Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day Late, Dollar Short Review: Occult Detective Illustrated

As anyone who has even a passing familiarity with me knows, I'm a big damn fan of occult detectives. I write about them often, I dedicate websites to 'em, and I even occasionally read about 'em. Unfortunately, there aren't too many comics around nowadays that feeds my particular obsession since Doctor Strange lost his ongoing, Hellblazer disappeared up its own arse and Hellboy went to Hell.

Luckily, author and bon vivant Bob Freeman is here to help. This month saw the release of the first issue of Occult Detective Illustrated, which is a handy-dandy digest sized chunk of strangeness. The four stories included in this issue have a grimy grindhouse feel to them that hearkens back to the days of underground comix, and Freeman ably mixes striking photo-realistic art with more traditional comic art, creating an engaging visual experience that literally drips with fine detail in spots.

The stories themselves are a mixed bag of Halloween treats, ranging from a more traditional tale of devils and detection starring occult detective Landon Connors to a simultaneously amusing and heart-wrenching story from the perspective of Connors' feline familiar. There's no connection between the stories, save for the protagonist, but they don't suffer because of that. In this age of decompressed plotting, Freeman's 6-7 page stories pack a definite punch, delivering plot and characterization in spades. Landon Connors is Dr. Strange as filtered through Philip Marlowe, and the comforting elements familiar to fans of both are in evidence in the stories.

If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, why not give it a try? And if you try it, and enjoy it, well, issue 2 is apparently on the way.

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