Bone: Crown of Horns
Reviewed: February 4, 2009
By: Jeff Smith
Publisher: Scholastic Books Graphix
213 pages, $0.00
Crown of Horns brings to a close the nine volumes of the Bone saga. The books
were originally published in black and white format, with 55 issues appearing
over the period from 1991 to 2004. The entire work was collected in B/W trade
paperback volumes, and then in a massive omnibus edition (which I reviewed here
some time back). Scholastic bought reprint rights and hired acclaimed colorist
Steve Hamaker to bring the book to four-colour glory.
As good as Bone was in its original editions, I’d have to say that these
Scholastic versions are an improvement, even if the page dimensions are slightly
smaller than the originals. The colour heightens the drama and give texture
to the characters.
Bone began as a kind of slapstick saga that owed something to the work of Walt
Kelly’s Pogo, a bit to Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge and probably some
more to the Hope and Crosby Road pictures. Three outcasts, banned from their
home, end up in a medieval sort of valley where they are strangers in a strange
land and make all kinds of mistakes. The first few volumes are funny with touches
As the story progresses, however, it becomes an epic fantasy in construction,
bringing to a close a story that we learn has been in progress for generations,
a cartoonish Lord of the Rings, to which it has been compared. Crown of Horns
is the climax and coda of this saga, filled with battles, life and death struggles,
magic and redemption, all salted with a bit of humor, just to remind you of
how the story began.
This is fine reading for kids of all ages, and adults who haven’t forgotten
how to enjoy a good story.