ODD IS ON OUR SIDE
Written by Fred Van Lente and Dean Koontz and Drawn by Queenie Chan
Published by Del Rey
Reviewed by Marc Mason
Halloween is coming in Pico Mundo, and Odd Thomas is about to have a busy holiday. The young fry cook, with his ability to see the dead, gets a visit from a dead child still wearing her costume, giving him a pervading sense of dread about the upcoming town-wide trick-or-treat festival. Aided by his gun-toting girlfriend Stormy and the ghost of Elvis, the clock is ticking for Odd to save the day… and the lives of dozens of children.
This is the second graphic novel prequel based on Koontz’ ODD THOMAS series, and much like the first one, this one grabs you by the lapels and sucks you in quickly. It isn’t so much the plot that captivates, but the characters- in Odd Thomas, Koontz has his finest creation. The boy has a perfect blend of charm, naïveté, and pluck, and his chemistry with Stormy is so much fun that you wouldn’t mind spending the entire book watching them drive around in a car and yapping with one another. We also get a new supporting character this time in the person of novelist Ozzie Boone, and he’s a complete hoot as well. The people are just fun, and if you can get that across to the reader, 90% of the battle is done.
Of course, they wouldn’t be as much fun if they weren’t drawn spectacularly well, and Queenie Chan delivers the good stuff on the page. The first book looked good, but it wasn’t always sure of itself. That isn’t the case here. Every page looks confident, and the characters have life that you can feel emanating from Chan’s linework.
If there is one thing to complain about as pertains to this book, it is that it shows (as the first graphic novel did) that the first ODD THOMAS novel’s ending was one of the worst mistakes that the author has ever made on the page. There was so much more to mine, so much more that could have been discovered, without the plot twist in the final ten pages. It made me swear off reading any of the rest of the prose works; but I will happily read as many more of these prequel graphic novels as Del Rey chooses to make.