Bone, Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith
Graphix, 2005. 978-0439706247
Synopsis: It’s time for the annual Spring Fair and the Great Cow Race in Barrelhaven! And now that the Bone cousins have been reunited, they’re putting together plans for the trip back to Boneville…but not before Phoney tries his hand at bookkeeping for the Great Cow Race. Plus, strange hairy creatures have begun stalking the cousins, putting the Bones and their new friends as well as the villagers at risk.
Why I picked it up: I was so engaged by the first volume that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens.
Why I finished it: The second of nine volumes delivers the same mystery, adventure, and humor as the first. The Bone cousins have been reunited, but the joy seems somewhat short-lived: Fone Bone realizes that Phoney is still up to his old tricks and Smiley is eager to go along with whatever his conniving cousin has cooked up. The titular cow race proves to be just as epic as advertised, though there are some unexpected contestants that make things more interesting. Smith’s art and comedic timing are spot on. The comics may be in black and white, but the attention to detail helps to draw the reader into the story and engage with the characters. The reader is also starting to see a little more character development, especially with Thorn, Grandma Ben, and the mysterious Great Red Dragon. We’re starting to get the sense that there is something more to their part of the story, even if we don’t fully understand the larger picture just yet. I have a feeling that things are just ramping up and there’s even more in store for our heroes in the next volume, as well as eve more questions and answers as the epic continues to unfold.
Other related materials: Bone, Volume 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 5: Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 6: Old Man’s Cave by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 7: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 8: Treasure Hunters by Jeff Smith; Bone, Volume 9: Crown of Thorns by Jeff Smith; Bone, Prequel: Rose by Jeff Smith; Bone: Tall Tales by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski; Bone: Quest for the Spark Books 1 & 2 by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski; Zita the Spacegirl series by Ben Hatke; The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi; Knights of the Lunch Table books by Frank Cammuso