Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh’s Fortune

Sean O’Neill. BoilerRoom Studios (IPG/Small Press United, dist.), $19.95 paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-9893655-0-5
Cairo, 1933, turns out to be anything but boring for 12-year-old Ronald “Rocket” Robinson, who gets involved in a genuine archeological adventure while accompanying his father on an overseas business trip. O’Neill punches in a tight script, reminiscent of an Indiana Jones film or Johnny Quest episode, for his Kickstarter-funded graphic novel, which sends Rocket, his pet monkey Screech, and a (problematically) self-described “gypsy” girl named Nuri from the streets and secret tunnels of the Egyptian capital to the pyramids at Giza in search of a long lost treasure hoard. Ancient curses and cryptic hieroglyphics aren’t their only obstacles, as the nefarious, eye patch–wearing Otto von Stürm attempts to claim the fortune for his own selfish ends. While O’Neill’s dialogue can be overly modern (“Take it easy on the onions, tahini breath!”) and nearly everyone conveniently speaks English, he balances a spirited plot filled with danger and humor with sturdy art that captures both the historical real-world setting and range of characters, wrapping it all in a package that offers all-ages entertainment, all the way. Ages 8–11. (Oct.)■
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Genre: Children's
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