Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Reader's Diary #562- Jeff Smith: The Great Cow Race & Eyes of the Storm

Last year, just as I was discovering my love for graphic novels, my son was showing an interest in comics. I missed out on the comics as a kid, so it's a world I'm totally in support of him exploring as long as he takes me along for the ride. However, finding appropriate comics for a four year old isn't always easy, especially since Marvel Super Hero Squad doesn't publish nearly often enough:And besides, I'm more of an alternative comics guy (I am still a literary snob, n'est pas?) so the Bone books make us both happy.

The Great Cow Race didn't impress me as much as the first in the series. But I think I had the same thing happen as when I read the 2nd in the Harry Potter series. Once the thrill of meeting the new world for the first time had passed, expectations ran a bit a too high. Not that there is anything drastically wrong with the Great Cow Race, it has Smith's wonderful mix of adventure and comedy going for it after all, but I was a little impatient for the overall story to pick up.

Thankfully Eyes of the Storm delivered. There's genuine thrills in this book (some that I was concerned would be a little too scary for my son, but when he offered to make the thunder noises, I knew he'd be okay), and finally we get a little more character development and clues about what it is those nasty rat creatures are after, still holding back enough of the mystery to get us excited about the fourth installment.

Again, I love Smith's eclectic style. The Bones themselves seem cartoonishly oversimplified, looking like a cross between the Smurfs and Steamboat Willie, Thorn and the other human figures could come from any modern mainstream superhero comic, and the rat creatures look like they come from a Manga version of hell (I'd say they look like one of the scarier Pokemon characters, but unless you're a father of a four year old boy, that probably means even less to you).

It's quite an enchanting world and I can see why so many people are visiting.


Peta said...

I've been toying with the idea of buying the one volume (enormous) Complete Bone and I have to say that your reviews have made me think it's worth doing! I hope you and your son continue to enjoy the experience.

John Mutford said...

I just noticed today that such a volume exists. It'd definitely be the cheaper way to go. Do you know if it's colourized?