During World War II, Oda was a paratrooper. Entering the comics industry after World War II, some of his earliest lettering was for Hillman Periodicals' Airboy and Real Clue Crime Stories, which connected him with the Simon & Kirby team. In the 1950s, his lettering appeared in the EC Comics edited by Harvey Kurtzman. He also contributed to DC Comics and many titles from other publishers.
Comic strips lettered by Oda include Apartment 3-G, Big Ben Bolt, Dondi, The Dropouts, Flash Gordon, Johnny Hazard, Little Orphan Annie, Miss Peach, On Stage, The Phantom, Prince Valiant, Rip Kirby, The Spirit and Steve Canyon.
His wife, Nishi Oda, also did lettering.
Odaballoon, created by Oda's family, is a tribute freeware typeface in his lettering style.
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