Writer and Artist: Otis Frampton
Special Color Credit: Thomas Boatwright
Publisher: Image Comics
We are often told Be careful what you wish for, and we dismiss it. It’s rare that you get what you wish for or anything close to it. Sure some people get the things they want, but not everyone is so lucky. The outcasts and underdogs always seem to have the worst luck. Movies and books have shown us that if you wish to be popular you have to create a grand scheme of deception. Oddly Normal, the titular character, is an outcast at her school. School days include bullying and she looks forward to returning home. This book could easily open the doors for real-world conversations where parents can discuss bullying with their kids. That she doesn’t fit in might be suggested by her name. Not the type of name you’d expect parents to give their child; then again, she’s not exactly normal either.
Otis Frampton has introduced us to a character that is half witch and half human. That wouldn’t seem so bad if we were talking about Bewitched. Samantha married a mortal and had a daughter. The difference is Samantha’s daughter looked normal and Oddly has pointy ears and green hair. Oddly is an easy target amongst cruel school children. She doesn’t seem to fit in at home either. Her parents had a fairy tale romance and live in their own little world. This is proven on her birthday before she makes a wish that changes everything. As we meet more characters I hope that Frampton gives Oddly a sense of belonging. Even if it’s not where she expected to fit in she needs someone that she can confide in and be her friend. It’s something everyone needs.
This story is great for all ages, but especially for older kids and young teens. I remember times feeling like I didn’t fit in at school. There are times now when I feel I don’t fit in with friends. Frampton took those feelings to the extreme with Oddly Normal. Her life is vastly different from her classmates and she’s labeled as a freak. She allows it to bring her down on what should be a happy day for her in this particular issue; it’s her birthday and no one is coming to her party. Her parents seem oblivious to the fact that she has no real friends. Even for those of us that fit in can relate to Oddly’s plight of her parents not understanding. We seem to forget that they were young once, and that perhaps they’ve experienced the problems. All of these feelings are portrayed in the art. Thomas Boatwright uses color to convey different moods. Some are so muted it almost feels monochromatic. There’s always a tiny pop of color though. It allows for Oddly to stand out from her classmates and her family.
Once again Image has published a title that I enjoy, and I look forward to learning more about Oddly and the outcome of her birthday wish. Frampton has created a relatable character for many of us. It’s a book that I’d encourage parents to buy for their children. Frampton is sure to include some unusual characters given that Oddly is half witch. While she’s not a student at Hogwarts, she still has a magical power that’s sure to capture the attention of young kids and potential new readers.
“Oddly Normal #1” earns 9/10