Friday, July 1, 2016

Oddly Normal

For my part time job, I work at a comic book and game store. I did not grow up reading comics and until about a year ago, I never collected single issues*. In the industry, I had spent the past 4 years being a “trade waiter” (someone who waits until comics are published as collections). I had picked this one up as a gift for a distant relative that I never ended up giving, so it got added to my pile of things to read.

Oddly Normal is the tale of a young girl named Oddly Normal. Her father is a human and her mother is a witch from the magical world Fignation. Which puts Oddly in a tough spot as she is not a full witch and not a full human. Fitting in is hard when you are a kid, let alone when you feel like you don’t belong because of your family and you feel like your parents don’t understand you.  

This is a charming little story. It is now in 3 published volumes and all are as good as the first. The art is cute, vibrant, consistent between books, and I think it would have been fun to read as a kid. Otis does a great job showing conflict in a way that children can understand and learn from with themes of perseverance, friendship, and acceptance building through the three books. The language is probably at the reading level of late elementary school grades, but he does challenge the reader with some, probably new to them, words. The great part of challenging words and vocabulary is that the pictures help to convey the meaning. If you live in MN, keep your eyes peeled for a signing with Otis at your local comic store.

*  Side note about comic books:
If you love, or even like, a comic book, subscribe to it and buy it at your local comic shop (LCS). Comic publishers, especially smaller publishers, continue to make your favorite comics based on sales of single issues, not trade paperbacks (when 5-6 single issues are collected into a book that actually looks nice on a bookshelf). Comic book stores have to order comics months before they are actually published and having subscribers means that they order more accurately and consistently, which in turn means that a publisher knows that they can have a more accurate original print run. IF, and this is a thin if, a comic has a second printing, this is quite expensive for publisher and they tend to not do this. So, to continue reading comic stories that you enjoy, to support the artists you like, and to support a locally owned business in your community, get into the comic book world. You can thank me later.  

Oddly Normal Vol. 1
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