All Ages

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bone

I remember buying my first issue of Bone when I was 16, at a comic store in Hamilton, a city about a half and hour away from my hometown. After getting my driver's license I used to sneak out to comic stores in other cities without telling my parents because there was always something new and more exciting to buy. It was issue #8 -- the one with the famous image of young Thorn and a group of dragons. Bone had gained some popularity in the indie circles at this point and back issues were hard to find and when you did find them, they were expensive. Trade paperbacks were a rarity at that point in the industry so I had to take in what I could from the few issues I could scrounge up here and there. Bone was something totally different than most of the superhero stuff I was reading at the time and I knew it was great.

University came along, I stopped buying tons o'comics, Bone went to Image and I lost track of the book. But before that, I bought a collection of the first 6 issues of Bone and finally filled in the gaps that I had missed years earlier. And now, 10 years later, after being invited to meet with Jeff Smith by the Graphix team in NYC, I bought all 8 volumes and read them back-to-back in two days. I always knew Bone was great, but this time it blew me away.

Despite what many people in the industry think, kids want to read comics. They just disappeared out of their immediate vision for a while with the rise of the Direct Market and the narrowing of genres published. If you put a comic in a kid's hands, they will read them. Publishing for children is all about tapping into those true experiences that all kids have. Making references and connections to things that kids really care about, are afraid of and get excited over. Bone accomplishes this all -- family, friendship, epic struggle, comedy, fun, action, magic, the reluctant hero -- I think you get the picture.

I just finished reading volume 9 of Bone and now everything's come full circle from the day I picked up that first issue of Bone back in high school. Sentimental? Me? Of course I am...how lucky am I to be part of promoting a comic I stand by wholeheartedly to an audience that's been missing from comics for so long. I'm damn lucky...

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