Bone: Coda

September 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , , , )

codaBone: Coda by Jeff Smith & Stephen Weiner

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I could tell you a whole lot about the origins of Bone and how it went from a struggling self-published title to a phenomenon, but if I did, I’d spoil a lot of this book for you. It’s not that I would spoil the story itself — the story at the beginning of this book is just a lagniappe to the larger story — but about two-thirds of this title is comprised of Smith’s own recollections and The Bone Companion, a literary look at the entire saga. So the book is more nonfiction than fiction, really.

That being said, how much you like this book will depend on how much you like to know the background of endeavors like this. I’m very much a behind-the-scenes kind of guy (the first thing I do after seeing a movie is look up its trivia), so I thought it was fantastic. It didn’t hurt that I started reading Bone with issue number nine or so, when I first got into comics, so a lot of what Smith talks about in his piece is stuff that happened while I was in that scene. It was pretty neat, and it brought back a lot of memories.

Weiner’s piece has been published before, and how necessary you feel it is depends on how you feel about literature. Weiner draws comparisons between Bone and the other works that inspired it, and some of those comparisons feel like a stretch. Additionally, Weiner sometimes makes a comparison but doesn’t support it with any additional detail, just expecting the reader to accept it. What I remember most clearly from my English classes is that you can draw any conclusion from a piece that you want, so long as you can support it with details from the work itself; Weiner bypasses this step a few times, but still expects the reader to agree with his conclusion.

It goes without saying that this book is intended for the Bone completist; even the short story at the beginning of the book adds nothing to the saga. At first I thought that it brought the entire story full circle, but that’s not entirely true; the end of Bone ended pretty much as it began, and this story goes a bit further, showing us some of what could have happened on the Bones’ way to Barrelhaven. Since we already know what the Bones’ characters are like, and can expect some of what happens, there’s nothing much new here. Still, it’s entertaining, hitting the usual notes readers would expect, and I imagine this book will sell just as well as all the others.

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