Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reader's Diary #594- Jeff Smith: Bone 8, Treasure Hunters

Not only has Jeff Smith gotten a lot of praise from the public, he's gotten a lot of critical praise as well. The blurbs on the first few pages of each Bone are quite the roster of talent: Frank Miller, Matt Groening, and Neil Gaiman just to name a few. Gaiman writes, "Jeff Smith can pace a joke better than almost anyone in comics."

I realize that I haven't spent much time talking about the humour in the series, but I haven't found it overly funny. I've been enjoying the series and I have found it amusing, but I don't consider it particularly heavy on the jokes. However, Book 8 has one of my favourite gags in the entire series.

Note Bone's pointy red hat on the cover. Look behind the O and you can see the tip sticking up behind. Bone and his cousin Phoney Bone are wearing these hats as disguises, which is silly enough in itself, but when Thorn finally asks Bone where he got the hat, he points to a dwarf character with a head that stretches up almost as long as his body. I know it's juvenile, I know it's a recycled Coneheads sketch. But, man did I laugh.

There are also more adventurously drawn peripheral characters and humorous bits with giant, big-lipped bees, and I think Smith got some of his groove back with book 8. Perhaps it was intentional comic relief after Book 7, which was quite bleak and violent, but in any case it hearkened back to the feel of the first few books in the series, and may have been the book Gaiman was thinking about when he wrote his blurb.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

It sounds as though you and the chilrun are blasting through these Bone books at a pretty rapid clip. How many sittings does it take to read one together?

John Mutford said...

Barbara: As with most graphic novels, you could probably get through it in a couple of hours. However, my kids and I read a chapter a night, and there's about 7 chapters per week. The only thing that's slowed us down with the series, has been finding them at the local bookstore or library when we're ready to read them.