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Jeff Smith Announces A Return To Boneville

When you reach the end of Jeff Smith's Bone saga, it's hard to say good-bye. Maybe it's that American thing of not letting anything go, but even though it's a satisfying ending, the characters are so charming that we just want to spend some more time with them.

Oh, sure, next month Scholastic re-releases Smith's prequel Rose, written by Smith with art by the great Charles Vess, but that's part of the serious side of the story, and it's the Bones themselves we love.

At Comic-Con this weekend Smith announced that he will be working on more, though in a couple of different forms. Next summer, Scholastic will release BONE: Tall Tales, which collects material from Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails, a mini-series written by Tom Sniegoski with art by Smith. In addition to those stories which tell tales of the first Bone in the Valley, Big Johnson Bone, Frontier Hero, Sniegoski has written two new stories of Big Johnson Bone. Smith himself will write and draw the framing story of Smiley Bone spinning these tales out to a group of Bone Scouts, which of course include Bartleby the lovable Rat Creature. The book will also include a story Smith created for Disney Adventures, which has never been collected before.

In 2011, we'll see a continuation in illustrated novel form, not to be confused with a graphic novel. Smith vows to produce about 20 illustrations for Sniegoski's BONE: Quest for the Spark. This first novel in a trilogy will be written by Sniegoski, and follows the adventures of a new generation of Bones as they stumble into the Valley.

It's hard to imagine, however, that this won't give us some sort of clue as to what happened to Fone Bone, Foney Bone and Smiley Bone. And there's no word from Smith how this might affect his planned return to Shazam! for DC Comics. At the moment, however, we should just be glad this is happening.

Derek McCaw

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