It's rare to read a graphic novel (and by graphic novel, I mean "big, thick comic book") that lasts longer than an hour or two. But, over the last six months, I had the pleasure of experiencing all 12 years and all 1300-odd pages of Jeff Smith's masterpiece, Bone.
Bone has been described as "Walt Disney" meets "Lord of the Rings," and it's an apt description. High fantasy, slapstick humor, and charming characters mingle in a meandering but often-sidesplitting journey. The story focuses on Fone Bone and his cousins, who have been run out of Boneville and find themselves in a vast and strange valley. To tell much more would be spoiling the fun, but let's just say the Bone cousins are going to get a lot more than they bargained for in this mysterious valley.
I read the book slowly, a chapter at a time (though if you wanted to, you could probably gulp the whole thing down in a long day of reading). There's already been a heap of praise for Bone, but I think for me what stands out most about the series is the excellent writing. The mythology of the fantasy is a bit simplistic, the action is good but not superb, but in the end, the characters are the heart of the story here. Bone is a highly recommended read, and a fantastic value at $40.