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Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories

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A twisted figure crawling out of a tunnel. A giggling crowd of masked watchers. A reassembling corpse. What could be behind you, just waiting for you to turn around? Behind You is an illustration series, a comic with no panels, where each piece is essentially a separate story. Each tale is one image and one piece of text; an unsuspecting victim with someone, or something, A twisted figure crawling out of a tunnel. A giggling crowd of masked watchers. A reassembling corpse. What could be behind you, just waiting for you to turn around? Behind You is an illustration series, a comic with no panels, where each piece is essentially a separate story. Each tale is one image and one piece of text; an unsuspecting victim with someone, or something, behind them. Entries range from the amusingly weird to the genuinely unsettling. Inspired by spooky films, books, myths, and internet tall tales, Behind You is full of scary set-ups but leaves lots of blanks for the reader to fill in with their own narrative. Includes an Introduction by New York Times Best-Seller Joe Hill.


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A twisted figure crawling out of a tunnel. A giggling crowd of masked watchers. A reassembling corpse. What could be behind you, just waiting for you to turn around? Behind You is an illustration series, a comic with no panels, where each piece is essentially a separate story. Each tale is one image and one piece of text; an unsuspecting victim with someone, or something, A twisted figure crawling out of a tunnel. A giggling crowd of masked watchers. A reassembling corpse. What could be behind you, just waiting for you to turn around? Behind You is an illustration series, a comic with no panels, where each piece is essentially a separate story. Each tale is one image and one piece of text; an unsuspecting victim with someone, or something, behind them. Entries range from the amusingly weird to the genuinely unsettling. Inspired by spooky films, books, myths, and internet tall tales, Behind You is full of scary set-ups but leaves lots of blanks for the reader to fill in with their own narrative. Includes an Introduction by New York Times Best-Seller Joe Hill.

30 review for Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Stiefvater

    It says something about this book that I could not quite decide which of my Goodreads shelves to place it on as I entered my star rating. Is it for adults? Is it for young adults? Is it for children who like to feel uncomfortable? It is for me. That's all I know. BEHIND YOU is a handsomely printed, heavy little book full of one-page illustrated horror stories. Stories is perhaps the wrong word to describe them. Horror prompts. Horror moods. Horror punchlines. Each full-page illustration in Coldri It says something about this book that I could not quite decide which of my Goodreads shelves to place it on as I entered my star rating. Is it for adults? Is it for young adults? Is it for children who like to feel uncomfortable? It is for me. That's all I know. BEHIND YOU is a handsomely printed, heavy little book full of one-page illustrated horror stories. Stories is perhaps the wrong word to describe them. Horror prompts. Horror moods. Horror punchlines. Each full-page illustration in Coldrick's eerie, whimsical style provides most of the setting, while a handful of words hang the curtains and complete the look. It's not particularly a book to read end-to-end. It's a book to pick up and open to a single page, shiver or wrinkle your nose a bit, and then put back down again. It is, as the kids say, BIG MOOD. Much of the content in the book has already appeared on Coldrick's blog, http://thehairsonthebackofyourneck.tu..., and a few minutes on the site will let you know if this book is for you. Both the site and the book have their separate charms. The site highlights the work in its original form, with subtle animation. But the book itself is exceptionally built, a weighty art book on great paper, and offers absolutely everything to the physical-book lover that the site cannot. I'll be gifting this one a lot.

