Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal has been a delightful fairy tale excursion from the industry-wide grim ‘n gritty that has taken hold. In this world of wacky witchy aunts and accidental spells of banishment and transdimensional sieves, people of all ages will find the things that they loved about The Wizard of Oz and A Wrinkle in Time and dare I say even some Tim Burton-esque creepies, lovingly addressed in a very original story. This issue picks up moments after the cliffhanger from last issue, with Oddly reeling from the effects of what she’s done to her world. Her zany aunt shows up, and doesn’t provide us with any answers, but provides us with just enough information to go on, and to get this story really going. The final splash of this issue is that moment where the house lands on the witch, and the audience collectively nods knowingly, thinking, “We’re never going back to Kansas again.”
In the past couple years, Image has established itself as the home of some of the most polished indie comics around, as well as some rough-around-the-edges/just-above-zine type stuff. Oddly Normal lives a little bit more towards the polished side, but never in a way that it feels manufactured. In a comic that appeals to all-ages, one of the most refreshing things to see is a personal touch, especially if it’s a comic like Regular Show that’s based on an existing property. Since Oddly Normal is its own animal, it’s Frampton’s little touches that make it feel like a story being told and not a product being sold—from the way you can still see through some of the shading in the series logo to the instructional step-by-step cover process in the back, it’s a book that’s geared towards everyone without excluding anyone. Unless you’re offended by whimsical witchery, in which case you probably hated Harry Potter too and your life may be a little empty.
This series has been admittedly a little bit of a slow starter—the end of the first issue was a good cliffhanger, but didn’t tell us much about where the story was going in terms of the world. You knew that Oddly was going to have to try to find her parents again, but you didn’t know where it would take you. Now, with the final splash of issue two, the world explodes out in all directions into a new universe, with a limitless amount of places for Frampton to take Oddly and us to try to find her family again.
When I interviewed Frampton several months ago in anticipation of Oddly Normal’s release, he promised that if we gave him two issues, we’d be hooked into the story and would want to continue coming back into the world of Fignation. I’ve given him two issues, and I have to say—he’s right. I want to come back again next month.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Otis Frampton Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/22/14 Format: Print/Digital