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Bone is an independently published comic book series, originally serialized in 55 irregularly-released issues from 1991 to 2004. Bone was drawn and written by Jeff Smith.

Smith's black-and-white drawings were inspired by animated cartoons and comic strips, a notable influence being Walt Kelly's Pogo: "I was … a big fan of Carl Barks and Pogo, so it was just natural for me to want to draw that kind of mixture of Walt Kelly and Moebius." Accordingly, the story is singularly characterized by an effective combination of both light-hearted comedy and dark, epic fantasy: Time Magazine has called the series "as sweeping as the Lord of the Rings cycle, but much funnier."

Bone has received numerous awards, among them ten Eisner Awards and eleven Harvey Awards. The 1,342 page compilation was put on Time magazine's list of Top Ten Graphic Novels of All Time.


The series centers around the Bone Family, white, bald cartoon caricatures with big noses. In the opening pages the three Bone cousins—avaricious Phoncible P. "Phoney" Bone, goofy cigar-smoking Smiley Bone, and everyman character Fone Bone—are run out of their hometown of Boneville after Phoney decides to run for mayor and built a balloon [thought to be an evil god later in the story] on top the head of a statue of Boneville's founder. The balloon broke the head off of the statue and all the towns people ran Phoncible, Smiley, and Fone out of town. After crossing a desert and ending up in the mysterious Valley, the cousins are separated by a sea of locusts, and must individually make their way across the fantasy landscape pursued by rat creature. They joyously reunite at a local village called Barrelhaven, where they are taken in by a mysterious girl named Thorn and her even more enigmatic grandmother. Fone Bone instantly develops a crush on Thorn when he meets her, and repeatedly attempts to prove his love through poetry. As they stay longer in the valley, they encounter humans and other creatures who are threatened by a decrepit dark lord, the Lord of the Locusts. The Bones are quickly drawn into the events around them, compelling them on a hero's journey to help save the world.

Although Boneville is never actually shown in the story, it is implied as technologically contemporary: Fone refers to its extensive downtown, Phoney carries dollar bills, and Smiley refers to the presence of nuclear reactors and a CornDogHut.TM In contrast, the Valley is depicted as somewhat medieval, judging by its lifestyle, use of a bartering system, weapons and modes of transportation, and Phoney persistently refers to the valley people as "yokels."

Although essentially a high fantasy, Bone also displays slapstick humor, particularly in The Great Cow Race (issue #10) and Phoney Bone's ongoing efforts to become rich off the credulous valley residents. As the series progresses to graver issues and a more serious level, its characteristic use of broad humor lessens but continues to recur.

Publication history

Most of the series was self-published by Smith under his Cartoon Books imprint from 1991 to 2004, but for a short time was published by Image Comics. During this time, the first 27 issues were reprinted by Image with new covers. These reprints are identifiable by the Image logo in the upper left hand corner of the cover. The Cartoon Books printings have black back covers, inset with a single panel reprinted from inside. First printings can be distinguished from later printings by changes in the color of the logo on the front cover. The comic and its story ended with its 55th issue, dated June 2004. The back cover has, in place of the usual comic panel, a black and white photo of Smith in his studio drawing the last page on May 10. In an interview on Attack of the Show, Smith revealed that he drew the last page very early on. The 55 issues have been collected into the following volumes.

Individual volumes

# Title Release date Collected material
1 Out from Boneville (originally released as The Complete Bone Adventures volume 1) 1995 Bone #1–6
2 The Great Cow Race 1996 Bone #7–11
3 Eyes of the Storm 1996 Bone #12–19
4 The Dragonslayer 1997 Bone #20–27
5 Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border 1998 Bone #28–32
6 Old Man's Cave 1999 Bone #33–37
7 Ghost Circles 2001 Bone #38–43
8 Treasure Hunters 2002 Bone #44–49
9 Crown of Horns 2004 Bone #50–55

Issues from the Out From Boneville collection were also reprinted in the digest-sized children's magazine Disney Adventures, first in 1994 and later in 1997 through 1998. The issues usually consisted of 7–9 pages a month and were coloured and censored to remove smoking and drinking references, and removing any sexual innuendoes involving Thorn and Fone Bone . There was also an exclusive story for Disney Adventures by Smith, featuring Fone and Phoney following a "treasure map."

