If there’s one department Image is lacking in terribly, it’s kids’ comics. Besides Howtoons and Five Weapons (which they cancelled), what else do they got to offer? They are missing an entire audience here they can sell comics to! I bring this up because our newest offering from Image, Oddly Normal, is a comic targeted at a younger audience. Is it the hit Image needs? Is it good?
Oddly Normal #1 (Image Comics)
Oddly Normal (no seriously, that’s her name) is a girl with a problem. She’s constantly being tormented and made fun of at school for her appearance, which consists of her having green hair and pointed ears. Those are features that she can’t help, mostly because she’s half-witch, which opens up an entirely new set of problems.
Nah, her parents just have a weird sense of humor.
This was a solid way to start a series. While the main story didn’t get under way and we didn’t get to see any real magic until very end, it at least did some very important things. It laid down the groundwork for the story’s universe and what kind of things and places are in it, while also introducing the main character and providing a good deal of backstory for the audience to grow attached to her. Oddly herself comes across as a likeable character with problems that are a bit usual for characters like this, but do help us sympathize with her.
Creator Otis Frampton’s writing is solid here and made reading the comic enjoyable. The dialogue and narration are good, helping really flesh out Oddly and what her life is like, at least from her perspective of things. The pacing is slow going here, building everything up and all, but the pace does allow for the story unfold naturally and allow the audience to experience the world our character lives in. There’s nice amount of emotion and humanity, which does help bring the characters to life a bit more and helps us understand how they feel.
Man, the person who wrote that on your invitation really went the extra mile to be a jerk.
But ultimately though, would a kid like this want to read story like this? I can definitely see a younger audience enjoying this comic, at least from my perspective (this is the kind of book I would have read when I was young). It does have a familiar feel to it, like other children’s literature in certain areas, but that shouldn’t really matter. It’s got a good setup here, with relatable characters and problems. Maybe it would be best to wait and pick up the second issue, since not much happens and all, but I still definitely see this as a comic kids will enjoy.
Now what about the artwork? I gotta say, it looks pretty great. The cartoonish visuals are rather nice and the characters themselves are very expressive, with a lot of emotion and personality. The layouts are fluid and flow wonderfully from page to page, while the panels and full page spreads have a lot of good angles and use of imagery to really bring this world to life. The color palette is nice, especially Oddly’s house (it’s completely grey, but it looks great against someone as colorful as Oddly). Overall, the artwork is fantastic, having more life and personality than a lot of series targeted at adults.
It’s pretty and ominous looking at the same time!
Is It Good?
Oddly Normal #1 is a solid start for this new series. It’s mostly setting things up at this point and laying out all the groundwork, but what I’m seeing here so far, along with some great looking artwork, could make for a very enjoyable comic for a young audience. As such, comic book reading parents: keep an eye out for this comic. You’ll probably want to pick this up for your little ones.