Last October I promised a review of Occult Detective Quarterly’s first issue published at the end of 2016. As ODQ prepares to release issue #5, it’s high time I got this off my list of tasks-to-do.
First off, I want to compliment the ODQ team on an innovative and elegant magazine. I love all the covers they have, including the ODQ anthology. The cover art they’ve chosen does the trick of grabbing my attention and then holding it. Very professional presentation. I wouldn’t mind seeing the art for these covers released in a special collectible package.
This is value packed reading material. There’s a nice blend of graphics but the majority of the magazine is pure reading. The layout is easy on the eyes with a two column format. Not over powered with ads and I really liked the black sidebar title treatment.
The stories all adhere to the theme of supernatural detectives like Kolchak or Dresden but these aren’t copycat tales. Dark humor and originality is a key element. In “Got My Mojo Working” by David T. Wilbanks and William Meikle the story hooked me from the first paragraph when a gorilla admits he hates shaving. The resolve at the end of the story is hilarious and unexpected.
“When Soft Voices Die” by Amanda DeWees was a a pleasure. Less dark humor, a touch of romance well done in a classic ghost story I enjoyed very much. It was satisfying, like comfort food for the mind.
“How to be a Fictional Victorian Ghost Hunter (in Five Easy Lessons)” by Tim Prasil was another of my favorite pieces. Funny with a dry wit, Prasil manages to entertain and educate with his observations of ghost hunter lore. His ‘Lesson 3: Bring Along a Dog—Preferably One You Don’t Love’ made me laugh.
There are too many tales and features to recount each by name. I enjoyed every story and the nonfiction pieces like “The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor” by Charles R. Rutledge. He follows this informative piece with an interview with the creator of Doctor Spektor, Don F. Glut. I hadn’t heard of Doctor Spektor until now.
If I have a criticism of ODQ, it would be the lack of page numbers. I noticed it in issue #2 which I reviewed back in in October 2017 (here). I’ve only read these two issues so far so I don’t know if this has been addressed.
I couldn’t find any way to subscribe to ODQ, but it looks like issues 1, 2, and 3 are available on Amazon to some degree. Issue 4 is readily available on Amazon for £7.35—about $9.43 USD—as of this post. Find issue 3 on Amazon here, or visit ODQ on Grey Dog Tales here.