In Odd We Trust
I haven’t read Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series of novels, but In Odd We Trust, an original graphic novel prequel co-written and illustrated by Queenie Chan (The Dreaming), makes me interested in seeing more.
The young man strangely named Odd Thomas is a genius pancake maker who can also talk to ghosts. (Think a male Ghost Whisperer, only the ghosts he sees don’t speak.) He lives in a small California town, almost a character in itself, where he’s accepted as just another person with his own particular talent. He also hangs out with the spirit of Elvis and a real-life tough chick named Stormy who’s a blast to read about. To give you an idea of her take on life, she says at one point, when showing off her gun, that she’d rather be Jack Bauer than Nancy Drew.
Chan is expert at drawing the haunted faces of the tragic young, so she was a great choice for the volume, given its subject. The opening, with a murdered boy staring at the newspaper headline that reveals his death, sets the tone for this creepy mystery. Stormy’s friend Sherry is the housekeeper at the home of the killed child, and she’s been getting notes from a stalker. Odd and Stormy are determined to bring peace to the boy’s spirit, protect their friend, and find the killer.
Although some fans of the novels aren’t comfortable with the comic format, I found this story entertaining escapist fiction. Events escalate quickly into a roller coaster ride with a reassuring ending. There are plenty of plot twists and convenient coincidences and amusing dialogue among friends, like a really good Scooby-Doo for an older crowd.