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Booking Through Thursday: Odd

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What’s the oddest book you’ve ever read? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it make you think?

figuresI’m sure that throughout today as this prompt continues to circle in my head, I’m going to think of other examples.

But right now, I can’t really think of any actual prose books that have really struck me as “odd.”

When I was really young, I had “the faith of a child,” accepting what I was given as “fact” or “true” (though I obviously didn’t consciously know the definitions of those words nor any of the layered or politicized meanings).

I was also introduced to comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy at a young age–old enough to cognitively have and make a clear distinction between fiction and reality…but young enough still that I don’t recall all these far-fetched things striking me as particularly odd or anything.

Detectives could run around with communicators on their wrists and these weird opponents. Men could fly or dress up in a rodent costume and scare the crap out of the superstitious, cowardly lot. Mutant turtles and mutant humans, men transformed by radiation into super-heroes, worlds of dragons and dungeons or realms forgotten–all of these struck me as contextually plausible.

And yet in retrospect, perhaps they are odd. Perhaps moreso than not seeing stuff as odd, I’ve simply accepted the odd as a part of life, and simply gone about my life, knowing that the odd is possible, and that there will always be oddities to one degree or another, real and fictional.

So…books. Chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re looking for me to talk about BOOKS.

Dragonlance, Magic: The Gathering, Mechwarrior, Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Predator. All may seem odd in their own ways.

But perhaps what most recently actually strikes me as odd can be found in the world of comic books.

DC Comics just relaunched their entire super-hero universe in an initiative called “The New 52,” and just last night I read two of the second issues in series. Animal Man #2 and Swamp Thing #2.

And lemme tell you–if only for the art alone, Animal Man in particular was odd and out of the ordinary. There’s a scene where the main character’s daughter is feeding her “cat” milk, and that absolutely creeped me out. And in Swamp Thing, the creature the main character encountered seemed odd, yet familiar.

I’ve generally liked all these books (and comics) that would seem oddities to others in my life. They do almost always make me think–whether through some almost direct parallel to real life, or just through being able to loosely identify with a situation or whatever. And even if everyone else in my life doesn’t quite “get it,” these have all given me an extra layer of analogies to better sort out and process actual reality, putting abstracts into more concrete terms.

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