End of an Era: The Last Scholastic Bone

Scholastic’s Graphix imprint has announced that the “final full-color installment of Jeff Smith’s acclaimed Bone series … will be published on January 20, 2009.”

Bone: Crown of Horns cover
Bone: Crown of Horns
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Crown of Horns is the ninth volume in the series. The color version of Bone was one of the early graphic novel successes for big book publishers, showing that graphic novels were a growing category with plenty of potential. The Graphix imprint launched with the first Bone volume, Out From Boneville, in 2005. Since then, they’ve printed more than two million copies of the series books.

As the economy struggles and we face a grey 2009, the question becomes what’s next? I’m hearing fewer plans for long-term publishing — plenty of books have been announced for next year, but what about 2010? — and more anecdotes about increasing returns as sales aren’t as stellar as expected. I believe this period will be a turning point. Will graphic novels stay a viable, active bookstore category, or will it retrench to just the best-known, most predictable safe sellers?

(Yes, this is the same question as the perennial “is this finally the manga crash?” from those hoping for it, only not as emotionally tinged. Some people wish for manga to tank badly because they fear something they’re uncomfortable with for reasons with undertones of xenophobia. I’m more concerned about all book-format comics.)

The superhero publishers tried their typical “glut” strategy, pumping out works unsuited for the audience and flooding the shelves, which resulted in projects that would be better for those readers (noted author names, for example) getting lost. Several book publishers set up ambitious graphic novel lines, only to find that the best-praised books don’t necessarily sell in accordance with expectations. A desire for more content quickly meant some works didn’t get the polish they needed. And yet, no one can dispute the successes, like Fun Home.

I hope I’m wrong. In particular, with the end of the Babysitters Club adaptations and Bone concluding, I’m curious to see what Graphix does next.


3 Responses to “End of an Era: The Last Scholastic Bone”

  1. darek Says:

    When does it come out?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  2. Johanna Says:

    As the first sentence says, January 20.

  3. bobby Says:

    Why don’t you make a book that is called back in bonevill

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