Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

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We’re doing something a little different today.  Author and illustrator, Otis Frampton, decided to have the one and only KDub’s Geekspot as a stop on the blog tour for his new graphic novel, Oddly Normal.  In return, he generously agreed to answer a few quick questions about the book, which you can find in my next post.

Oddly Normal is a comic aimed at younger audiences about a young girl, the title character, just trying to make her way through school.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Oddly is a little different from all the other kids.  She’s half witch, and her mom is from the magical realm of Fignation.  Today just so happens to be Oddly’s tenth birthday, and after a particularly rough day at school, her parents have planned a party for her, but she really doesn’t want any part of it.  At the height of her frustration, Oddly makes a mean-spirited birthday wish that actually comes true, with terrible results.  The consequences of her wish will have her traveling to Fignation to try and undo the damage.  You know how the old saying goes… be careful what you wish for!

Writer and illustrator Otis Frampton, tells a Oddly’s charming story of trying to redeem herself for her careless actions, alongside the wonder of learning about the realm of Fignation, with a distant aunt to guide her along the way.  Most of this first book is spent on Oddly transitioning to her new school in Fignation, along with the interesting variety of students and teachers that reside there.  She quickly befriends a group of outcast children, and also makes an enemy on her first day.  Also, it’s beginning to seem as though the predicament that she finds herself in, may not be completely her fault, as there are some shady characters in Fignation that immediately seem to have something against our heroine.  For the most part, the story is pretty simple with some light twists and turns to keep it entertaining.

Frampton’s artwork in this story is only limited by his imagination, which is to say, hardly at all.  I think the look and design of some of the characters is what made the book for me.  There is such a wide range of diversity among the residents of Fignation, and even the school teachers and students, that I think you would be hard pressed to find a character design that was used more than once or twice.  Also, delightful creations, such as the “school bug” just enhance the wonder and whimsy of Oddly’s new surroundings.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It’s not anything revolutionary but it was definitely one of the more fun and unique stories that I’ve read in a while.  I would certainly recommend it to any parent who has a child interested in fantasy literature.

The Verdict for Oddly Normal: Book 1:
4 out of 5

If you like this review, or any of my others, don’t forget to subscribe!

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

If you would like to check out some of the other stops on the Oddly Normal blog tour, just click on the links below:

Monday, October 12: Guest post, Log Cabin Library
Tuesday, October 13: Interview and review, Kdub’s Geekspot
Wednesday, October 14: Guest post and giveaway, A Library Mama
Thursday, October 15: Interview, review, and giveaway, The Book Monsters
Friday, October 16: Interview, Outright Geekery
Saturday, October 17: Review and giveaway, Charlotte’s Library
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Alright, so it’s been a few days, but now it’s back to a flurry of Secret Wars Tie-In series.  First up, Weirdworld #1.  Does this one live up to it’s name, and perhaps even more important, is that a good thing?  Time to find out.

Weirdworld #1, with writing by Jason Aaron, and art by Mike Del Mundo, tells the story of the warrior Arkon (who I’ve discovered is an old Avengers villain, after doing a little bit of research), on a quest across a strange and magnificent land to find his way home, to a place called Polemachus.  Along the way he encounters and battles giant squidsharks, gun ogres, and even a dragon.  In his travels, he has tried to create a map, but none of it seems to make any sense, especially after he is knocked over a waterfall to discover that the land he was walking across floats freely in the air.

Jason Aaron’s script and dialogue flow well through this first issue.  As a recent writer on Thor, he seemingly falls easily back into the high English dialogue which Arkon speaks, and he does it well.  In many ways Arkon’s character is similar to Aaron’s take on Thor, somewhat arrogant, often referring to himself in the third person, and not incredibly intelligent.  This is a hero that’s going to beat you with his brute strength more than his sharp mind.  But even through all of that, the character is still pretty interesting, and even though we literally just met him at the beginning of this issue, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him a few pages in when he pulls out his crude map and everything seems utterly hopeless.  We feel his exhaustion from travelling across Weirdworld for so many days.  If I have one complaint about this issue, it’s that there’s not a very clear direction set forth in the series so far, but it’s still early, and I’m a fan of Jason Aaron’s other work at Marvel, so I’m going to give this a pass… for now.

Mike Del Mundo’s artwork is really fantastic here, in every sense of the word.  Weirdworld looks amazing, and he really creates a stunning fantasy world that just pulls you in to each page.  On top of that, I noticed that in several panels, there’s actually a really interesting aspect of depth that almost looks three dimensional.  A lot of the objects or characters in the background of most panels have a distinct atmospheric blur to them, which makes them genuinely look like they are farther away from the foreground, and as I mentioned previously, really pull the reader into the panel.  It makes for a really fun read through.

Overall, Weirdworld is not the best of the tie-ins that I’ve read, but it was entertaining, and well… weird.  If you’re a fan of Conan or other high fantasy sword and sorcery stories, you’ll more than likely enjoy this as well.  It also benefits from beautiful and engrossing artwork on each and every page.  If you’re looking for something different, go ahead and pick this one up.

The Verdict for Weirdworld #1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Ultimate End #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ghost Racers #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Journal #2

East of West, Volume 4: Who Wants War TPB
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition