The Artist at Work: On Jeff Smith and his latest project, Tuki

jeff smith bone comic self-published fantasy conedy epic

If you have never read a graphic novel the first one I would suggest to you is Jeff Smith’s fantasy epic Bone.  It is one of the undeniable masterpieces of the still under-appreciated artistic medium of comics/graphic novels. Though it was not “technically” a graphic novel (it is a collected comic series, one that Jeff Smith self-published most of during its 55-issue run from 1991-2004) the term feels a little more like respecting it as art, like saying you read “literature” instead of “books”, and Bone deserves to be spoken of with the highest respect for its artfulness.  The world that Smith creates is fascinating and perfectly realized, the characters are funny, have deeply felt emotions, and look amazing on every page.  To simply look through the book, one cannot help but be impressed by Mr. Smith’s drawings  but the writing is compelling throughout.

jeff smith self-published comic tuki pre-history

So I have a lot to say about Jeff Smith’s Bone but I will save continued discussion about it until later.  Well, today a friend took me to Smith’s website and showed me what he has been up to lately; a prehistoric thriller of sorts called Tüki. The comic has been a labor of love over the past few months for Mr Smith since last year and is just 26 pages old at this point, but it is an ongoing project that I am more that happy to keep up with.  The pages feature Mr Smith’s best work to date, which Tom Gaadt’s coloring supports in expert fashion, fleshing each page out into a masterpiece by the time he is done with it, but what is most exciting to me is that the story has already hinted at a similar combination of humor and high-stakes-ness that Bone exhibited in such stellar fashion.  I am excited to see where Mr Smith goes from here and would love to help him out in any way possible so if you see this post, please head over to Boneville and keep up with this genius at work along with me.  I am glad very thankful that Mr Smith has taken the road of creating his own work and hope him all continued success with Tüki and I am so very glad to be able to keep up with him as he works these days. Thank you, Jeff Smith.  Thank you independent artists everywhere.

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