a kid, along with storybooks and later novels. The key is for the child to be fascinated by and want to read something, rather than being told it's good for them. And yay for Jeff Smith believing in his own work!

  3. My kids love those graphic novels. I'll have to check out Bone. I really loved Shannon Hale's graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge. My nine year old read it over and over. I prefer a novel, but I can understand the appeal of graphic novels.

  4. My daughter (15) has a few graphic novels and I have really, honestly, sincerely tried to enjoy them but I just don't get it.

    She does, though and I guess its a good reminder that it is all so subjective in this biz.

  5. When I was a kid, I found something called a Fotonovel for the movie Grease. This was before the days of VCRs so we had no way to see the movie after it left theaters (until it aired on network TV). I loved the book…but it fell apart. It probably would be worth money now! I assume that was similar to a graphic novel? It was hard to read.

  6. As a writer, I try to take a look at everything that's successful, even if it's not my thing. I didn't know about BONE…thanks for pointing them out to me!

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