Oddly Normal #4 Review

Story & Art: Otis Frampton
Published by Image Comics


Otis Frampton returns with his other worldly school age tale of the half witch Oddly Normal – when youthful angst combined with latent power, Oddly’s life changed in ways she could barely guess at. From an opening of magically disappearing her parents, to arriving in the realm of Fignation: a weird and wondrous land of the widest range of monsters ever. For the uncomfortable Oddly, a girl so unlike her human peers that she never could fit in, Fignation should be a haven. However, as we find out in this issue, some things change but kids will always eek out the ‘different’ for special attention.OddlyNormal4Int

Oddly Normal is continuing with the same easy, relaxed style as the proceeding issues, Otis has a flair for a cartoon kind of monster and those on display at Menagerie Middle School offer him plenty of opportunity to go wild with the creatures.

The material on offer here is squarely aimed at the youth market – the overarching theme of difference and the inability to fit in, is pure adolescent drama. The mix of the fabulous and fantastical, in terms of the back drop and the varied characters, gives what could otherwise be a tame/trite story, enough pep to add quality to the story. In Oddly, we have a central character that is unapologetically dissatisfied with her situation. While she could have been set up as being a whiney comes across with a defiant edge.

As with the prior issue sin this series, the ending is telegraphed from an early point. It might help to give future issues some kick if a little more complexity were added to the script. An ending, in an ongoing storyline, needs to have some kind of shock value, or enough punch to leave you eagerly anticipating the next installment. This hasn’t really been the case so far, we’ve been gently presented with an ending, one easily enough to discern from the wide open plot. Even younger readers need more. Still, this is a quaint piece of whimsy that is non-threatening, it has monsters that won’t leave nightmares and a central character out of her depth yet strong.