I’m not much of a comic book reader, but I found the work of Otis Frampton at the New York Comic Con and fell in love with it. I searched out Mr. Frampton because of the preview of Oddly Normal I had found before attending my first Comic Con. I had spent the entire time I was there looking for an issue of Oddly Normal, and was delighted to find one (at the last minute!) at the table Mr. Frampton was manning in Artist Alley. I was also excited to learn that Mr. Frampton is one of the artists on “How It Should Have Ended!” Unlike HISHE, this is geared toward all-ages, including children. Also, he’s a pretty cool guy. Anyway, on to the review!
Book 1, Issues #1-5
Oddly Normal is daugher of a witch from the land of Fignation and a man from the normal world. As a half-witch with green hair and pointed ears, school is a bit trying. A wish she makes on her birthday somehow comes true, and she is brought by her Aunt to Fignation. Minor mishaps are no excuse to miss school, however, so Oddly attends the Menagerie Middle School. Oddly doesn’t quite fit in the way she had hoped she would. (Of course she doesn’t – it’s middle school!)
A lot of this is introduction, so we don’t get into too much depth. The characters get fleshed out a lot in the next installments. Oddly seems a bit jaded at this point, but she’s a fourth grade (?) outcast, so we can let that slide. Her go-to word is “Figures.” Auntie is awesome. She is a full witch, and seems to be quite scatterbrained. She tries to be upbeat and cheery all the time, but she knows things aren’t quite so nice. She puts on a bit of a facade for Oddly, because she doesn’t want her to worry. We are introduced to the characters that will become her friends, but we don’t really find out too much about them until Book 2.
The art style is fun with a lot of detail. The variety of creatures and characters is awesome, and there are many nods to classic staples. Things tend to be a bit stereotypical, but basics often are in the land of fiction. This is a nice series I would be completely comfortable giving to my nephew, who is nine. Bad things happen, sure, but we don’t have gratuitous violence or nudity. It is an enjoyable read, and has introduced me to comics that are not Marvel or DC. I was also glad to jump on the Oddly Normal bandwagon as soon as it started rolling! Issue #1 was rereleased as part of Free Comic Book Day in May, so hopefully more people will join in!
And now, a question for Otis Frampton: “What section of “Die Fledermaus” is Mr. Nagis listening to? The overture? Which parts – the beginning, or somewhere in the middle? Curious musical minds want to know!”