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Title: Phoney Bone
Series: Bone #3
Author: Jeff Smith
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
At the farmhouse Fone Bone helps Thorn with the chores while waiting for Gran’ma Ben. Fone Bone shows Thorn what’s in his knapsack including the map they found in the desert which Thorn finds familiar. Phoney Bone meets Gran’ma Ben and instantly gets on her bad side. Fone and Phoney are reunited when Gran’ma Ben arrives back at the farmhouse. Phoney starts eating a pie Thorn made especially for Gran’ma Ben and he shoves the remaining part in Fone’s mouth and blames him.
While we “met” Phoney Bone in issue 1, it was just a couple of panels. Here we get a couple of pages and my goodness, he’s the most selfish creature around. He’s the reason the Bones were run out of Boneville in the first place and I have to wonder how much trouble he is going to have to get his cousins into before they abandon him to his just desserts. He isn’t malevolently evil, but he’s in no way good. I can’t remember for the life of me if Smith redeems him by the end or just leaves him as a foil to Fone.
And while I’m thinking about it, why did Smith choose to use Fone and Phoney as names? They’re too close. I found myself several times thinking in my head “Fonee Bone” and having to stop and think a second about who I was actually reading about. Visually, they quite different so there’s no issue there. But being a words person, I did get tripped up a couple of times.
Smith continues to draw me into this world with little things here and there. Thorn recognizing the map and telling Fone it was like one in her dreams. Means there’s going to be mysticism in this series and probably not just funny vignettes. For 28 pages, Smith has once again kept my interest.