by Jeff Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 Lord of The Rings – you wouldn’t think such a thing was possible, but it is and it works really well! The three Bone cousins reference those old Disney comics in their design and character poses as well as their sassy forties(?) American comic book dialogue. Phone Bone is a kind of Mickey Mouse good guy hero; Phoney is the Scrooge McDuck of the gang with his greedy money-making schemes and Smiley is more of Goofy type – but one who plays dumber than he really is. The humans too are nicely designed cartoon characters that reference a more modern nineties Disney style. The inking and the strong graphic black and white design of the panels is beautifully done. But what makes the comic is the banter of the Bone cousins as they go from comedy scenarios to high fantasy adventure.