Friday, January 11, 2013

On the BONE hardcover trilogy...

Jeff Smith's BONE in convenient colour hardcover trilogy form

A few people have asked me about the three volume BONE collection I mentioned in my year in review post, so I figured I'd post a bit more about it.  You can also check out this post from two years ago when I got the first volume.

First off, that's red foil on the cover logos, so the books look much nicer than the scan.

As I noted back then, I believe Scholastic Canada is the only branch of the company to release the books in this format so far, publishing one a year from 2010 to 2012. They include all the covers to the nine-volume colour books, and the first one has a "Possum Interlude" short story, with Smith doing his best Walt Kelly style artwork, which I assume appears in the second Scholastic Graphix book but doesn't appear in the black&white BONE ONE VOLUME. I haven't seen the more recent colour ONE VOLUME.

Here's how the various editions look side by side, with copies of the Graphix hardcovers borrowed from the library:

And here's a comparison of the same page in each edition:

For those interested in numbers, the vertical height of the image areas are 190 mm on the Graphix edition, 198 mm the ONE VOLUME edition and 217 mm on the "Trilogy". And not pictured, but the original comic book serialization pages were 230 mm and the Ipad edition via Comixology has pages 173 mm high. So the "Trilogy" edition is by a good margin the largest currently available edition (unless the colour ONE VOLUME is bigger than the b&w version).

And the reading experience is generally better. The paper quality and binding is the same as the Graphix edition.  I love the ONE VOLUME version, but the thin paper required to make a 1300+ page book practical means I have to constantly check that I didn't flip two pages at a time. The individual books are also lighter than the ONE VOLUME version, and lay open on a table better.

And the best part is probably the price.  At $40 cover price, and often heavily discounted, the ONE VOLUME b&w softcover is still the cheapest way to read the series. The "Trilogy" versions are $27 dollars each, discounted to about $17 on major Canadian retail websites, so you can probably get the set for $51. The Graphix editions look like they're $13 softcover, $23 hardcover now, so a set of those would be $117 or $207, minus whatever discount you'd get.  On Comixology the series would cost $86 for the nine collections, or $108 if you got the 55 individual issues for some reason (that might be the only way to get the original Cartoon Books covers, but you can find scans of those on-line pretty easily). And the colour ONE VOLUME is $150, sometimes discounted to as low as $90. So the "Trilogy" version, in addition to being the best way to read the series in colour, is also the cheapest.

So, bottom line, very highly recommended set if you want to read BONE in colour. The ISBN of the first book is 1443104809, you can get it at Amazon Canada or Chapters and should be able to find the other two there easily enough. Looks like shipping to the US would be about $14 for the set on either of those sites, which still makes it only $65 total. Or urge your local branch of Scholastic to release the books in this format.


Gabe said...

Thanks. Those look great. If the publisher doesn't announce a US edition soon I'm going to have to import a set for my niece. She's just about worn out my old Cartoon Books softcovers, and also borrows the color books from the library all the time.

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