Color editions

From February 2004 to January 2009, Scholastic Inc.marker (through its new Graphix imprint) began reissuing in both hardcover and soft the individual volumes in full color by Steve Hamaker. In 2006, HarperCollins began publishing the full color editions for the UK market. These editions also correct some spelling errors, i.e., "kewpie-doll" for "cupie-doll" and "kowtow" for "cowtow."

One volume edition

The special 1,332 page, one volume edition (ISBN 1-888963-14-X) was released originally for $40 (USD) through Jeff Smith's Cartoon Books imprint in a paperback volume. This special print of the entire adventure was to celebrate the recent end of the series and the commencement of every collection in the series being reprinted in color through Scholastic Press. First released in 2004 and promoted as only a limited print run being available, this edition has recently returned to print.

In addition to the one volume paperback, a signed limited edition hardcover edition of the one volume book was issued. The deluxe hardcover featured gold embossed lettering on the cover, gilded edges, and a cloth ribbon bookmark. The end pages are printed with a map of The Valley and it comes with a full-color signed and numbered bookplate. This limited edition pressing of the book originally sold for around $125 (USD) and was initially limited to 2,000 copies.

The collection won the 2005 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album Reprint., and was listed at #3 in Time magazine's "Best Comix of 2004". Reviewer Andrew Arnold said of the collection, which was published at the conclusion of the monthly series, "As sweeping as the Lord of the Rings cycle, but much funnier...Smith imbues even simple dialogue panels with animation. Now that it's finished Bone should join the ranks of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter in the young adult pantheon."

Spin-offs & special one-shots


Both prequels and sequels to the main storyline.
  • Thorn: Tales From the Lantern, a compilation of Jeff Smith's comic panels from his college years. Currently out of print.

  • Bone: Tall Tales, the events show Smiley and Bartleby after the events in the main series. It features them telling tall tales to three bone brothers (Ring, Bingo and Todd). It is going to be a repackaging of Stupid Rat Tales and A Disney Adventure short. It is set to relase summer 2010.

In a recent interview, Jeff talked about another "Big Johnson Bone" adventure that may be forthcoming. Big Johnson Bone is the lead character from "Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails".

  • Bone: Legacy, a trilogy of novels following the adventures of new Bones in their quest in the valley. The first volume, Quest for the Spark, is scheduled to be released in 2011.

Bone has been confirmed as one of the characters featured in the War of the Independents crossover.

Special one-shots

  • Bone: Holiday Special (Hero Premiere Edition)
(1993, Warrior Publications, 14 pages)This was a Hero Premiere Edition bundled with Hero Illustrated magazine. It includes a short story where the Bone cousins celebrate Winter Solstice, and also a Jeff Smith interview and sketches.

  • Bone #13 1/2
(Jan 1995, Wizard, 28 pages)This was a free comic book mail-in offer through Wizard magazine. As was also common with Wizard magazine comic offers, there was a special gold foil cover variant where the Bone title on the cover is embossed in gold foil. It came in a rigid mylar sleeve and a certificate of authenticity. There is a short story that fits in between #13 and #14 of the regular series, and is included in Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race. This special also includes a Jeff Smith interview and sketches.

  • Bone Sourcebook
(1995, Image Comics, 16 pages with wrap-around cover)This was a free promotional book given out at 1995 San Diego Comic-con and it also polybagged with Wizard magazine. This sourcebook was published to celebrate the move of the Bone series from self-publishing to Image Comics, where it stayed for only 7 issues before Jeff Smith took it back to self-publishing.

It includes an Introduction by Jeff Smith & biography, character profiles, color poster by Jim Lee, story timeline, upcoming storyline, and shipping schedule.

  • Bone #1 Tenth Anniversary Edition

(2001, Cartoon Books)

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, a special color edition of Bone #1 with was released with a free collectible Fone Bone PVC figure and a full color Phoney Bone Gazillion dollar bill. This special edition included a new cover, a new afterword by Jeff Smith, and an illustrated eight-page commentary by comics historian R. C. Harvey, and the original artwork was digitally remastered in full color.

