A Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition: Jason Bone of 'Alison Dare'

Thu, July 5th, 2001 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

a href="/news/preview.php?image=news/jbone_allisondare.jpg" onClick="flexPop(620,400)" target="PopUp">[Adventures of Alison Dare]You may not know Jason Bone yet. But the Eisner judges think you should. Hence his nomination in the Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition award for this year's Eisner awards at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

If you have heard of Bone, it's probably as the artist of "Alison Dare," most recently published by Oni Press.

"'Alison Dare' is most often described in movie terms," Bone told the Comic Wire on Tuesday. "Like Indiana Jones meets Johnny Quest. She's a young girl whose mother is an archaeologist and her father is a librarian/superhero."

Bone also strayed from strictly kid-friendly fare into something a little more adult last year, with his "Solar Stella" one shot.

[Stella]
A panel from the upcoming Stella book.
[Stella]
The cover to a Stella mini-comic.

"The reaction was really positive. I was nervous that the female readers might find the cheesecake a trifle offensive. Fortunately everyone seemed to get what Stella was about, which is just good old fashioned B-movie style action. I prefer to keep Stella closer to the side of 'Cute' than 'Sexy.' She can be sexy but never 'Sexual' if that makes sense. The book is supposed to be fun.

"As for the 'Return of Stella' I would love to get the time to work on another book. Actually, I had one whole issue almost completed but I had to put it on hold to start the 'Return of Alison Dare.' So there are almost 24 pages just sitting there (at my desk) waiting for me to get back to work."

While Bone is not yet a household name, neither is he a total unknown. So it shouldn't have been a big surprise that he landed a nomination, right?

"Did I expect a nomination? No. I definitely had hopes that readers would find and enjoy my work and in some way that alone would raise my profile. But I honestly never expected to receive a nomination, especially not this early in my comic book career.

"I smiled a lot when I first heard. It definitely helps when I'm stuck inside on a really nice summer day, hunched over my drawing board, up to my elbows in ink and pencil lead, to suddenly think 'Hey, I'm nominated for an Eisner! An EISNER!' The work goes a little easier then."

As for his chances later this month, Bone knows who he's rooting for.

"I know Mark Smylie's work from Sirius. He's actually the guy responsible for showing Robb, Mark and Larry my Solar Stella Mini-comic which led to that book's publication. In that respect I owe Mark Smylie my support when it comes to voting. I'm afraid I don't know any of the other nominees. I expect they probably don't know me from Adam, either."

In the meantime, Bone is hunched over his drawing board, up to his elbows in ink and pencil lead.

"I'm currently finishing up the inks on a Jingle Belle special. It's a terrifically fun story wherein Jing spends her summer playing on her dad's hockey team. It's called 'Jingle Belle: The Mighty Elves.' Oh, and it's written by a fella named Paul Dini. I have one more issue of Alison to complete before Chicago con then we'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll get some time to work on Stella."

Unfortunately, the Wizardworld convention in Chicago is the only convention Bone is attending this summer, and if he wins the Eisner, it'll have to be mailed to him.

"Haven't you heard? There's no money to be made in Comics," he smiled. "No, I can't afford to go to San Diego this year, as much as I'd love to. I really like that city. And the convention's always fun, too. I will be in Chicago, though, at the Oni table."

 
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