  2. 5 out of 5

    karen

    from joe hill’s introduction: I know it’s scary to be all alone in the dark. But not as frightening as when you realize you aren’t. ooooOOOOooooo this is a great idea - illustrated hint fiction with a very specific theme: the unseen horrors standing right behind you. i've always found that the most effective horror is suggestive; it holds something back, leaving it up to the reader/viewer to fill in the blanks and unsettling vagueness with their own personal fears. less is always more. this book is a from joe hill’s introduction: I know it’s scary to be all alone in the dark. But not as frightening as when you realize you aren’t. ooooOOOOooooo this is a great idea - illustrated hint fiction with a very specific theme: the unseen horrors standing right behind you. i've always found that the most effective horror is suggestive; it holds something back, leaving it up to the reader/viewer to fill in the blanks and unsettling vagueness with their own personal fears. less is always more. this book is a great example of that idea in action, where the combination of the brevity of the text and the illustrations capturing individuals suspended in the moments before their terrors descend leave it up to the reader to speculate about what happens next and just how horrific it'll be. to get a sense of how these work, he's got some tumblrs: http://briancoldrick.tumblr.com/ http://thehairsonthebackofyourneck.tu... some of these are in the book, some are not, some are animated for extra spookiness into the tiniest of short films considering how specific the theme, it's really impressive how many different ways it plays out. these are some of my favorites, but there are so many more where these came from, both in the book and on his pages. so go find your own favorites and report back. but don't go aloooooooone... *************************************** review to come. or it might be ...RIGHT BEHIND ME!!! come to my blog!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I love picking up recommended books at our library. I also had this on my TBR. This was a great collection of comics like Far-side. One picture tells the whole story. It reminded me a whole lot of Edward Gorey in many ways. These are a set of creepy stories of a character doing something and not realizing that something or someone is behind them. Joe Hill does an nice introduction here and there is one picture paying homage to his Locke & Key series. I loved seeing that. The artwork was lovely and I love picking up recommended books at our library. I also had this on my TBR. This was a great collection of comics like Far-side. One picture tells the whole story. It reminded me a whole lot of Edward Gorey in many ways. These are a set of creepy stories of a character doing something and not realizing that something or someone is behind them. Joe Hill does an nice introduction here and there is one picture paying homage to his Locke & Key series. I loved seeing that. The artwork was lovely and I wholly enjoyed reading this book. It sets a wonderful tone and spreads the creepy while you read it. I'm so glad I found this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    In the tradition of comics and comic horror cartoonists Gahan Wilson and Edward Gorey, these are one page cartoons with captions (on facing pages). How long does it take for an author to creep you out? Like 1,000 pages, ala Stephen King? This cartoonist does it in an image! Find some of them here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-spine-tingl... In the tradition of comics and comic horror cartoonists Gahan Wilson and Edward Gorey, these are one page cartoons with captions (on facing pages). How long does it take for an author to creep you out? Like 1,000 pages, ala Stephen King? This cartoonist does it in an image! Find some of them here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-spine-tingl...

  5. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    So creepy, so fun, and I loved this so much. Each page you turn lends another one-liner, most of them feeling like the middle or ending of a story that the accompanying illustration fleshes out further. It's a brilliant method for horror story-telling, because our imaginations will always be one of the most terrifying sources of nightmares. It doesn't hurt at all that the illustrations themselves range from morbidly humorous to ominous to downright chilling (there's one in particular that litera So creepy, so fun, and I loved this so much. Each page you turn lends another one-liner, most of them feeling like the middle or ending of a story that the accompanying illustration fleshes out further. It's a brilliant method for horror story-telling, because our imaginations will always be one of the most terrifying sources of nightmares. It doesn't hurt at all that the illustrations themselves range from morbidly humorous to ominous to downright chilling (there's one in particular that literally did make me look back over my shoulder, just like Joe Hill's introduction promised I would). I also loved the little nod to the Locke & Key graphic novel series in one of them — if you've read them, I hope you catch it, too!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Each "story" is one image and one of text; practically every one is worth a longer treatment. This would be great as a set of story-writing prompts in a class room or creative writing group. One could produce something like that set of stories inspired by The Mysteries of Harris Burdick . (Funny, he does seem to favor this orientation with the person on the left looking left and the monster behind them on the right.) Each "story" is one image and one of text; practically every one is worth a longer treatment. This would be great as a set of story-writing prompts in a class room or creative writing group. One could produce something like that set of stories inspired by The Mysteries of Harris Burdick . (Funny, he does seem to favor this orientation with the person on the left looking left and the monster behind them on the right.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    It's probably considered cheating, but I don't really care and just imagine this level of arrogance, will you, huh? Because I haven't read the book (yet) but I checked the whole gallery by Brian on tapas and on his blog and I know most of the works are in the book, not in GIF format of course, but they're all just brilliant and I think Brian's imagination and talent is amazing. I won't even start on his skills. This book will make a great Halloween gift and just a gift for any occasion for your It's probably considered cheating, but I don't really care and just imagine this level of arrogance, will you, huh? Because I haven't read the book (yet) but I checked the whole gallery by Brian on tapas and on his blog and I know most of the works are in the book, not in GIF format of course, but they're all just brilliant and I think Brian's imagination and talent is amazing. I won't even start on his skills. This book will make a great Halloween gift and just a gift for any occasion for your friend who is into horror tales. Or just for your lovely self. One just can't get enough of these one-shots and I'll be waiting impatiently for every creative update from Brian.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    Both a winning present for the holidays and a handsome centerpiece for your coffee table, Brian Coldrick's Behind You charms with its bite-size moments of imminent dread. The formula is simple: On each spread, the left-hand verso contains a quick burst of text which informs upon the illustration to be found on the adjoining recto page. Think of silent movies and their need for title cards. Each page of text comes with punctuation but no capitalization (an idiosyncrasy that used here seems to be Both a winning present for the holidays and a handsome centerpiece for your coffee table, Brian Coldrick's Behind You charms with its bite-size moments of imminent dread. The formula is simple: On each spread, the left-hand verso contains a quick burst of text which informs upon the illustration to be found on the adjoining recto page. Think of silent movies and their need for title cards. Each page of text comes with punctuation but no capitalization (an idiosyncrasy that used here seems to be striving for a subtlety that I'm not sure works or is needed), and supplies the skeletal fragments of a horror story. The lovely illustrations that follow are rendered in moody watercolors and feature brooding misanthropes unaware of some horror looming just over shoulder. An introduction from Joe Hill does a fine job at describing how the simple mechanics of Coldrick's technique work so well, page after page, and invite the reader to re-read and linger. He's right. Examples--some even animated--can be found on Coldrick's blog: http://thehairsonthebackofyourneck.tu...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Orrin Grey

