Behind You: One Shot Horror Stories by author and illustrator Brian Coldrick. Introduction by Joe Hill.
I picked up this book not really knowing what it was. It was on my library app under horror comic books and I threw it into the mix. It’s a collection of one panel shorts collected from the blog of Brian Coldrick. He grew in popularity on Tumblr and has gained enough of a following to allow publication of a full collection.
The micro stories told here are akin to the ones that could be found on Reddit’s Two Sentence Horror thread which is designed to be more of a writing exercise to kick start bigger creativity. In this collection they are single sentences followed by an image that contains the horror punch line.
Unfortunately for the book form these images are static. Apparently on the website and blog version the images contain some movement. The monsters lurking in the dark may fade in and out or flicker with light. To see it visit Coldrick’s website. This effect amps up the very short stories quite a bit more.
Without this neat little effect the stories aren’t much to witness. They are all essentially identical. A teaser line and something behind the focus on the image. That’s it, that’s literally all there is to any of them. Sometimes it’s a ghost, sometimes a monster or some other spooky thing but the stories are all the same.
I could definitely see Behind You working as a weekly blog post. A cool little comic to look forward to after you’ve already forgotten the previous one. In book form they all melt together into something rather underwhelming.
Not every creation is fit for every media. This one seems perfect as the flickering blog posts and should have stayed there. Yes, I understand there’s money to be made in a book but let’s just say I’m very glad I got this one from the library.
As a means to market readers to his blog though I think it’s an effective tool. I had never seen the posts before and got curious to visit his website where I did enjoy them more. If the end goal is to get web traffic then I would consider it a success.
I cannot recommend Behind You as a book. I can recommend the website or Tumblr profile. Fans of short form horror will certainly appreciate these, just take them in over time and not in the 6 minutes it takes to flip through the collection.
3/5 ghosts 👻👻👻
Please consider using the following amazon affiliate links to purchase this book, it’s at no extra cost to you and would really help me out, thanks!
For more short horror check out Dark Water