Welcome to Bob Freeman’s occultdetective.com

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on April 18, 2016 by Occult Detective

bobav2Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer whose previous novels include Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead, and Descendant.

A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.

He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.

In addition to occultdetective.com, Mr. Freeman can be found online on twitter and facebook.

Bob Freeman: Exterminator for Hire?

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on July 21, 2016 by Occult Detective

 

“Uhm, alright. I’m Bob Freeman and I fix problems. I hunt monsters, demons, vampires, witches, and everything in between.”

Odin’s beard, that’s practically word for word from my old Author’s Biography.

So, is this some kind of unauthorized bio-pic of my life story? Should I be flattered? Amused? Offended?

It’s so weird to see my name attached to something like this, hewing as close to the bone as it does.

I’ll certainly be one of the first in line to see it, but, goodness, this seems like some kind of cosmic joke, like the universe is trolling me.

Steeger Properties LLC Acquires Black Mask Magazine

Posted in Occult Detectives on July 19, 2016 by Occult Detective

Steeger Properties LLC Acquires Black Mask Magazine

With the acquisition of Black Mask magazine, Steeger Properties LLC’s intellectual property holdings now total nearly 35,000 stories.

 Steeger Properties LLC Acquires Black Mask Magazine

July 19, 2016— Steeger Properties, LLC, is pleased to announce that it has added the most prominent pulp magazine ever published, Black Maskto its intellectual property holdings. As the periodical where the hard-boiled detective story was created and cultivated, Black Mask’s historical significance in popular fiction is unequaled.

Originally launched in 1920 by H.L. Mencken, Black Mask magazine became the most influential detective magazine beginning in 1926 when Joseph T. Shaw became editor. It was the foresighted Shaw who championed the use of tough crimefighters and private detectives portrayed in a more violent, hard-boiled fashion, as written by influential American fiction writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, Cornell Woolrich, Max Brand, Steve Fisher, and many others. It was also in the pages of Black Mask wherein Hammett introduced Sam Spade and first published The Maltese Falcon.

Before its demise in 1951, Black Mask published some 2,500 stories by scores of professional authors.

Black Mask’s place in popular culture history is well-documented. Joseph Shaw once claimed that “President Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and Herbert Hoover read Black Mask.” In fact, the Library of Congress considers the magazine so important that it has retained its Black Mask set in its permanent holdings of Special Collections.

Black Mask rejoins Dime Detective and Detective Fiction Weekly in Steeger Properties LLC’s holdings once owned by Popular Publications, Inc., and comprise the three greatest detective magazines ever published. This marks the first time in over 50 years that all three titles were owned by one entity.

Black Mask and the other holdings in the Steeger Properties LLC catalog is available for licensing in all media and will soon be available in licensed editions in print, ebook, and audiobook formats.

To license material from Black Mask magazine, please contact Steeger Properties at steegerproperties.com. For more information, please follow Steeger Properties on Facebook at facebook.com/steegerproperties or on Twitter at @SteegerProps.

For dramatic rights, please contact The Coppage Company at coppage@aol.com.

Deadlines & Indecisions

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on July 19, 2016 by Occult Detective

Hey there. It’s been awhile. No, I haven’t forgotten you. Time has been of short supply, for the most part. So what have I been up to?

Yes, I’m still tweaking First Born, a Descendant prequel, collecting a slew of related short stories featuring Landon Connors, Wolfe & Crowe, the Parker Brothers, and more.

But Bob, you say, wasn’t that supposed to be sent off to your editor a few months ago?

Why, yes, my friends, it was.

I could offer a parade of excuses but it really boils down to two things: spreading myself thin and, more importantly, indecision.

Decisiveness has never been a shortcoming of mine, but for some reason, First Born‘s contents have been giving me fits. I just excised 30,000 words from the manuscript, but a huge part of me wants to shovel them back in (after an extensive re-write).

I really need a week (or month) of no distractions, but that’s just not going to happen.connorspanelODI2

As I get older, and let’s be honest, as my health declines, I’m finding it harder and harder to get quality words down. I have always been and will always be a storyteller. I am thankful that my son, my friends and his, have afforded me an outlet for spinning yarns at the gaming table… It more than scratches the itch.

But trust me, true believers, I’m buckling down. I’ve some artwork to wrap up for Belfire Press, some reviews to put to bed, and magic to weave, but ever-present in my mind is First Born.

Giving birth is a painful process. I’m told your First Born is the worst…

Gene Roddenberry’s Spectre

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on July 7, 2016 by Occult Detective

SpectreRobertCulp1In March, 1977, not long after my 11th birthday, I received a newsletter from Lincoln Enterprises announcing the pilot premiere of Spectre, an occult-themed thriller starring Robert Culp and created by Star Trek’s Gene Roddenberry.

