Bone (Complete Series, Volumes 1-9, Scholastic Printing)
Jeff Smith, (collected editions released 1995-2004,
colored editions released 2005-2009)
Premise: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone have been chased out of their hometown of Boneville, but they stumble into a valley where strange and wonderful creatures live. They quickly make both friends and enemies, but it soon becomes clear that there are factions in the valley with dark plans moving against the inhabitants, and the Bones are going to be in the center of the coming conflict.
I really loved reading the whole thing through. It's a quick read, but I found myself going back to re-read sections just for fun, and lingering over particularly beautiful panels.
It gets dark faster than I anticipated from my dusky memories, but generally keeps a very nice balance between building tension and comic relief. It flirts with the problem that Mouse Guard occasionally has: the line between seeming deep and seeming pretentious. I didn't feel that it stepped over the line, but others' mileage may vary a little there.
I love the character designs so much. The Bones, the dragons, and of course the Rat Creatures are all fantastic.
These books are appropriate for kids, but definitely enjoyable by all ages. Really the best endorsement I can give is to offer you a few snippets from Book One (click to expand):
I really loved this series, and I'm thrilled that I finally own it.
5 Stars – Amazing Books
Buy Bone Boxed Set Books 1-3 on Amazon.com