Cast of characters

Bone cousins

Fone Bone
The hero of the series, Fone Bone is the smartest of the Bones. He and his cousin Smiley Bone help their other cousin Phoney Bone escape from Boneville after he upset the villagers, and get stuck in the valley. He is passionate about his favorite book, Moby-Dick, and is the most level-headed of the three Bone cousins. He has an unspoken crush on Thorn Harvestar. His name comes from "funny bone," which also inspired the Mad Magazine character Fonebone drawn by Don Martin.

Phoncible P. "Phoney" Bone:
Manipulative and greedy Phoney Bone is the most couragous of the Bones and he will do anything to get rich. Run out of Boneville by an angry mob of villagers after trying to run for mayor of Boneville, his greediness and selfishness makes an enemy of anyone who crosses him in the valley. Referred to as "The One Who Bears The Star" (due to the star on the t-shirt he wears) by the Hooded One, Phoney is sought after by the Rat Creature army though he does not know why (later it's revealed that the Hooded One erroneously believed a giant balloon of Phoney used in his campaign for mayor of Boneville that fell in her lair to be an omen that Phoney could be used to fulfill her agenda). Fone says that part of the reason for his cousin's resourcefulness and greed may be that Phoney, as the oldest of the Bone trio, raised his two cousins when they were young — and poor — orphans. Though he is selfish, he is very defensive of his cousins when he needs to be and shows he really cares about them. An example is given when he is approached by The Hooded One who proceeds to threaten Fone Bone, Phoncible becomes angry and warns The Hooded One to stay away from Fone. He also shows his jest side, despite his complaining the whole story, by appearing to run away in the last battle, only to come back in armor with reinforcements ready for battle. To his dismay, they arrive right as the battle ended. However he still claims himself as a hero.

Smiley Bone
The tallest of the Bones and arguably the least intelligent, he plays a one-string banjo and is always seen smoking a cigar, and often ends up driving people mad due to his stupidity and simplicity. However, he is also observant and seems to take life as it comes. He likes to help people, although Lucius says it is more like torture. Allegedly, Fone Bone brought him along purely to torture Phoney. He takes kindly to a rat creature cub, whom he names Bartleby, and through his nurturing of Bartleby we see a maturing in his character. When he and his cousins were children, Phoney made him steal pies off windowsills, because he was the tallest, and apparently they were poor to the point where they couldn't afford food. Phoney mentions that when he became rich, Smiley made him pay everyone back.

Valley characters

Thorn Harvestar
Fone's crush. Seemingly a simple farm girl, it is soon revealed that she is heir to the throne of Atheia. She is also a "veni-yan-cari" (an awakened one). Thorn has been shown to show excellent courage, as well as powers, such as escaping through a landslide blindfolded, flying, and jumping a castle wall without injuring herself. In a sense she can do anything if she can "concentrate her dreaming."

Rose "Gran'ma" Ben (originally Rose Harvestar)
Thorn's grandmother, a tough-as-nails farmer who races against cows on foot as a hobby, and always wins. An immensely strong person, it is revealed that she is the former Queen of Atheia who escaped to Barrelhaven with Lucius Down in order to protect and safeguard Thorn.

Lucius Down
The foil for almost all of Phoney Bone's schemes. He runs the Barrelhaven Tavern, and in the later books we find that he sees Jonathan Oaks as a son. Lucius had formerly hinted of a history with Gran'ma Ben — only to reveal later that he had 'picked the wrong girl', instead falling in love with her sister, Briar, whose motive in the affair was to hurt Rose. Though Briar in her form as the Hooded One still held a little affection for him (indicated in a tiny heart appearing in her speech bubble when she called his name), he was still in love with Rose Harvestar. When the Hooded One prepared to kill Rose, Lucius grabbed onto her just as her master, the Lord of the Locust, is destroyed; the resulting surge in power incinerates Briar and kills Lucius.

