I want you right now
Jeff Smith’s Bone series has long been a favorite of mine. My brother started collecting it when it first came out (we have the entire series in issue form) and on a monthly basis this comic caught our imagination like very few others did. Through its 55 issues, Bone continued to get better and better, transitioning from a funny book about three odd brothers lost in a foreign land into a sprawling fantasy adventure story with the greatest of ease (and it even added “stupid, stupid rat creatures!” to our vocabularly for a lengthy stretch). One way or another it never lost its heart.
Now after the series has become an enormous worldwide hit for children and adults alike (millions sold…hard to believe but unbelievably fantastic), Jeff Smith and Scholastic announced that new material will be coming out for the first time in five years.
There will be two new pieces of material from the Boneverse. The first up will be coming in the summer of 2010, and as Jeff Smith says it’s a “major repackaging” of an older release he and collaborator Tom Sniegoski put together in 1999 titled Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails. It will feature the story from that, but it will also feature a long out-of-print story from Smith’s Disney Adventures work and two new Big Johnson Bone stories from Sniegoski. Not only that, but these stories will be told by Phoney and Bartleby to three Bone Scouts after they’ve returned to Boneville. Considering the fact that anything featuring Phoney and Bartleby is complete gold, color me excited.
Then, the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance. In 2011, Scholastic will release the first of three new Bone novels as written by Sniegoski titled Bone: Quest for the Spark. While it is not written by Smith nor does it feature any of the primary characters, Smith promises that we will see some old favorites (Roderick the Racoon and stupid, stupid rat creatures are mentioned) and that it is completely hilarious. Scholastic obviously was head over heels for the idea (I’m pretty sure the executives who first heard this idea only heard “ka-ching, ka-ching” repeating in their head as Smith and Sniegoski spoke), and requested that Smith add illustrations. There will be “about twenty, full bleed and in color” according to Smith, which just adds to the amazing.
While I am a pinch skeptical about the whole thing (the series ended so well, why keep going to that well?), I am very excited to see new material coming out involving this universe and these characters. I’m really hoping that they will match the quality Smith has given us up to this point, and come on, is it really that much to ask for a Roque Ja appearance? Come on Sniegoski.