    I was, of course, already familiar with Brian Coldrick's one-shot horror stories in gif form, which he has been posting to his tumblr for some time now, but I was very happy to also pick them up in a nice hardcover book form. Do some of them lose something by not having the animation of the gif format? Certainly. But they also gain something from the permanence afforded by the printed page; the ability to just stare at them, soak them in, and let them take you to whatever strange little cul-de-s I was, of course, already familiar with Brian Coldrick's one-shot horror stories in gif form, which he has been posting to his tumblr for some time now, but I was very happy to also pick them up in a nice hardcover book form. Do some of them lose something by not having the animation of the gif format? Certainly. But they also gain something from the permanence afforded by the printed page; the ability to just stare at them, soak them in, and let them take you to whatever strange little cul-de-sac they occupy. None of these are what you would call complete stories. Just a few words, usually about one sentence, and then an image. But they are haunting, and they all feel like they are a part of a complete story, one that is, often, better by letting your imagination fill in the rest. I feel like there are probably going to be a lot of stories written that were prompted by these images, even if that inspiration is no longer visible in the resulting piece. To the surprise of no one, I think I liked the Halloween ones best.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Don't read it when alone. Or in the Dark. And certainly not alone in the Dark.

  11. 4 out of 5

    TheVampireBookworm

    LOL, is it even fair when the book title is one big spoiler? Anyway, first of all I have to comment on the artwork which is absolutely stunning in this book. I love it. Really, it's hauntingly beautiful. When it comes to the written word, each picture is accompanied by a sentence or a fragment to set the atmosphere or prompt you to make the whole story up in your head and that's where I wasn't exactly thrilled most of the time. The majority of pictures are rather self-explanatory and the sentence LOL, is it even fair when the book title is one big spoiler? Anyway, first of all I have to comment on the artwork which is absolutely stunning in this book. I love it. Really, it's hauntingly beautiful. When it comes to the written word, each picture is accompanied by a sentence or a fragment to set the atmosphere or prompt you to make the whole story up in your head and that's where I wasn't exactly thrilled most of the time. The majority of pictures are rather self-explanatory and the sentences next to them become repetitive so they seem kinda redundant.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dyah

    I LOVE everything ... and I need more like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxk_P... I LOVE everything ... and I need more like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxk_P...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I love flash fiction and 100 word stories. I also love graphics and illustrated books. This book called out to me the moment I saw it. Many of the stories, I found myself going from "story" to drawing and back again. I loved several of them. Not all the "stories" were mind-blowing but most were excellent and all the illustrations were superb.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    3,5/5. Original kind of comic. I really like the style, the originality and the fresh taste of it. It’s only a couple of words, one or two sentences, and an associated illustration that present a second degree horror twist of the sentences meaning/sense. The art was beautiful; the illustrations were good and creepy. The only reason I drop my ratings is that for me this grew old very quickly. As much as I like what the author has done, it still become repetitive too fast for me. I still would rec 3,5/5. Original kind of comic. I really like the style, the originality and the fresh taste of it. It’s only a couple of words, one or two sentences, and an associated illustration that present a second degree horror twist of the sentences meaning/sense. The art was beautiful; the illustrations were good and creepy. The only reason I drop my ratings is that for me this grew old very quickly. As much as I like what the author has done, it still become repetitive too fast for me. I still would recommend having a look, maybe borrowing it from your local library, only to see what this author can bring, and then see if this is worth reading through and or buy it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    The Library Ladies

