Back to graphic novel. It’s a pretty new genre for me that I’m quite impressed with. I’ve been long closed with mangas and comics, but apparently never graphic novels. The difference between comic and graphic novel was still vague for me until an hour ago, in which time I just browsed wiki to find out.
Straight from Wiki:
A graphic novel is a type of comic book, usually with a lengthy and complex storyline similar to those of novels, and often aimed at mature audiences. The evolving term graphic novel is not strictly defined, and is sometimes used, controversially, to imply subjective distinctions in artistic quality between graphic novels and other kinds of comics. It suggests a story that has a beginning, middle and end, as opposed to an ongoing series with continuing characters; one that is outside the genres commonly associated with comic books, and that deals with more mature themes.
I’d say the line is very thin. Dilbert has mature theme (work jokes and all), but it doesn’t have continuing story. Bone’s theme is quite kiddish, but the story is lengthy and perhaps complex, though fantasy. This idea about targeting mature audience is always arguable. What’s mature theme? If it doesn’t contain sex and violence, is it considered non-mature?
Anyway, I digress, and continue to Bone the graphic novel. I knew Bone from the game made by Telltale Games. Telltale Games is a company I’ve been keeping my eye on. They also work on the remake of Sam & Max (the old LucasArts adventure game). Granted, I haven’t played all of their games, but I’ve played the trial versions :). A couple of the games I saw still look pretty plain, but their vision and goals sound promising. I kinda like the whole episodic concept if it’s worth the money. And story as the main drive? That’s the kind of games I love most! By the way, if you’re someone from Telltale looking here, could you tell your HR to have a look at my resume? I’ve been applying for a game programmer position about 2-3 times but got no reply. Thanks heaps. (I’m guessing you don’t hire anybody outside of US though. Is that why you’ve been ignoring me? Boohoo.)
For other readers, sorry I got sidetracked. Every once in a blue moon, some people from the game companies I linked to did come by and even drop a comment or a few. So I can’t let this chance pass by. Somebody important might be reading this! At least they should know I’m sending their company some love <3.
Let’s back to Bone. In volume 1, we got to know the 3 Bone brothers: Phoney Bone (who’s so phoney), Smiley Bone (who always smiles), and Fone Bone (here’s our main character). They’re white cute things who are bald, have big noses, and wear little clothings. We don’t know where they come from (does the whole village look like them?). We do know they’re running away from an angry mob, because Phoney made them mad. They later go into desert and jungle, meeting other fantasy creatures, like giant furry rat thing and dragon. They also meet normal human beings.
The main character Fone Bone reminds me of Mickey Mouse. He’s the nice neutral Joe, who can still be angry and is a bit shy. I think a lot of his expressions even look like Mickey Mouse. Phoney Bone is like Donald Duck, just a lot more evil and less funny or cute. A grumpy little thing. And guess what, Smiley Bone is like Goofy. He just talks a bit more.
In general, I like the art style, and the humor is nice too without being rude. Everyone seems to be cute. Even Phoney Bone and the rat creatures.
Bone has received numerous awards. Noted from the book: 1995 Best Comic Book from the National Cartoonist Society and 2002 YALSA/American Library Association Book Choice. From Wiki: Eisner Awards, Harvey Awards, and Time magazine’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of All Time (among the books in the list, I’ve only heard of Bone, Watchmen, and the Dark Knight Returns).
Jeff Smith on the right. I will make a habit now to put a picture of an author whose book I just read the first time. Can your name be more generic? Jeff. Smith.
Rating: 4 out of 5