Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Throw Me a 'Bone'...

Before I started at SVA, the only cartoons I really ever saw were Disney's & some of the old cartoons that (used to) air on CN, & the only comics I ever really read were whatever was/is in Newday. Since then, so many different cartoons, films & comics have been introduced to me & have had a great effect on me & my work, along with the many teachers & fellow students I study with every day. While some of the comics I've discovered have been recommended to me by my friends & collegues, a select few have been floating around me forever & I haven't finally recognized them until just recently. One of them was Jeff Smith's Bone series.

For what seemed to be years, I've noticed this cute little white cartoon character popping up from time to time whereever I went. To me, he looked like a cross between Mickey Mouse & a Shmoo. He definitely caught my attention, but I never really had the urge to find out who or what this little guy was or what he was from.

A few weeks ago, my friend Mike Luckas, his girlfriend Sara & I took a day trip back to the city. At one point when we were around St. Marks, we stopped by the Forbidden Planet comic shop. As I browsed through all the different comic books, graphic models & such, I came across that little white guy again on the cover of a book.

Out of sheer curiosity, I bought the book & read it that night when I got back home.

From the very first page, I IMMEDIATELY got hooked on Bone! The characters, the artwork & especially the story pulled me into it & I wanted to find out what was next in store for these little guys. A few days ago, I drove to the nearest Barnes & Noble (about a 20 min. drive) & picked up books 2, 3 & 4, thinking that would last me a few days or so. WRONG! I went through those 3 books in a matter of a few hours. The next day, I drove all the way back to the store & bought the next 4 volumes, & I went through those 4 books that very day!

There's only one more book in the series (Book 9), but unfortunately the store didn't have #9 in stock. Now I'm patiently (yet eagerly) waiting to pick up the final book on Amazon. But sadly, I'll be away from Thursday 'til Monday of next week on a trip down to not-so-sunny Florida, so I'll have to hold out on my Bone fix for nearly a week! AAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!!!!

Still, what can I say about Bone that nobody else has said already?.... Nothing, that's what! I can only say it's such a great series & although I've only discovered it just recently, it's already has influenced me a great deal. Jeff Smith sits right up there with Charles Schulz & Walt Kelly, a truly talented artist indeed.

I now hear that there are plans for a Bone movie in the works. I really hope it's true to the books & Smith has heavy control over the whole thing. Personally, I believe the series would work best as a trilogy (3 books make up 1 film) & I REALLY hope it will be animated traditionally to fit with the style of Smith's drawings. Sure, it COULD be done in CGI or as a live-action/CGI film, but I don't think it would retain the look, feel & style of the books. Here's hoping!

Strangely enough, I noticed how the characters of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone & Smiley Bone are uncannily similar to my characters Randy, Steve-O & Cannibal Chicken. After read a few of the books, I felt like I have unknowingly 'plagarized' Jeff Smith's characters! I really gotta fine tune my character's personalities a bit! That alone inspired me to draw this fun little setup of Steve-O & Phoney Bone facing off. "Who will stand on top: Bird or Bone?"

Thanks for inspirin', Jeff Smith!


Mike Luckas said...

Sadly, I've heard that the creator of bone doesn't have a lot of say in the movie being made. Or rather that he's leaving it up to the people involved to handle it.

(I heard this from a guest speaker at sva who's also having a movie made out of his comic, I dunno exactly how much he'd know.)

Michael J. Ruocco said...

I remember hearing that he was in development on a movie with Nickelodeon a few years back, but pulled out when they tried to convince Smith to put in pop songs throughout the movie. I do hope that whoever's workin' on it now (I think it's Warner Bros.) at least TRIES to keep it as close to the book as possible. But after what I've seen WB do with the Potter films, I'm a bit worried.