I’m not a part of the target audience for Oddly Normal. I recognize that Otis Frampton’s newest ongoing series, published by Image Comics, is aimed at younger readers. It’s an all-ages fantasy tale of a young girl who happens to be half-witch and half-human. The first issue starts slowly, but promises much bigger things to come.
Oddly Normal stars a young girl named Oddly Normal. She has green hair and is the object of relentless teasing at her school. The story opens on her birthday, her least favorite day of the year. She gets caught in the rain on the way home and we are told she’s part witch because the water burns her. Since she is only a half-witch, the water doesn’t cause her to melt. She goes home and her family is surprisingly warm and loving for such a sad girl. They ask her if her friends are late to her party and she wishes they would just disappear. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, her wish comes true.
The story hits on some pretty common tropes, but the way it is told is pretty enjoyable. Oddly has a well-realized voice and her narration adds a lot to the book. I think she is an interesting, if familiar character. There’s not a lot of background in the first issue, which I think is its biggest weakness. We know the origin of our character, but next to nothing about the world she comes from.
The art in the book works really well. It’s cartoonish and complements the story with moody coloration and very expressive characters. Frampton is doing his own art in the book and I think it helps make for a more cohesive book. The characters especially are presented with style and obvious affection.
As I mentioned at the top of my review, I don’t believe I’m a part of the target audience for this book. So I decided to ask my two younger sisters to read it and write down their thoughts. Here goes:
Adison: Oddly Normal is about an outcast girl whose parents think they have the perfect life. I think that this story is relatable. It reminds me of girls who are afraid to be themselves because they are scared of what other people will think. I think there is also a point ot the story to not judge a book by its cover. There’s also the fact that Oddly’s parents make me think about girls who don’t want to disappoint their parents. The pictures match the story perfectly. In conclusion, Oddly Normal is a story that young girls and boys can relate to.
Ariana: I really liked the book Oddly Normal because I like how she is part witch. She is not like the other kids. I like how the book has Oddly’s thoughts written down in a seperate color so you know what she is thinking. It was really creative to have the rain hurt her when it touches her. I think Oddly is a brat because she doesn’t appreciate what she gets for her birthday.
Oddly Normal seems to succeed with its target audience. I think there’s a lot here for parents to appreciate as well. It’s a story that, even if we’ve seen it before, we can all relate to in some way. If you’re looking for a comic your whole family can enjoy, check out Oddly Normal #1.