    (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Halloween is next week, readers, and that means that this year’s Horrorpalooza will be coming to an end after the next “Fear Street” post. While you’ll still be getting an influx of horror stories in the coming weeks, given that I have plenty of reading I haven’t even addressed yet, I wanted to save one of the most unique and fun horror reads for the week before the highest of high holidays in my mind. And “Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories” is (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Halloween is next week, readers, and that means that this year’s Horrorpalooza will be coming to an end after the next “Fear Street” post. While you’ll still be getting an influx of horror stories in the coming weeks, given that I have plenty of reading I haven’t even addressed yet, I wanted to save one of the most unique and fun horror reads for the week before the highest of high holidays in my mind. And “Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories” is absolutely unique, and one of the most creative horror reads I’ve read in a long while. Brian Coldrick’s stories got their start on Tumblr, and though I left that platform long ago I will say that you can find some really awesome blogs and websites on there that showcase some really great art and creativity, and “Behind You” is a great example of that. Coldrick’s stories are minimalist in some ways, and yet very detailed in others. They are one frame and one image (they move on Tumblr, and alas they do not on the pages of this book), and that image tells a story that can range from simply unnerving to full blown nightmare fuel. The image also gives the reader a lot of leeway to create their own context and background. Is this person waiting in an alley meeting a friend? A lover? Family? Who used to live in this house and why is it that there are all these twisted silhouettes on the walls? I like the freedom that this gave me, and it also made it so I would linger on the page a bit longer than I might have were I just reading a single panel that had all the answers. It reminds me of a visual version of the classic Hemingway minimal story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”, as in such little space you get such vibrant and clear cut stories. The design of the panels in this book also really elevated the stories, and I liked the wide range of stories that these single panels told. There are numerous protagonists and antagonists, and they all seem pretty original and unique in their designs. The style reminds me of a mix between Edward Gorey and a New Yorker cartoon, and that lends both a creep factor and kind of a cute quirkiness as well. Given that this book is a collection of various narratives, all separate from each other (except for a running panel of a figure being followed by a ghost that pops up occasionally throughout), there isn’t much to say in terms of content. I do think that there is something lost when the images don’t move, like a number of them do on the Tumblr blog. There are a few that could work either way, but some really are more effective with slight and uncanny movements. That said, I do think that there is something to be said for just being able to sit down and page through a bound copy of these panels and stories. I think there’s something a little more tactile in that, especially if you are wanting to sit down on a creepy autumn night and give yourself a case of the willies. “Behind You” was an enjoyable read for an autumn night, and I think that the best way to experience it would be with a cup of cocoa, bundled up in a blanket, and trying not to notice the shadows outside or on the walls of your home.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    The drawings are nice. Especially the people, which are as interesting as the monsters. I guess I didn't pay attention, because I didn't realize that the title is very literal. Every image is about something behind you. This book has the same problem as collected editions of The Onion. The Onion is a lot of fun, but when you read a ton of it together, you get bored. The edginess fades, the surprise fades. It works really well in a format that's periodic rather than binge-y, and the way it's cons The drawings are nice. Especially the people, which are as interesting as the monsters. I guess I didn't pay attention, because I didn't realize that the title is very literal. Every image is about something behind you. This book has the same problem as collected editions of The Onion. The Onion is a lot of fun, but when you read a ton of it together, you get bored. The edginess fades, the surprise fades. It works really well in a format that's periodic rather than binge-y, and the way it's consumed has a big effect on it. This is true for me for a lot of micro fiction, whether it be funny, scary, highly-visual, literary, whatever. Brian Coldrick is a talented artist, for sure, and I do like that so many of the images are Halloween-centric. I would definitely read whatever he does next, and I would be very on board with a longer format.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Manni

    "Behind You" didn't quite meet my expectations, but it is a beautiful collection nonetheless. I wished it would break out of the formula a bit more, because the vast majority just felt like a change of setting without triggering my imagination too much. There are a few stories though that made me think about the history and consequences of the setup. I also like how you feel differently for different creatures in those stories. Sometimes you feel even sad for the creepy "it" lurking in the shadow "Behind You" didn't quite meet my expectations, but it is a beautiful collection nonetheless. I wished it would break out of the formula a bit more, because the vast majority just felt like a change of setting without triggering my imagination too much. There are a few stories though that made me think about the history and consequences of the setup. I also like how you feel differently for different creatures in those stories. Sometimes you feel even sad for the creepy "it" lurking in the shadows because of the describtion and overall situation. Those stories really made me think for a moment or two, but only some of the stories worked on that level, while most just felt a bit too simple and forgettable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Like the creepiest possible version of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, this book finally got me excited for Halloween (a little late, this year!). One star off because these images have a toned-down color palette as compared to the originals, and also because many (but not all) of the originals, posted on the author's tumblr, are animated, which add an otherworldly sense of dread to the stories. Like the creepiest possible version of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, this book finally got me excited for Halloween (a little late, this year!). One star off because these images have a toned-down color palette as compared to the originals, and also because many (but not all) of the originals, posted on the author's tumblr, are animated, which add an otherworldly sense of dread to the stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cassie-la

