Originally reviewed here
.Why I Read It:
Volume one of this series didn't blow me away, but it had enough that I wanted to come back for more. I was confident that the series would bring more to the table.
This volume still didn't amp things up QUITE to what I was hoping it would achieve, but that's in large part due to the fact that this volume was still developing things to come (which I now realize because I'm now almost six volumes into the series.)
The plot for the arc of this volume is perfectly fine, but it felt more like a bridge. It had a clearer direction than the first volume and the plotting felt tighter, but not a whole lot happens. There's the festival, which builds up tension for the upcoming cow race -- which we know won't end well because of Phoney Bone's scheming -- so there'a a much clearer "end game" in this volume, if you will. It's obviously not the end game of the series, but the volume is obviously leading up to *something*, and that something is how shit is going to hit the fan during the cow race.
Phoney continues to be a really unlikable character, Smiley is still crazy, I'm still kind of weirded out by Fone Bone's infactuation with Thorn, and I'm perplexed by Thorn's outfits which vary from dresses/skirts being tight and reallyyy short, to other outfits that look like potato sacks and somehow still show all kinds of skin. What I'm saying is: I find Thorn oddly sexualized. But these are honestly fairly minor quibbles I had and didn't really affect my enjoyment of the story as a whole (except for Phoney Bone -- I hate him. A lot.)
The art continues to look good (actually, the consistency of the quality of the art in this series is really good, the amount of time Smith took to draw and write series) and the translation to colour is still as smooth as ever. Some of the facial expressions from the Bones in this actually had me cracking up laughing. There was also a scene in particular (with the giant bee) that had me cackling quite loudly as well. So everything felt better from the first volume overall: better writing, better story, better humour. Final Verdict:
This volume still didn't bring the AWESOME that I was hoping for, but it was definitely an improvement from the first. The storytelling felt tighter and more cohesive and I found the humour quite good as well. This is still a story obviously geared for children, but the cross-over appeal was more apparent here. I still find Phoney Bone despicable (in a bad way), and Fone Bone's infactuation with Thorn is still odd, and I found Thorn oddly sexualized, but other than that, everything else was pretty good.