Story & Art by Otis Frampton Published by Image Comics
Oddly Normal, chapter 1: Be Careful What You Wish For… Image Comics brings you the first installment of Otis Frampton’s book, featuring the green haired half-witch child Oddly Normal.
This story centers around young Oddly as she navigates being the ultimate ‘odd’ child at school. The premise behind the book is a simple one: the ostracism faced by school children. To add a spin on this concept the central character just happens to have a bona fide witch for a mother and a normal human for a father.
It is worth remembering the target audience for this kind of story, while the art style has quite simple, it has a kind of cartoon type feel to it. Despite the simple feel to the artwork, some of the pages are rendered very effectively. Particularly when Otis really gets expressive with color, the effect is quite vibrant and changes the focus of the book for the better.
Plot wise the story is a simple progression, since this is a first issue we have the standard introduction to the characters and world of Oddly Normal. The focus for the book is purely that of the child, and the social ostracism experienced in her peer group and the frustration of being misunderstood by her parents. It isn’t the most original of premises but there is a certain charm to the story.
It would be nice to see some darker elements in the book to offset the cartoon feel. That may come in subsequent issues, as Otis does hint at some darker tones in this initial issue. While there is a certain charm to the story, it did feel that the flow fell apart somewhat. The main area of concern was the development of the central issue of conflict, where Oddly’s frustration at her overbearing parents (and life itself, almost) spilled over. It wasn’t a convincing section and felt contrived. Yes, there were segments that led the reader to see the issues that were affecting the child, yet it felt false.
Hopefully, now that the story and characters have had their introduction, Otis will develop the book better going forward. There are touches that are good in this issue but not enough of them so far. Here’s to a stronger second issue.