Bone: Rose by Jeff Smith and Charles Vess

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Bone: Rose
By Jeff Smith and Charles Vess
Scholastic

jeffsmithrosecoverIn interviews conducted with Jeff Smith, the artist has stated, time and again, that he envisioned Bone’s final page long before beginning the book. After 13 years, the book’s 55-issue run seemingly exhausted the story of the Bone cousins’ journey through the plague-ridden Valley, with said ultimate panel finding the trio riding off into the proverbial sunset. While the success of Bone—ultimately and frequently hailed as one of the greatest independent comics of all-time—no doubt resulted in plenty of demand for a sequel from the industry and fans alike, there seemed little doubt that the saga was at an end.

Even with a storyline that would ultimately consume some 1,342 pages in its single collected edition, Smith didn’t exhaust the storytelling potential of the Valley. During a hiatus from the series, the artist collaborated on two additional complementary storylines–Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails, which he drew, but didn’t write, and Rose, which he scripted, but did not draw. For years, these serialized books have existed as much sought after items for collectors anxious for additional glimpses into the Bone universe. And now, thanks to a new edition from Scholastic, one of those two puzzle pieces is now far easier to come by.

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While You Were Out: Dispatches from Beyond SDCC 2008

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Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, but the Second Annual Astoria Comic Con isn’t going quite so well as I had hoped. Sure there will be naysayers who insist that it has something to do with the fact that once again I stubbornly insisted on holding it the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con. And then there’s the fact that I didn’t advertise or really mention it to anybody. And, of course, nitpickers will likely point out that I held the thing in my tiny backyard in Astoria, Queens.

Honestly, though, I think the whole thing is just a matter of building proper buzz, and that sort of thing takes at least three years of unsuccessful backyard conventions to build. Maybe next year J. Scott Campbell will return my phone calls…

We’ve still got another day-and-a-half to turn this whole thing around. And believe me, once word gets out about those discount-priced hugs, attendees will be fleeing the San Diego convention center like rats from a sinking Watchmen sneak previewing ship. At least it didn’t rain this year–yet…

In the meantime, we put out the word to some of our cartoonist pals and asked them why the hell they weren’t at SDCC either, this weekend. Check out responses from Jeff Smith, Evan Dorkin, Renee French, Tony Millionaire, Tom Hart, and many, many more, after the jump.

Bonus: almost certainly the most adorable picture in the history of The Hatch.
–BH

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