Mini-Reviews: Odd Thomas Manga Prequels

This is a compilation of reviews for the Odd Thomas manga series that serve as prequels to the novels. On the whole, I enjoyed them. There may have been some level where I was just really starved for new material though….It would be a good idea to read the first novel [reviewed here] before getting into these, simply because that’s the introduction for all the characters and by nature of the medium the characters get developed better in the novel.

IN ODD WE TRUST (****)
Written by Queenie Chan and Dean Koontz, Drawn by Queenie Chan

Odd Thomas as a manga? I was skeptical. But its actually good….This series serves as sort of a prequel to the novels, as will be obvious to anyone who has actually read them (the presence of a certain character kinda gives it away….), and if you haven’t I urge you to go out and get a copy of Odd Thomas right now. NOW!

I really enjoyed this, but I think my experience was enhanced by already knowing and loving the characters. While you COULD read this cold, never having read the novels before, I think you would enjoy it that much more if you read at least the first novel before picking this up. Your call though….In the meantime, I’m going out to get the next manga from the library.

ODD IS ON OUR SIDE (****)
Written by Fred Van Lente and Dean Koontz, Drawn by Queenie Chan

This is the second Odd Thomas manga graphic novel in the series. They don’t really build on each other, or at least the first two don’t, so reading In Odd We Trust isn’t really necessary (though it was good as well), but you should definitely read Odd Thomas (the first novel) before entering here. Although this is technically a prequel to that story (as denoted by the presence of characters who die in the first novel), the characters are all introduced and forged in that book better than they can be here by simple nature of the medium.

In this installment, it’s Halloween in Pico Mundo and Odd has a nagging sense of impending catastrophe. It’s just a feeling, nothing more….until he sees one of the fleeting demons he calls bodachs, living shadows that seem to thrive on catastrophe and suffering. A single bodach is bad, but a whole swarm? That heralds destruction on a biblical scale….and unknown to Odd, there are a lot more in town than the one he’s spotted….

HOUSE OF ODD (****)
Written by Landry Q. Walker and Dean Koontz, Drawn by Queenie Chan

Once again, Koontz and his comic compatriots serve up another awesome Odd Thomas manga. As noted before, I think you would enjoy these a lot better if you read at least the first novel before setting in, so as to get a feel for the characters. This one takes a slightly different tack in that its framed as Odd writing down more of his adventures sometime after Odd Hours–its still set before the events of the first novel, but is narrated from further down the timestream.

This time Odd has something new on his hands–a haunted house bought by a friend of Ozzie’s. She can’t keep a crew of workmen for the renovation, so she turns to Odd Thomas and Stormy for help….but decides to call in some professional ghost-hunters as well. The house is completely free from the lingering dead–not even Elvis will enter–but nevertheless something evil is stirring within those walls…..

Content-wise these are pretty PG. The novels are probably more PG-13, but these don’t have any foul language to speak of. Violence exists, given the nature of the series (Odd sees dead people, and tries to help them. This usually means that there was some form of wrongful death involved somewhere…..) but is not graphically rendered–mostly it has happened in the past and all we see is the aftermath. In any case, the line-art manga can only be so graphic…. Sexual content was minimal to none. There may be brief references, inuendos or double-entendres, but I don’t recall them at this point.

THE ODD THOMAS SERIES, BY DEAN KOONTZ
Prequel: You Are Destined To Be Together Forever
Book I: Odd Thomas
Book II: Forever Odd
Book III: Brother Odd
Book IV: Odd Hours
Interlude: Odd Interlude
Book V: Odd Apocalypse
Book VI: Deeply Odd
Book VII: Saint Odd
Manga Prequel Series
Odd Passenger (Non-Canon Webseries)

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