The Great Red Dragon
Often Fone Bone's last-minute savior, the Red Dragon appears when he is most needed. Gran'ma Ben does not trust him, regardless of how many times he has saved her or her friends from harm. The Great Red Dragon seems to be incredibly ancient. In a sequence that shows the land during the Dragons' reign, supposedly the beginning of time, the Great Red Dragon can be seen fighting Mim along with other dragons. As said in Rose, he is Mim's son and he was part of the group that trapped her in stone when the Valley was made. He takes care of Thorn during the Great War while Rose searched for a place for them to hide. He is also seen at the end of Stupid, Stupid Rat-tails during the time of Boneville's founding by 'Big Johnson Bone'.

Jonathan Oaks
A small, often outspoken, villager who works for Lucius at the Barrelhaven, and views Lucius as a hero. Though he was saved from an ambush from the rat creatures in Old Man's Cave, it is revealed that he died subsequently, in the Veni Yan infirmary.

One of Lucius' tough "bar-room boys" and the tinsmith of Barrelhaven. Outspoken in the early issues (he and Euclid have more than once threatened to trounce Phoney Bone), he became more introverted once the reality of the war presented itself. He often changes sides and his mind. He goes from hating the Bones and stick-eaters to following them and them hating the Bones again. He seems to be a powerful ally to have in his village and is often is followed by the villagers when he changes sides. Despite his skinny appearance, he is implied to be just as strong as Euclid.

Along with Jonathan and Wendell, one of the "bar-room boys". He is depicted as very large and muscular, and often wishes to resort to physical force to solve problems. He is consumed by a ghost circle after the volcano explosion, but returns after Thorn destroys the ghost circles.

A third bar-room boy. Is almost always present near Wendell, Euclid, and Jonathan, but rarely speaks. None of his comments give much of a hint to his personality. It is implied that he is a total follower with little or no influence.

A helpful Acanalonia bivittata, or planthopper, that pops up from time to time. Ted is the first creature Fone Bone encounters when he enters the valley, and harbors a strange link to the Red Dragon. He has an older brother who is several hundred times his size. He is able to perform magical enchantments and has the ability to detect Ghost Circles.

Miz Possum
Mother to the three possum kids, she is likewise a caring, motherly figure to everyone in the valley. She often has something to give to Fone Bone when she sees him.

The Possum Kids
Three young possums with a thirst for adventure. They have a knack for getting into trouble which then Fone Bone saves them, but they are resourceful and cunning. The possums look suspiciously like Pogo the possum from Walt Kelly's comic strip.

Mountain creatures

The Hooded One (Briar Harvestar)
Servant of the Lord of the Locusts and Kingdok's superior. It is implied that The Hooded One is a former Veni Yan warrior, as she wears a similar robe and hood. It is later revealed that the Hooded One is Briar Harvestar, the sister of Gran'ma Ben. Briar was made to feel inferior to her sister when she was younger, and when the Rat Creatures invaded in the great war, she betrayed the Royal family by leading them to the Rat Creatures. When the King, Thorn's father, learned of this betrayal, he cut her in half with an abandoned harvesting scythe, which the Hooded One now carries as a weapon. Briar was possessed and resurrected by a swarm of locusts. The Hooded One is often thought of as resembling the Grim Reaper in physical appearance, although there is no real connection between the two.

A giant rat creature that bears a striking resemblance to a furry T-Rex, ruler of the horde of rat creatures and lackey of the Lord of the Locusts. Although he is ego-maniacal and cruel, he is prone to superstition and easily manipulated by The Hooded One. He carries a golden spiked club around with him, until Thorn cuts off his right arm. Roque Ja at one point attacks Kingdok and rips out his tongue, which he keeps as a trophy. A continuity error is that while Roque Ja is bragging about owning the tongue, Kingdok cannot speak, but later speaks clearly to the Hooded One. After that, he attempts to say "kill you", and it comes out "gill yoo", just as one would speak without a tongue. At the end of the novel, he faces Thorn before she can touch the Crown of Horns. He tells her (once again able to speak) that "Either she kills him or he kills her", because he wants to die. He states that he is tired of being the Hooded One's puppet. Thorn does not want to kill him, even though he goads her by reminding her that he was the one who killed her parents (he even tells her that he fed on Thorn's mother while she was still alive). She tries to dart towards the Crown of Horns, but Kingdok bites her leg. Given no choice, Thorn then drives her sword into Kingdok killing him.