    ORIGINALLY POSTED: https://bibliomantics.com/2017/11/19/... A collected edition of the horror webcomic of the same name, Behind You is a series of one to two sentence flash fiction stories accompanied by terrifying artwork. Even though both the eerie prose and the illustrations work to tell the small part of a much larger story, I feel that some of the creepiness in Coldrick’s animated work is lost when translated from page to screen. ORIGINALLY POSTED: https://bibliomantics.com/2017/11/19/... A collected edition of the horror webcomic of the same name, Behind You is a series of one to two sentence flash fiction stories accompanied by terrifying artwork. Even though both the eerie prose and the illustrations work to tell the small part of a much larger story, I feel that some of the creepiness in Coldrick’s animated work is lost when translated from page to screen.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I am obsessed with Behind You, and everyone needs to go get it now. It's a book of one-shot horror stories - just a creepy caption with a beautifully spooky picture. It reminded me a lot of the concept of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, but (I think) directed more toward adults. I am amazed at Brian Coldrick's ability to creep me the fuck out with very little information. ❤️ I hope there will be more books like this!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen B

    Behind You is a unique collection of one-shot horror stories and illustrations. It’s fun, creative, and eerie. My favorite illustrations are ones where you can’t see right away what is following the main character...creepy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    This reminds me so much of Chris Van Allsburg's "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick," but much creepier. Van Allsburg's was one of my favorite books as a kid, since it worked as a springboard into infinite story possibilities - and this volume is much the same.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This book demands that you read it twice; once by candle light to up the spook factor, and once with electrical light so you can study all the detail of the drawings.

  24. 5 out of 5

    pdbkwm

    I really loved this book! The premise is rather simple, there are things that are behind you that you are probably better off ignoring. Told entirely in one shot pictures with a sentence that tells the story, Behind You is the perfect book for any horror fan. The artwork is both atmospheric, but well thought at the same time. It leaves you wanting more, but also has so much that you keep discovering new and unique details sprinkled throughout each picture. And even though they're all drawn by the I really loved this book! The premise is rather simple, there are things that are behind you that you are probably better off ignoring. Told entirely in one shot pictures with a sentence that tells the story, Behind You is the perfect book for any horror fan. The artwork is both atmospheric, but well thought at the same time. It leaves you wanting more, but also has so much that you keep discovering new and unique details sprinkled throughout each picture. And even though they're all drawn by the wonderfully talented Brian Coldrick, you do get a variety of styles here that are similar but also different from one another. My only complaint is that the font style didn't work for me here. In the foreward, the font looked blurry and thus it was hard for me to read it. I'm not sure if this we just my library's copy that was the issue, but it was enough to make me skip the introduction all together because it was giving me a headache. Fortunately, it was a lot clearer when we got to the pictures, but I still wished that a different font was used overall. Since the book deals with things that are behind you, some readers may find that the stories start to get predictable. However, you kind of know what you're getting yourself into here and since it's a short read I didn't find this to be a problem. The artwork really is stunning and I found myself impressed with the many creative ideas that Coldrick came up with. Overall, I enjoyed this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zoë Micah-Montoya

    this was a bit disturbing. the small stories were good and the illustrations were even better. one of the kids looked like steven universe and there was an adult like samara morgan. i also have to admit there was a girl in a witch costume, except for being haunted i was envious. seriously this would've been so cool animated, i know you can't animate a book but someone should make something for youtube or vimeo. it would add to the creepiness.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josée Leon (jo.in_bookland)

    Nice creepy images accompanied by one or two lines of text. I liked the one that was a shout-out to Joe Hill's Locke and Key. I checked out Mr. Coldrick's blog and there's more of these, and they're animated!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Adams

    Wonderful collection of single-frame horror comics. On the original site they’re published on they are actually animated gifs, but they work almost just as well without the little flickers of movement.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Madi

    I read this a few days ago and fucking loved it. The illustrations are gorgeous and super creepy. I kinda wish the stories had been interconnected but that wasn't super necessary.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Clare Walker

    Love this. Dark, intriguing one shots with a Tim Burton feel. Beautifully done.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Pluck

    not as frightful as the animated web images but beautiful and creepy!

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