Bone is an independently published comic series originally serialized in 55 irregularly released issues from 1991 to 2004. Bone was drawn and written by Jeff Smith. Smith's black-and-white drawings were inspired by animated cartoons and comic strips, a notable influence being Walt Kelly's Pogo: "I was ... a big fan of Carl Barks and Pogo, so it was just natural for me to want to draw that kind of mixture of Walt Kelly and Moebius." Accordingly, the story is singularly characterized by an effective combination of both light-hearted comedy and dark, epic fantasy: Time Magazine has called the series "as sweeping as the Lord of the Rings cycle, but much funnier." The series was published bimonthly with some delays from June 1991 to June 2004. The series was self-published for issue #1 through issue #19. It was published by Image Comics from issue #20 through issue #28. It reverted to its original self-publishing company, Cartoon Books, for issue #29 through issue #55 (the last one).
Bone has received numerous awards, among them ten Eisner Awards and eleven Harvey Awards. In 2005, Time chose the 1,342 page compilation as one of the 10 best English language graphic novels ever written.