19. Bone (Cartoon Books, Image Comics, Scholastic)
Writer/Artist: Jeff Smith
What Jeff Smith accomplished the all-ages series Bone was unprecedented. With his simplistic art style and dialogue, Smith crafted an epic, Tolkien-esque fantasy tale that covers the traditional hero’s journey in a way that would make Joseph Campbell proud.
The story begins when the Bone cousins—Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone—are thrown out of Boneville. From there they're caught up in events that lead them from their humble beginnings into a fight against the Lord of the Locusts, an overwhelming evil who's much like Sauron from The Lord of the Rings.
Bone is a huge achievement for comics that further proves you don’t need sex and violence to sell books. Smith has simply crafted an effectively thought-out story that's as basic as it is rich.