Thursday, September 09, 2010

Reader's Diary #648- Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegowski: Tall Tales

What's a critically acclaimed and commercially successful graphic artist to do when his epic series ends? Why, resurrect the old gang and run them into the ground of course. There's a handbook, a prequel, a collection of shorts, and even a set of prose novels in the works.

Most Bone fans are probably excited by this. I am a fan and I am not. Critics had nothing but love for the Charles Vess illustrated prequel Rose. I despised it. Now comes Tall Tales, a collection of comic short stories mostly revolving around legendary Boneville character Big Johnson Bone.

At least Smith is doing the illustrations again, but I question how much involvement Sniegowski had in the writing. I'm not overly excited for the Sniegowski penned Bone: Legacy novels, scheduled to be released next year.

The tall tales included in this volume are mostly in the vein of Chuck Norris jokes, with Big Johnson Bone replacing Mr. Norris. Legends, of course, are often a hybrid of fact and fiction, and perhaps that's the excuse intent. However, the charm and humour quickly wears off. And as a small bone of contention, what's with the name Big Johnson Bone? I get that cartoonists often slip innuendo and subtle jokes into their work for the adults in the audience, usually over the heads of the children. But "Big Johnson Bone" is way too juvenile for me. Ha, ha, he's named after a penis. Like cartoonists planting the word "SEX" into the sky in The Lion King (if that's even true), it just smacks of immaturity. If jokes are going to planted for adults (and it's not a requirement), at least make them witty.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sounds like he's wrung ever last bit out of that series now. All that's left to come are the action figures.

Michael said...

John, did you buy this at the Yellowknife bookstore? Because I love Bone, and I want to read all of those books. I have read every single one except for that one. It is too bad that you did not like it. But that's okay, because you do not have to like everything.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: You mean like these?

Michael: I bought it in St. John's this summer, actually. But I'm sure if you ask at the Book Cellar they'll order it in.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Dang! They're out of stock!