The Adventures of Daniel Boom, aka Loudboy: Game On!
written by D.J. Steinberg
illustrated by Brian Smith
When criminal mastermind Otis “Old Fogey” Fogelman escapes from prison, Daniel and his team get a call from Uncle Stanley. Old Fogey and his henchmen, the Rid-Kids, are after one of Stanley’s inventions. The Flooggget is a device that allows users to fax actual objects from one place to another, and Stanley needs the kids to protect it. But when Daniel is distracted by his love of the new video game Pig Planet, the Flooggget is stolen.
Ashamed of both ignoring his friends and his duty while he was captivated by the game, Daniel transforms into Loud Boy and sets off to recover the Flooggget. But when Old Fogey uses the device to trap 1.7 million kids in the Pig Planet game, it takes the combined efforts of Loud Boy and his friends Chatterbox, Destructo-Kid, Tantrum Girl, and Fidget to save them.
Using a formula familiar to anyone who has ever watched a Saturday morning cartoon, Game On! offers up no real surprises. But the formula works, especially for second, third, and fourth graders who will appreciate the homegrown powers of the heroes and the silly sight gags of the battling adults. Old Fogey and Uncle Stanley add wonderful comic relief to what is already a fun story and the jokes are appropriately kid-level funny.
While the series could be used as a jumping-off point for a TV cartoon, the creators didn’t phone this story in. The story is goofy fun in a Captain Underpants way. Better yet, for all its silliness, the story makes sense, as do the characters, leaving the reader eager for book four. The artwork is crisp and clear and the colors are vibrant. The result is a cartoony look without its looking like the pages have been pulled off an animator’s drawing board. Game On! is a solid, fun graphic novel kids will enjoy reading and sharing with their friends.