The Rat Creatures
Two rat creature soldiers who have a particular interest in devouring the Bone cousins, and Fone Bone in particular. The two are rather incompetent, once deserting the army after their disobedience costs Kingdok his arm and later allying with the Bones briefly before returning back to their own side. They address each other as "comrade". Fone Bone is the one who dubs the two "Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures"; Fone Bone is also usually credited with coining the term "Rat Creatures" itself; however, he actually got the name from the possum kids. As it stands, the proper name of Rat Creatures appears to be Hairy Men. Named after some incidents where one, or both, clearly emphasize their title, they in turn call Fone Bone "Small Mammal." The second rat creature (the one who likes quiche and asks for it all the time) may be female as he/she often employs many female stereotypes (i.e. sulking after being called fat and having a larger variety of tastes than the first rat creature). This, however, could not be possible because in a few scenes, they are both addressed as "boys" (by Kingdok and the Great Red Dragon). In a running gag throughout the series, one rat creature suggests cooking Fone Bone in a quiche. The other rat creature flies into a rage, insisting that 'dainty pastry foods' are 'unfit for monsters,' and that they should eat him in a stew — though he did once in a fit of anger declare an intention of eating Fone Bone raw, and on another occasion, when they were starving, told his comrade that he wouldn't mind some of his home-made quiche. Later, Fone Bone himself delivered to the two some 'piping hot quiche' when he found them shivering in a bush after the Hooded One's defeat. Their relationship is pondered by multiple fans. It is debated if they are friends, relatives, or lovers.

A baby rat creature found by Fone Bone and adopted as a pet by Smiley Bone. After the Bones' first encounter with Roque Ja, Bartleby returns to the fold of the Rat Creatures, though is out of place there and returns to the Bones later after growing a little. He became a good friend to Smiley and when they left for Boneville, he went with them. Bartleby was named by Shaenon K. Garrity, for the title character in the short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville. Unlike the other Rat Creatures, Bartleby has round ears. He explains that the Rat Creatures are supposed to get their ears cropped and that he ran away before they could do that to him. Bartleby also explains that the first time he ran away from the Rat Creatures was after he got his tail chopped off. He states that all Rat Creatures are born with beautiful, long, hairless tails, but all the Rat Creature cubs have their tails chopped off around the time they turn one year old. This is due to their belief that a sort of boogie man named 'The Jekk' will drag them away in their sleep by their tails. In the prequel book Stupid, Stupid, Rat-Tails, we learn that the Bone cousins' forefather 'Big Johnson Bone' is the fabled boogie man they fear, having come to the Valley a thousand years earlier and fighting the Rat Creatures by swinging them around by their tails. In a sequence depicting the land during the Dragons' rule, Rat Creatures with long tails can be seen in the distance.

Roque Ja
A huge mountain lion who views himself as neutral in the conflict between the humans and the Lord of the Locusts despite lopsided affiliations. He is the guardian of the Eastern Border. His personal views are that there is no such thing as "good" and "evil", only that power matters above all and that friendship and love is meaningless. He despises both Dragons and Rat Creatures but works for the Hooded One in exchange for land and spoils of war. His name is mispronounced as 'Rock Jaw' by the Bone cousins. Towards the end of the series, he allows Fone Bone, Thorn, and Bartleby to run past him towards Tanen Gard unharmed for reasons unexplained. But, as Gran'ma Ben states in volume #9, "He's also a big cat. You can't always explain cats."

Roderick and the Orphans
Roderick is a young raccoon whose parents were killed and eaten by the two stupid rat creatures. He is the leader of a large group of orphaned animal children living in the mountains. Roderick is the only one named, and the complete group consists of a beaver, a boar, two birds, a rabbit, a porcupine, a turtle, two snakes, a squirrel, and a chipmunk.


The Lord of the Locusts
The unseen dark lord who orchestrates much of the saga's villainy. He is an evil, formless "nightmare" trapped inside a mountain, and appears in the form of a locust swarm to his chief henchman, the Hooded One.

The original queen of the dragons, believed to be the creator of the valley, was possessed by the Lord of the Locusts, and turned to stone by the other dragons. Her awakening was said to be the end of the world, but instead the Lord of the Locusts disappeared, and an aged Mim returned to her function followed by all of the other Dragons besides the Great Red Dragon.

