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Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone, Frontier Hero is a prequel to the Eisner Award-winning comic book Bone by Jeff Smith. It was initially published in 1999 as a three issue mini-series before being collected in a trade paperback (ISBN 1-888963-06-9) in 2000.

Whereas the other spin-off, Rose, focuses on the valley people from the story, Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails focuses on the formation of Boneville, the hometown of the Bones that is never actually seen in the story. The series is drawn but not written by Smith. The writer is Tom Sniegoski. The back-up feature included in the trade paperback collection, Riblet, is written by Sniegoski and drawn by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai.

The story

Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails takes place an unspecified number of years in the past, and details the adventure of Big Johnson Bone, a frontier hero and ancestor of the Bone cousins in the main book. The book has no direct relation to the events important in Bone, and is a humorous take-off on tall tales. The main character often builds his adventures in his own stories, at one point going from fighting off four mountain lions to forty. He is a characterization of mythical North American frontier heroes, and likewise the landscape he explores bears great similarity to the American frontier as idealized in stories. It can be assumed that the location is the same as the valley in Bone, and the Great Red Dragon from that story makes an appearance; but otherwise the comic aims for humor before drama, as opposed to the balance between the two prevalent in Bone. The Rat Creatures also appear, though none are of those featured in the mainstream series.



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