By Leroy Douresseaux
Oct 8, 2010 - 13:34
|Odd is on Our Side cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
The character, “Odd Thomas,” is the creation of prolific bestselling author Dean Koontz. Odd, who can see the dead, has appeared in several novels, the first being Odd Thomas (2003). Manga creator Queenie Chan joined Dean Koontz to produce the OEL manga-graphic novel, In Odd We Trust (2008), which acted as a prequel to Odd Thomas and also expanded Odd’s back story.
The newest prequel story is Odd is on Our Side, an original story written by Koontz, scripted by Fred Van Lente, and drawn by Queenie Chan. Odd is on Our Side finds Odd Thomas having a bad feeling about this year’s Halloween activities in his home town, the sleepy, small city of Pico Mundo, California.
Odd senses something wicked in the air. He even notices that “bodach,” a spirit that portends doom, flitting about town. He just can’t quite figure out what is supposed to happen, even with the spirit of Elvis Presley shaking ghostly hips full of clues. Odd thinks trouble is coming for Halloween. His gun-toting girlfriend, Stormy Llewellyn; local celebrity and bestselling author, P. Oswald Boone; and his editor, Valerie Malavont, help Odd in his quest to discover the real danger behind his misgivings.
[This book contains an excerpt of Dean Koontz’s novel, Forever Odd.]
THE LOWDOWN: Even with all its supernatural overtones and underpinnings, Odd is on Our Side is mystery fiction. That’s the heart of it – solving a real world crime or preventing one. What makes it different from standard mystery fiction is the supernatural angle that comes in so many odd assortments. Koontz and Van Lente simply manage to keep one side (the supernatural) interesting and the other side (the mystery) engaging.
As usual, Queenie Chan takes all these different things and turns them into a coherent, distinctive comic book. Chan can take the ordinary and make it interesting. She can take the interesting and make it something more, including turning the last act’s race-to-save-the-day into a page-turning thrill.
Readers also get a look into the sketchbook work Chan did for this book, including notes on working with her collaborators. There’s also another section on the development of the script.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of Dean Koontz and Queenie Chan will want Odd is on Our Side.