I was instantly obsessed.

Debuting on Saturday, May 21, Spectre aired from 9-11pm to low numbers. It was not picked up by NBC and the pilot was cast into the morass of late night horror movie rotation.

I caught it every now and then,even managed to video tape three-fourths of it so I could watch at my leisure, which I did until the tape wore out sometime in the early 90s.

Spectre admittedly suffered from shoddy production values, and some of the lore is a bit wonky, but I dare say you’d be hard pressed to find a better occult detective film in spirit.

original_spectre5Culp’s William Sebastian is everything you could want from a paranormal investigator. He is a world famous criminologist for starters, but he is also a tortured soul. A confrontation with Asmodeus himself left Sebastian physically and spiritually scarred, forcing him to dedicate his life to occult research and to battling the forces of evil wherever they might arise.

Robert Culp was always a solid actor and his approach toward portraying William Sebastian gave the character both an air of intellectualism and a vulnerability that is hard to pull off.

original_spectre3The pilot had a terrific cast that included Gig Young as Sebastian’s best friend and colleague, Dr. Hamilton, Majel Barret as his housekeeper Lilith, and a young John Hurt as Mitri Cyon.

There are a number of reason’s the pilot failed to find an audience. I suspect most of America was busy watching Starsky & Hutch or All in the Family instead, but ultimately, I don’t think the numbers were bad enough for NBC to pass on Spectre.

I suspect it had more to do with fear.

While Spectre is rather tame by today’s standards, in 1977, the pilot was more than a little titillating, with sexual roleplay on display and a couple of mass orgies filling Middle America’s TV screens.

Spectre had more than a passing resemblance to Eyes Wide Shut at times and that was probably a bit much for network executives.

Whatever the reason, Spectre didn’t make the cut and more’s the pity. If any show deserved revisiting, with modern sensibilities and production values, it’s this one.

Book - SpectreI tried to contact the Roddenberry Estate regarding the franchise’s availability, but alas, their lawyers ignored my pleas. And so, Spectre remains relegated to a distant memory, late night movie fodder, and youtube viewings.

Even the novelization, which is a cracking good read by Robert Weverka, is long out of print and hard to find.

William Sebastian deserves better. I still hold out hope that one day the Roddenberry Estate will allow new life to be breathed into Spectre, no matter the medium.

Pipe Cleaning

Posted in Occult Detectives on July 6, 2016 by Occult Detective

connorsboo2

All Dogs Go to Heaven?

Posted in Liber et Auda, Magick by Trial & Error on July 4, 2016 by Occult Detective

Devil Dog was a planned, and discarded, ongoing comic strip idea. This page was published in my failed attempt at launching Occult Detective Illustrated, a bi-monthly anthology comic magazine from a few years back.

devil dog

I toyed with the idea of running it on occasion here on the website and gave it a test run, but interest in it was about equal to the interest ODI received… It was a fun exercise just the same.

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devildog3

DEVILDOG2

 

et revertatur ad nos #LOST

Posted in Lost In Translation on June 21, 2016 by Occult Detective

lostrewatch

I started blogging about LOST during its third season on my old myspace page. Those posts developed something of a following, I guess. By the time the final season rolled around I had deleted myself from myspace and set up shop here on occultdetective.com. I was averaging 60,000 unique visitors a month during that stretch…

LOST was a phenomenon. We’d not seen the like of it before nor have we since. I’m not talking numbers, I’m talking fan obsession.

I was somewhat rabid myself. I devoted a lot of time thinking about it, trying to figure it all out, to divine the hidden meanings behind all the little easter eggs Cruse, Lindelof, and company littered around the island.

It was fun.

And now, I’m watching it again. This will be the second time I’ve done so since the finale aired six years ago.

So far, my wife Kim, son Connor, and I have sat through the two part Pilot and Tabula Rasa, with Walkabout on the schedule for this evening.

I remember being hooked from the beginning, some 12 odd years ago, but I’m trying to think of the moment I went from being hooked to being somewhat obsessed.

It just might have been Walkabout and John Locke in particular. He was so intriguing. He seemed so important to the story, that it was ultimately his tale. I think it’s because I saw a bit of myself in John. Oh, I was never the Sad Sack that Locke was, but deep down, I’ve always been looking for something, felt like I was destined for something more… I was a Man of Faith.

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That LOST didn’t play out quite the way I thought it would, I have come to terms with.

A lot of people are upset about the way things ended for John, trying to take his own life, only to have that thwarted at the last minute so that he could be murdered just as hope was rekindled.

But I see it differently. Jack Shephard could never have defeated the Man in Black without the influence John Locke had on him. Locke was as much the hero at the end of the story as Jack was. He gave the Man of Science something to believe in…

And that’s the same gift he gave to me.

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