Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz's unusual fry cook is back; this time in a second graphic novel.  Odd can see dead people.  But they dead can't speak, Odd is at times hard put to understand what they want.  The one thing Odd can understand is bodachs, dark wolf-like shadow creatures who gather in anticipation of violent death. 

     The story takes place before the events related in Koontz's first Odd Thomas novel.  It's halloween in Pico Mundo and everyone is getting excited.  High-schoolers are out stealing pumpkins for their tradtional, cladestine pumpkin roll.  The Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the town's annual halloween party; Pico Mundo had banned trick-or-treating some twenty-five years before, after a madman had handed out poisoned candy.  Ozzie Boone's cat was excited enough to pee on Odd's shoes (not really, the cat just disliked Odd).  The ghost of Elvis Presley appeared excited, but was unable to communication the reason.  And the ghost of a small child also had an urgent, uncommunicable message for Odd.

     Something nasty is about to happen in Pico Mundo and it's up to Odd and his gun-toting girlfriend Stormy to stop it.  The bodachs are gathering, so it's going to be a major something nasty.

     Written by Fred Van Lente (COWBOYS AND ALIENS) and Koontz, from a concept by Koontz,  ODD IS ON MY SIDE is a slight entry in the saga, perhaps because of the format.  The book is manga-sized and the artwork (by Queenie Chan, who also did the first Odd Thomas graphic novel) has slavishly followed the manga style.  The black and white, cartoony art work did nothing for me (if I never see another cartoon girl with a manga-mouth, it'll be too soon).  Everything combines to make the book more juvenile than it need have been.  There's just not the room needed to flesh out the plot.

     I am a big Odd Thomas fan.  (Although many feel that Koontz went to the well once too often with this character.)   This book, if handled differently, couldda been a contender.


The Odd Thomas novels are ODD THOMAS, FOREVER ODD, BOTHER ODD and ODD HOURS.  The previous graphic novel is IN ODD WE TRUST.  Also, floating somewhere on the web, is a brief, serialized live-action story created to promote one of the books.

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