Tuesday, March 08, 2011

BONE: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS by Jeff Smith

BONE: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS is the latest available format for Jeff Smith's epic fantasy comic first serialized from 1991 to 2004. It's a lot less ambitious than the just announced upcoming colour One Volume hardcover editions (ranging from $150 to $1000), but that also makes it much more affordable.  This version, which appears to only have been released by the Canadian branch of Scholastic so far, is the first of three volumes and gathers the first three Bone books (OUT FROM BONEVILLE, THE GREAT COW RACE and EYES OF THE STORM, collectively known as "The Valley, or Vernal Equinox" in the One Volume edition) in colour and in hardcover, slightly larger than the previous Scholastic releases (almost but not quite back to the page size of the original comics).

I was pretty happy with the black and white One Volume Edition of Bone, that'll still always be my favourite way to see the artwork, though I was quite happy that the work was getting wider exposure in the colour books and thought the colouring by Steve Hamaker was very well done. When I saw that this version of it was a ridiculously cheap $16 I decided to check it out.  At worst it would make a good gift for a kid at some point. Well, it looks like I'll have to pick up another copy if I want to give it as a gift, because this is definitely the most satisfying format I've seen to actually read the book.  Much more comfortable to hold than the One Volume edition, and the larger image size is definitely a plus.

Hopefully they won't take too long to release the subsequent books, and after that I'd definitely be in the market for the various spin-off books in a matching format.  This is also the format I'd most recommend to anyone curious about trying the series, with the best balance of price and quality.  I don't know if the other branches of Scholastic are planning to release the series in this format, but they should.

(note the cover has a red foil Bone logo, which doesn't come through in the scan)
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