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Bone creator Jeff Smith got his ‘dream team’ for Netflix animated series

The inimitable comics series is still on its way

Art featuring the characters of Jeff Smith’s Bone series, including Kingdok, Thorn, Phone Bone, Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, Gran’ma Ben, and the Rat Creatures. Image: Jeff Smith
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Netflix’s Bone animated series is still in the writing process, according to Jeff Smith, but he can say one thing for certain: The creative team behind it is exactly who he wanted.

Polygon sat down with Smith for a long interview on the 30th anniversary of the first self-published issue of Bone (stay tuned for everything we talked about next week), but the topic of the Bone animated series naturally arose. The Netflix show was announced in October of 2019, but there hasn’t been much news since.

Smith says that preproduction was delayed along with much of the entertainment industry’s productions in 2020, but that, ironically, that delay yielded unexpected benefits.

“There were a couple of people that worked on some shows that I [asked about],” Smith recalled, “because I watched a bunch of Cartoon Network shows and some Netflix shows. Is this person around? Can we get this person? What’s this guy doing now? Or what’s she doing? And thanks to the pandemic, I was able to get everybody I wanted.

“I say thanks because there were people that were in contract, but we were delayed by like, eight or nine months because of the pandemic; [by that time] the contracts were up, and I got everybody I wanted. I don’t want to really say who they are, because I don’t want to steal Netflix’s thunder but, yes. I got my dream team of animation people, and I’m pretty excited about it so far.”

Bone first hit shelves in July 1991, and concluded its genre blending comedy/horror/high fantasy/all-ages adventure epic in 2004. The series exploded into new popularity after it was picked up for reprinting in graphic novel format by Scholastic Books, and a new generation of kids discovered the story of Phone Bone and the lost princess Thorn saving the Valley from the return of the Lord of the Locusts. Stay tuned for Polygon’s full interview with Smith, coming soon.