Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reader's Diary #502- Jeff Smith: Bone, Out From Boneville

My first introduction to Jeff Smith's Bone (and there must be a better way to phrase that), was over at the Graphic Novels Challenge blog early this year. I've been planning to read it ever since but have only now been able to find the 1st in the series at the local library.

My family and I went fishing this morning with some new friends. It was a beautiful, breezeless day, the fish were plentiful and the company was wonderful. However, ours is not the outdoorsiest of families and when we got home at about mid-afternoon, my wife fell into a 3 hour coma and I was left to entertain 2 kids, who were now rejuvenated after sleeping on the return boat ride.

Picking up Bone and reading a blurb on the back from the Comics Journal that the book was "the rarest of cliches: fun for the whole family" I was hopeful that I'd least be able to kill 10 minutes or so reading aloud. 10 minutes turned into about 2 hours and the Comics Journal got it right.

Especially surprising was my son's enthrallment. My daughter is much more sedate than he, for her to spend two hours listening to a book isn't unprecedented. My son on the other hand, despite enjoying books, is much more... energetic, shall we say?

I enjoyed it as well. The story was interesting and fast-paced and you could tell Smith had fun creating his quirky assortment of characters (in that regard, I was reminded of the cartoon reality show, "Drawn Together"). I thought the scenes were a little vacant and rushed, but the kids didn't seem to mind at all. Even after the lack of conclusion, they didn't care, as long as I promised to get the next one. What a great introduction to graphic novels.

7 comments:

Lindsey said...

Hello! I'm new to your blog and enjoying it very much. Let me just say how excited I was to find that you are reading "Bone". It is one of my favorite graphic novels, and in my opinion a great piece of fiction. I read the complete collection at once, and I am curious to know what it is like in smaller chunks. I think you will find it even more enjoyable as you progress and you might even be surprised by it's maturity (at times). Happy reading!

Kailana said...

I want to read this series but the waiting list at the library for it is CRAZY! I am going to probably just buy it. I did read Rose, though, which is a prequel of sorts. That was pretty good.

Corey Redekop said...

It's a terrific series, and gets incredibly intricate without ever losing its sense of fun.

Beth F said...

As you know from the GN Challenge. I absolutely LOVED Bone. I read them in the color versions. I loved the drawings and the humor and the story.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You read to your kids for 2 hours? Are you in the running for some kind of parent of the year award?

For the record,I think your first sentence is perfect as is.

Ali said...

(and there must be a better way to phrase that)

Oh, John. I haven't laughed that much all day!

What a great reading experience for your family (wife included). Alas, my kids, who love graphic novels, think the pictures of Bone look "weird" and refuse to read it.

John Mutford said...

Lindsey: While I'm sure I could easily check this out myself, but how many are there in the complete set and how many pages does it total?
And welcome to my blog, btw.

Kailana: Graphic novels, I've read somewhere, are the most likely to not ever be returned to the library- so that waiting list might be longer than you think.

Corey: It's good to know it keeps up the momentum.

Beth: I didn't know there was a coloured version. I'll have to look for it when we read the 2nd.

Barbara: You're forgetting that I love to read, so it was actually quite selfish. Now if I can blog and drink beer with them, it'll be a grand ol' family time.

Ali: I'll grant that it doesn't look like the typical comic, but my kids didn't have a reference to compare it with. Had they been comic fans already, as yours are, maybe they wouldn't have been as open to it either.