is a popular independent comic book
series by Jeff Smith about the adventures of the Bone cousins - the avaricious Phoncible P. "Phoney" Bone, the goofy, cigar
-smoking Smiley Bone, and the everyman
character Fone Bone - as they are run out of their hometown of Boneville and must make their way across a fantasy landscape pursued by "stupid, stupid rat creatures". Smith's drawings are inspired by animated cartoons and comic strips
- a notable influence being Walt Kelly
- and have a very Disney
appeal. However, although the series contains a great deal of both visual and character-based comedy, the main storyline is more serious. Drawing its inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien
and others, it deals with the threat to an entire kingdom by the rat creatures and their master, the Lord of the Locusts. Most of the characters are drawn in a more realistic style than the Bone cousins, which reflects the comic's mixture of humour and drama.
An attempt to produce a film of Bone through Nickelodeon Films was unsuccessful. According to Smith, Nickelodeon saw the story strictly as children's entertainment, and insisted that the Bone characters be voiced by child actors and that the film had to include pop songs by the likes of Britney Spears.
The series is self-published by Smith under his Cartoon Books imprint, but for a time was published by superhero publisher Image Comics. It is due to end with its 55th issue.
- Regular series
- Out from Boneville
- The Great Cow Race
- Eyes of the Storm
- The Dragonslayer
- Rockjaw, Master of the Eastern Border
- Old Man's Cave
- Ghost Circles
- Treasure Hunters
- Crown of Horns (forthcoming)
- Spin-offs - both prequels to the main storyline
- Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone, Frontier Hero