Earlier today, Bone creator Jeff Smith launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at financing his third creator owned and self-published comic, Tuki. The project, as some fans might remember, was a short-lived online comic experiment in color, but now Smith has completely rebuilt the world of 2 million BCE into two full-blown, original black & white graphic novels set to ship this Summer and Fall. 2021 is a pretty big deal for Smith, since this summer also marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the first issue of Bone, the all-ages adventure comic that has made him one of the best-selling American indie cartoonists of the last few decades.
Tuki (nee Tüki Save the Humans) takes place at the dawn of the human race, and pits Tuki against a rival species of humans, the Habiline, who view the making of fire as a dangerous blasphemy and hunt those found using it. You can support the campaign here.
“I’ve always been fascinated with human evolution, especially the point two million years ago when more than one species of human existed at the same time,” Smith said in a statement. “This was also the moment we conquered fire. Definitely our best party trick!”
The Kickstarter campaign covers both graphic novels. The first book, TUKI: Fight for Fire, if the campaign is successful, will ship to supporters in July, 30 years to the month the first issue of BONE was released. The second book, TUKI: Fight for Family, will ship in October.
“I started to play around with Tuki before COVID hit,” Smith explained, “but once the lockdown happened, I decided to dive in and focus on straightening out the story. I ended up with enough material for two books! It was friends from the old self-publishing days, the [Bill] Tuccis and the [Brian] Pulidos, who turned my wife Vijaya on to Kickstarter and persuaded us to give it a go. If all goes well, this could be the beginning of a new series! Come check us out! We have rewards that are super high on the neat-o scale!”
Both volumes will be oversized and landscape formatted (11.375” x 8.875”) with approximately 144 pages each with a bonus material stretch goal. The return to black & white line art is in keeping with the initial runs of both Bone and Rasl. Per Smith, the first book is 100% complete and ready to go to the printer.
Here’s how the campaign describes Tuki: At the dawn of humanity, during a period of tremendous change and drought, three lost children meet a mysterious traveler named Tuki. Together, their search for the Motherherd of all Buffalo leads them far north through the dangerous territory of a rival species called the Habiline. The Habiline hunt and kill anyone found using fire. Tuki’s reputation precedes them and soon they find themselves at the center of unwanted attention not only from Habiline warriors, but of gods and giants!