Published on September 17th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Oddly Normal #1 – Comic Review
Oddly Normal has a lot to deal with, her unfortunate name being way up the list. She gets bullied at school for having green hair, for having pointed ears, for living in the Family Addams style house, for being (slightly) intolerant to rain and for being the daughter of a witch.
As she travels home from school on the day of her birthday (in the rain obviously) she becomes increasingly agitated and full of dread. The reason for all this angst is that her parents are two of the most excitable and bubbly people imaginable and they are ignorant to the difficult life that Oddly lives with day in and day out. The birthday party they arrange every year (seemingly oblivious to the fact that Oddly doesn’t have any friends) is the final straw and Oddly screams out her birthday wish: that she wants her parents to disappear. Unfortunately her wish is granted and she is left alone, a gaping hole where her home used to be.
And so the new all ages comic from Image sets up the future adventures of Oddly as she has to search for her parents. It is in essence similar to one of Images’ other All Ages comic, Howtoons, in that the main protagonist is a pre teen girl lost in a strange yet wondrous world on a mission to find her family. And this title is just as gripping. Whereas Howtoons is a Post Apocalyptic world, Oddly’s life is shrouded in mystery and magic and has links to literary fiction, her mother is the Witch from The Wizard of Oz after all. It has an element of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series of books to it and draws its visuals from classics such as The Addams Family. Oddly herself is coloured with a selection of striking hues which makes her stand out from the bleak world in which she lives. The world is obviously a reflection of how she feels which is why it so grey and dull and it’s an uncomfortable place for her to live in: she doesn’t feel like she belongs and therefore the world around her lacks warmth.
Otis Frampton has produced a fine, thoughtful character in Oddly and he captures the awkwardness of being an outsider. I can see that this comic will appeal to many people of different ages: younger readers who currently feel the way Oddly does and older readers who remember what it was like. Its entertainment that strikes at the heart of the reader, you instantly feel a companionship with Oddly and as her day gets worse you have a greater empathy for her. This is a brilliant set up for the series and I would recommend it to anyone, especially younger readers. There is an nice little preview page at the back of the comic that shows how much fun this series is going to get so it’s best to get on board now, you don’t want to miss out.
Title: Oddly Normal
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer/Artist: Otis Frampton