Writer and Artist: Jeff Smith
The story picks up with Fone and Smiley Bone venturing off to return their new friend, an orphaned baby rat creature, to the wild. The critter has a name now: Bartleby, one of the frequent homages to Melville in Bone. Rock Jaw is the mountain lion whose territory they must traverse.
Bone makes excellent use of the serialized narrative format, always leaving the reader curious about unanswered questions. Recently, Drama Guy and I have been talking about cliffhangers in regards to The Walking Dead - he knows the TV show, I know the comic books. He doesn't like the cliffhangers. It occurs to me that most television programs don't make much use of serialization. Most episodes are one-shot deals. There are exceptions, of course. The Battlestar Galactica reboot was serialized, as are daytime soaps. For comic books, I'm okay with an issue being a complete, independent story but I still want to be left curious about the next issue. Otherwise, why bother reading it?
One of the best ways Bone keeps the reader going from one issue to the next is the presence of morally ambiguous characters. Both Bartleby and Rock Jaw are wonderfully nuanced. One knows intuitively they have roles to play in the tale to come, but how?
How do "one-shot deals" differ from "serialization"? Is it lingering plot threads and inability to be watched out of order? I understand how something like "Law and Order" and most sitcoms can be views in isolation but I shy away from long running dramas if I can't jump in from the beginning? Or am I just confusing series with a thick mythology and strong characters? Where does "House of Cards" fall compared to "Doctor Who"? This is fascinating to me.ReplyDelete
Oh...and I've never read Bone.
I think of Doctor Whos as one-shots whereas House of Cards is serialized, one continuous story that is essentially broken up into chapters. That's not to say that a series of one-shots can't have story threads that carry throughout but each is a stand alone story.Delete
I have not heard of these characters but they sound well-roundedReplyDelete
Due to the simplicity of the artwork, as Maurice pointed out in his comment, the natural inclination is not to take Bone seriously but it's a surprising sophisticated series.Delete
This is another one that I didn't know. What have I been watching all these years?ReplyDelete
Supposedly, there are movies in the works. Warner Bros own the rights.Delete
Bone has always sounded like a fascinating comic which is interesting because the artwork looks simplistic at first glance.ReplyDelete
I never wanted to take Bone seriously until it started turning up on recommended lists. I'm hooked now.Delete