Bone was first self-published by Jeff Smith following the Dave Sim model from 1991 to 2004. Fifty-five issues in all, with Image Comics publishing issues #21-27, before returning to Cartoon Books for issues #28-55. The series was also coloured and reprinted as part of Disney Adventures, gathering ten Eisner Awards during its run. The series follows Fone Bone and his two cousins, Phoncible P. “Phoney” Bone and Smiley Bone through a fantasy land, trying to get by and find purpose in a classic cartoony fashion.
From February 2005 to January 2009, Scholastic Graphix began reissuing in both hardcover and paperback the individual volumes in full colour by Steve Hamaker for North America, while from 2006, HarperCollins began publishing the colour editions for the UK market.
In 2008, Warner Bros. Pictures bought the film rights to the series, with three planned CGI animated films, to be written by Patrick Sean Smith, and P. J. Hogan was attached to direct, though in 2016 Mark Osborne was hired as director for Warner Animation Group, as well as writing the films along with Adam Kline. Dropped by Warners, in 2019, the project was picked up by Netflix for an animated series. However, in April 2022, production on the series was cancelled during a reorganization of Netflix Animation, along with a number of other stopped series and films.
So now it is back to the comic books again, and new Bone stories for 2023… Jeff Smith has signed a deal with David Saylor and Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Scholastic/Graphix for a new Bone graphic novel to be published in the autumn of 2023. Bone: More Tall Tales is to be a graphic anthology of stories written by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski, and drawn by Jeff Smith, Stan Sakai, Katie Cook, Matt Smith, and Scott Brown. Bone: More Tall Tales will include stories about the Bone cousins and their Rat Creature pal share stories around a campfire with a group of young scouts.
Which, TV series or not, might make this a good time to pick up early issues of the series. Heritage Art Auctions currently has a copy of Bone #9, slabbed by CGC at 9.8, the highest grade for this comic, with only 24 others. The issue before The Great Cow Race and the first appearance of the Mystery Cow… bids currently total $35 and the hammer drops today.
Bone #9 (Cartoon Books, 1993) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages. Jeff Smith story cover, and art. Overstreet 2022 NM- 9.2 value = $25. CGC census 1/23: 25 in 9.8, none higher.
Affiliates of Bleeding Cool buy from and/or consign to Heritage Auctions.