Review: Oddly Normal #4

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OddlyNormal04_Cover

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer, art, lettering, colours, cover: Otis Frampton
Alternative cover: Robb Mommaerts

In the previous issue of this series, we saw Oddly Normal going to school in Fignation for the first time. In this #4, she finally meets her teachers and schoolmates. Some are weird, some are extremely peculiar… and some are bullies. She starts to understand what expectations there are and she realises that her status as a relative celebrity (she is, after all, the first person ever to have crossed from Earth to Fignation – although many have gone the other way) may have arisen curiosity in her peers, but also some envy.

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Otis Frampton is very good, in this issue, at avoiding completely to draw parallels with the Harry Potter saga, an obvious comparison in such a setting: Oddly Normal comes completely on its own exactly when the risk of making the main character into a female Harry Potter is maximised. Yes, admittedly there seems to be a dynamic between a teacher and a student that recalls what happens in the first books of J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece, but that’s just a detail.

The child-friendly irony remains present, especially at the start of the cafeteria scene when Oddly is presented for the first time with the Fignation food: everyone will be able to sympathise with the poor girl, remembering that time when their parents presented them with something apparently inedible (for me it was boiled carrots)…

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The dialogues remain simple yet witty, with some straightforward jokes and some very interesting characters; the art (also care of Frampton) is very original, with every individual student of the school different from all others – quite often so different that it’s hard to say if they are actually people (whatever the word means in this context) or not.

A series that is getting more entertaining with each issue; and now Oddly has some problems to face on her own.

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