Bone: Tall Tales (Scholastic/Graphix)

Jeff Smith’s latest prequel to his smash hit Bone continues to explore the series’ lighter side.

 

108 pgs. full color; $10.99
(W: Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski; A: Jeff Smith)
 
The worst thing I can say about Bone: Tall Tales is that it’s just pretty good. It follows the Scholastic reprints of the original Bone saga and is itself mostly a reprint of the late 90’s Bone prequel Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails with a glossier presentation and a few extra pages.
 
The reprinted stories follow Big Johnson Bone, founder of Boneville. They’re presented as campfire stories told by Smiley Bone to a trio of young bones and the rat creature Bartleby. As always, the art is top notch, and Tall Tales keeps in line with not only the original Bone saga, but also the pristine color reprints and the Rose prequel.
 
Unfortunately, there’s not much here for anyone except the Bone completist or the young newcomer. I was set to bash the whole concept of this book. The original Bone grew darker as it went on, but (Rose aside) the prequels regress, playing almost exclusively to the younger crowd. But after reading, thinking, and re-reading, I can’t make that argument. Jeff Smith hasn’t gone George Lucas with Bone…yet. The book is fun, but not dumbed down. And fun comics aren’t the exclusive property of youngsters. Tall Tales is a fine—though not entirely necessary—addition to the (apparently) unending and constantly-revised Bone series. | Gabe Bullard
 
Click here for a brief preview of Bone: Tall Tales and an interview with co-writer Tom Sniegoski, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

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