Twenty-five years after Jeff Smith introduced the world to BONE, his critically acclaimed and groundbreaking creator owned fantasy series, he's returning to the world for one final coda. Smith's publishing house Cartoon Books announced BONE: CODA, a new 120 page graphic novel that will include a 32 page short story featuring the Bone cousins returning to their home town of Boneville after the events of the 55 issue BONE comic series.
Smith's original run of BONE won multiple Eisner Awards and has been hailed as one of the greatest all-ages comics of all time. BONE focused on the three Bone cousins adventures in the Valley, a fantasy-esque world filled with Rat Creatures and dragons. "CODA picks up right where the BONE comics left off last time," Smith told ComicBook.com in an phone interview. "It’s got the Bone cousins doing what they always do with each other: arguing with each other and falling off cliffs and stuff. It’s a very silly story."
Smith said that, while BONE's twenty-fifth anniversary was the main reason for BONE: CODA's publication, he actually wrote the story over a year ago. "About a year and a half ago, I sat down to write an entirely different story and [CODA] just came out," Smith said. "I think I was in a hotel somewhere and I just bashed it out. [CODA] was just sitting there and the 25th anniversary came up and I thought 'I’ll just actually do this story up.' It was kind of fun." Smith drew the new Bone pages over a three month period.
In addition to the new BONE short story, CODA will also feature the complete text of The Bone Companion, fully illustrated for the first time. The BONE Companion was written by award winning comics historian Stephen Weiner. Also included are rare behind the scene photos and memories and an afterword by Smith thanking the comics community and readers.
When asked where BONE: CODA fits in the continuity of Bone, Smith said he and his staff joked about calling the story BONE #56. "The way I view CODA is that it's more like one of the BONE short stories I've done for Heroes, Wizard Magazine or the story I did in Disney Adventures. The BONE book itself is complete, and I see CODA as more of an extra little story to be had. It really happened to them, but it won't be added to the main BONE book."
However, CODA isn't necessarily the end for BONE. "I'm always looking for an excuse to draw the Bone cousins," Smith said.
BONE: CODA will be released in July.