Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jeff Smith's Bone pt.1

Another "Book of the Month Club" @ CGS that I gave some serious thought was the examination/discussion of Jeff Smith's Bone (the episode's here). It's a great, epic story that has humor, pathos, drama, and tragedy all mixed together with Smith's beautifully emotive and meticulous artwork. Brilliant book. If you haven't read it yet, you should definitely do yourself a favor - get it and read it.

I discovered BONE with issue #10. Before then, I hadn’t seen a copy of an issue on the shelf, or not noticed it. But I’d heard good things about it, and the clincher was that the first letter in the letters’ page was from George Perez. My favorite artist. No way could I put that issue back. I also picked up the first trade that day, and from there I was hooked.

One of the best things about Jeff Smith’s BONE is the comedy, which is all about timing. And Smith’s timing is impeccable, something made more challenging by the medium he’s chosen to tell his stories, comics. Not only does Smith need to conceive funny scenarios, but he needs to writer and draw it in a way that leads his audience to read it in a way that achieves the comic effect. Some of my favorite examples:

- In this first issue, everyone has been telling Fone Bone that he needs to think about getting out of the valley before the first snow comes. Once that hits, he'll be stuck. It's mentioned a few times, keeping it fresh in readers' minds. Fone Bone really doesn't think much of it, until the final page.

Then there's this page where Fone Bone calls out the Dragon:

And Fone Bone trying to show off for Thorn by telling her he should be the one to chop the wood:

More later.
- chris

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