As usual, I’m reading comics and writing about it. Today I’m writing about a series I’ve written about before, but 3 volumes later. Here we go!

What: Bone: Rock Jaw- Master of the Eastern Border

Who: By Jeff Smith with colors by Steve Hamaker.

When: Originally published in 1997-98, Scholastic edition is from 2007.

Where: I got it at the financially ailing Borders. Glad I could help.

Why: This is probably my favorite volume of the Bone series. While continuing the plot of the 9 book series, this one is different. It’s basic structure in relation to the overall story is that classic concept of the side adventure. While the plot goes left, just for a minute, the narrative heads right. The adventure in Jabba’s Palace before our heroes return to battle the Empire in Return of the Jedi is a good example.

While Thorn, Phoney and others are dealing with the valley’s invasion by the Rat Creatures, Fone Bone and ¬†Smiley attempt to return the Rat Creature cub Bartleby to his mountain habitat. What the get? More rat creatures than they can handle, a truck load of adorable, orphaned animals and the largest mountain lion of all time: Rock Jaw. (Though he pronounces it Roque Ja.) ¬†Rock Jaw isn’t happy about their presence in his territory and speaks of choosing sides in the coming war. Fone Bone and Smiley find themselves attempting to save themselves, save the lives of a bunch of kids and trying to stay ahead of Rock Jaw, the Rat Creatures, waking nightmares and discovering some clues about the origin of the Lord of the Locusts.

This is probably one of the only Bone books you could read independent of the series, (though why would you?) The added colors only helps to make this my favorite. Previous to the Scholastic editions, these chapters were only available in black and white. I’ve read this book countless times before the color edition, and every time is like the first time. Jeff Smith’s Bone will live a long time as not only a great comic, but a great piece of literature that is actually fun.