Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal tells the story of young girl with pointed ears, green hair and anything but a normal life as you step into this wonderful fantasy world that is perfect for all ages.
Otis Frampton gives the reader a near perfect first issue in this book, establishing Oddly’s world, the rules within and the very distinct personality of our main character. What makes this book so charming to read is the main character herself, she is relatable to almost anyone who picks this book up, she is alienated a school, has parents that do not understand her and is at that stage of life where she is generally frustrated with everything life has thrown at her thus far. It is something anyone at some point in their life can relate too, yet Frampton also allows us to glimpse that Oddly has a good soul which instantly makes you warm to the character.
The focus of this issue is a trip home from school on Oddly’s birthday, one that she is dreading as no one has come to her birthday party, throughout this trip home we are given a hefty amount of exposition to digest but Frampton delivers it in a sharp snappy manner that you feel like you are having a conversation with the character and not just reading a heavy exposition dump. As the issue closes you wish for more and want to explore some of the concepts introduced such as Fignation the magical realm that Oddly’s mother comes from.
Frampton’s art leans towards the cartoonish, looking like a cartoon that this books primary audience would watch on a daily basis. With having total control over art and plot Frampton uses this masterfully to pace the issue really well allowing the world this character inhabits to unfold slowly so as not to hit the reader with too many concepts at once. The art though fits this story perfectly, I found myself chuckling at some of the facial expressions that Frampton gives Oddly from time to time and the colour assistance from Boatwright really fits the issue with the real world or “Ordinary USA” is rendered with muted greys, blues and beiges which enhances the feel of a boring normal world that our main character is frustrated with.
Oddly Normal is a charming little book, whilst its main audience is clearly preteens and young adults this is a book that anyone can pick up and enjoy. With the solicits giving us the hint that in future issues Frampton will explore the realm of Fignation the only limits is the creators imagination and I think it will be a joy to watch this world be built. If you are looking for a comic for a new budding young reader to get into look no further than this book but, be sure to read it for yourself as well as you will find yourself immersed in a wonderfully enchanting tale that has real depth and character.
By Matt Deery