The Veni Yan("stick-eaters")
A mysterious clan of hooded warriors. Distrusted by the townsfolk (who came up with the derogatory term "stick-eater") but trusted by Lucius.

The leader of the Venu and most powerful soldier. He is distinguished with a fur vest with bronze tokens. In the series, two appear. The first is the current one who has a feeling that the world is ending. The second one is retired in the city of Atheia and is the headmaster that appears in "Rose".


Michael Arner from was initially not impressed with the black and white artwork, and at first disappointed at the ending, hoping for a more conclusive dénouement. However, he ultimately praised the depth of the characterizations and Smith's ability to "mix humor and adventure perfectly."

Bob's Comics Review described the work as "Tolkienesque" in its compulsive progression from a simple comic tale to a sprawling epic. Although critical of the earlier issues, the writer came to enjoy the range of writing "from slapstick (the cow race is a classic), to the scary yet hilarious rat creatures, to intimations of high fantasy." Smith's sense of timing was praised as well as the creator's use of the silent panel and "repeated scene with variations of movement or perspective."


  • 1993 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication
  • 1994 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story: "The Great Cow Race"; Bone #7-11
  • 1994 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series
  • 1994 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist: Jeff Smith
  • 1994 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication
  • 1995 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication
  • 1995 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist: Humor: Jeff Smith
  • 1995 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist: Humor: Jeff Smith
  • 2005 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint: Bone One Volume Edition

  • 1994 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 1994 Harvey Award Special Award for Humor: Jeff Smith
  • 1994 Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work: The Complete Bone Adventures; reissued in color as Bone: Out from Boneville (Scholastic Corporation)
  • 1995 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 1996 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 1997 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 1999 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith, for his body of work in 1998, including Bone
  • 2000 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 2003 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 2005 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist): Jeff Smith
  • 2005 Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work: Bone: One Volume Edition

  • 1993 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist: Jeff Smith
  • 1995 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue: Bone #16: "Eyes of the Storm"
  • 1995 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Item: Bone figurine, sculpted by Jeff Smith and Randy Bowen
  • 1996 Eisner Award for Best Title for Younger Readers
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Product: Bone Red Dragon cold-cast statue, sculpted by Randy Bowen, based on designs by Jeff Smith
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Comics Publication for a Younger Audience
  • 1999 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Product/Item: Phoney Bone inflatable
  • 2003 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album Reprint: Bone vol. 8: Treasure Hunters
  • 2004 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist: Humor: Jeff Smith
  • 2005 Eisner Award for Best Comics Publication for a Younger Audience
  • 2006 Eisner Award for Best Coloring: Steve Hamaker, Bone: The Great Cow Race
  • 2008 Eisner Award for Best Coloring: Steve Hamaker, Bone (vols. 5 and 6) and Shazam: Monster Society of Evil

Other media

Animated film

In the 1990s, an attempt to produce a film of Bone through Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies was unsuccessful. According to Smith, Nickelodeon saw the story strictly as children's entertainment, and insisted that the Bone characters be voiced by child actors and that the film had to include pop songs by the likes of Britney Spears and N'Sync. Smith's response was that no one would consider putting pop songs in film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, and therefore should not be placed in Bone either.

On March 9 2008, announced that Warner Bros. had bought the rights to the film. Smith's website confirmed on March 13, 2008 that he had made a deal with Warner Bros. to adapt the Bone saga into a film series. Whether the format of the film is to be traditional 2-D animation or live action is yet to be decided. However, Smith stated in a recent interview that the film will most likely be CGI animated. Despite this there are rumors about the film being 2-D animated.

Action figures

In 1996 the toy manufacturer Resaurus released Series One of a Bone figure line, featuring: Fone Bone with Rat Cub, Thorn, Smiley Bone, and Rat Creature. Five years later, a second line was released with Gran'ma Ben, Phoney Bone, The Hooded One, and a deluxe boxed set of Kingdok. Two exclusive figures were released through the toy and comic magazine "Previews": Hooded One (glow in the dark), and Phoney Bone as Ahab. Most recently, in 2007, "Dark Horse Comics Presents" released a 5-inch high statue of Fone Bone, which is limited to 750 pieces and to be sold through Wizard Magazine.

