In 1851 the first American edition of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was published by Harper and Brothers. It was 653 pages long and offered many helpful tips on the art of knot-tying. The book also featured a great amount of water, a whale, and a man with a wooden leg who was not named Smith. Many people have enjoyed this book over the years, and it helped introduce the world to a novel concept called metaphor.
140 years later Jeff Smith, who does not have a wooden leg, published the first issue of Bone, a comic book series that would eventually run to over 1100 pages. Many people have also enjoyed this book over the years, despite it not having instructions on how to tie a knot.
Starring our titular hero, the virtuous Fone Bone, and his cousins Phoncible P.” Phoney” Bone and the lark-full Smiley Bone, the series is an epic fantasy in the grandest tradition, with dragons, love poetry, hooded lurkers, quiche, cow races, locusts, and, of course, Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures.
The story begins with the Bones lost in the desert after being chased out of their hometown of Boneville. A map is found, a peril pervades, our cousins are separated, and all seems hopeless. But Fone is saved by a mysterious Red Dragon, and eventually finds himself in The Valley, a seemingly idyllic land where he is befriended by Ted, an insect that looks like a leaf, and the Possum and Hedgehog families. This, as needs must demand, leads Fone to Thorn, the lovely love of Fone’s life. But Thorn is more than she may seem, is she not? This is fantasy after all.