Jeff Smith, creator of Bone, RASL, and Tuki, has cancelled his 2023 book tour following a cardiac arrest on August 13. The news was broken on Saturday via the Cartoon Books official website and on social media. According to the official statement Jeff, 63, had experienced the health emergency the previous weekend, and there “will be a long road to recovery”. It is hoped that Jeff will be able to continue seeing fans next year.

On their official website Kathleen Glosan, production manager of Cartoon Books wrote:

“Special Announcement

“To our friends and fans: Jeff Smith is recuperating from a cardiac arrest suffered on Sunday. There will be a long road to recovery, so regrettably we must cancel the remainder of his book tour this year. Our apologies to his fans who were coming to see him at: Rob Con (VA), CXC (OH), Bedrock Comic Con (TX) and NYCC (NY). We hope this is just a bump in the road and that Jeff will see you all next year. Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.”

Jeff Smith has had a packed US book tour schedule this year in support of his newest series Tuki, which was published during the pandemic. In April he had appearances every day between April 21 to 29 in seven states sandwiched between major appearances at comic and book cons. The remainder of the year he was scheduled to attend four more comic cons – including Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, for which he also serves as ex-officio artistic director and co-founder. 

Jeff Smith is widely known for his beloved multi award-winning cartoon fantasy opus Bone which he self published between 1991 to 2004 under his own company, Cartoon Books, with his wife Vijaya Iyer serving as publisher and licensor. Already a popular comic, it’s fame skyrocketed further with the colour editions produced between 2005 to 2009 by major publishing house Scholastic as the opening salvo of its nascent Graphix imprint. It is has been translated into numerous languages and remains an all-ages hit (and a popular book-banning choice). His science fiction noir follow-up RASL (published 2008 to 2012) also received acclaim. His most recent work has been the Tuki series. Two books have been produced with the help of Kickstarter funding, and the first volume – Tuki: Fight For Fire – raised $269,595 on a $20,000 funding goal.

In July 2023, it was announced that Jeff Smith was to republish his Thorn student newspaper strips, which were an early precursor to what would become Bone which he worked on while at Ohio State University. Thorn: The Complete Proto-Bone College Strips is to be launch a Kickstarter publishing campaign in October with a prospective launch in Spring 2024. Given current news, this could be postponed. In September, a Bone one-shots and shorts collection, Bone: More Tall Tales, is also to be rereleased.


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