Video games

On February 22 2005, video game company Telltale Games announced that they would be developing adventure games based on the comic using episodic format. The first episode, Bone: Out from Boneville, was released on September 15 2005, and the second, The Great Cow Race, on April 12, 2006. Both are available in downloaded or boxed form on Telltale's website for Windows-based PCs. Currently, Telltale Games has suspended any further development of the Bone game series.

On October 13 2006, video game company Vanbrio Entertainment announced the release of a Macintosh version of Bone Act 1: Out of Boneville.


Bone: Legacy, a trilogy of novels following the adventures of new Bones in their quest in the valley. The first installment, Part I: Quest for the Spark, is scheduled to be released in 2011.

Cultural references

  • In the Fox sitcom The War at Home, a picture of Phoney Bone hangs in Larry's room.
  • In the Sam & Max Season One episode "Situation: Comedy" (also created by Telltale Games), when the heroes walk into a TV station, there is a set labeled "Barrelhaven Set", a reference to the fictional town from Bone. In a "blooper reel" released on the Season DVD, during the scene when Sam is examining the Barrelhaven Set, Fone Bone walks up behind him and surprises him, causing fits of laughter from himself, Sam, Max, and the rest of the off-screen crew.
  • In the television series Numb3rs, the character Larry Fleinhardt purchases (among other things) a Fone Bone plush doll in the episode "Graphics", which is set at a comic book convention.
  • In the "gag" part of volume one of the Japanesemarker manga .hack//Legend of the Twilight, one of the badly drawn pictures was titled "Jeff Smith's Bone?"
  • In an issue of the comic book Static, while waiting for Virgil, Rick's friend Evelyn is seen perusing a copy of Bone, and deciding whether or not to buy it.
  • In Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck chapter III, The Buckaroo of the Badlands, there's a close-up of a letter sent from "Fonebone Hotel". However, this may be a reference instead—or as well—to Don Martin's frequent use of the name Fonebone in his work.
  • On Go Plastic, an electronic album by Squarepusher, one of the tracks is named "Boneville Occident."
  • In the three-part thirteenth issue of Gen 13, Vol. 1, Fone Bone and the rat creatures are among the many guest stars from other comics that Grunge meets as he journeys through "The Land of S.A." Though he contributes little to the plot, Fone Bone has a fairly sizeable role and gets a decent amount of screen time, even briefly accompanying Grunge on his journey.
  • In one of the issues of Batman: Haunted Knight one of the characters in the Halloween party is dressed as Phoney Bone.
  • In episode one of MTV's The Maxx, "Bone?" is written on the wall in graffiti in the first act.

See also


  1. Interview: Jeff Smith Pt. 1 (of 2)
  2. Arnold, Andrew; Best + Worst 2004: "The Best Comix";
  3. Eisner Awards for 1993
  4. Eisner Awards for 1994
  5. Eisner Awards for 1995
  6. Eisner Awards for 1998
  7. Eisner Awards for 2005
  8. Harvey Award winners for 1994
  9. Harvey Award winners for 1995
  10. Harvey Award winners for 1996
  11. Harvey Award winners for 1997
  12. Harvey Award winners for 1999
  13. Harvey Award winners for 2000
  14. Harvey Award winners for 2003
  15. Harvey Award winners for 2005
  16. The History of BONE & Jeff Smith
  17. Arnold, Andrew; "All-TIME Graphic Novels";
  18. Interview With Jeff
  19. Search results for "Jeff Smith" showing release date of Bone volumes at
  20. Spirit of Will Eisner Lives on at 2005 Eisner Awards
  21. "News Watch: Bone Leaves Image," The Comics Journal #191 (November 1996), pp. 23-24.
  22. Web Comics Nation - Shaenon
  23. Eisner Awards for 1996
  24. Eisner Awards for 2004
  25. Eisner Awards for 2006
  26. "Your 2008 Eisner Award Winners" in Comics Reporter, July 26, 2008
  27. Robinson, Tasha; Interview with Jeff Smith;; July 28, 2008

External links

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