Please Welcome my Guest, Brian Coldrick…
This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite horror illustrators, Brian Coldrick. The first time I saw one of his illustrations I remember thinking of the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I find myself still flipping through his images with the same satisfying chill. Enjoy the interview!
We’re talking today because of your art series “Behind You”, what was your inspiration for this series?
Well originally I had wanted to start a webcomic but I decided to avoid having a continuing story simply so I could change my mind about what interested me each week. The actual form of a “something” lurking behind a someone grew out of a general love of horror, in particular I had been reading a bunch of creepy pastas which themselves are quite formless and often lacking a beginning, middle and end. By only offering a snippet of a story I freed myself to start again each entry but also allowed the reader to fill in the before and after however they saw fit. Their interpretation can often be more interesting than what I might have intended!
You draw a wide range of genres. How long have you been drawing? What is your favorite genre to draw?
Like most I drew lots as a kid but then just never grew out of it. Drawing monsters and robots on the back of a copy book eventually become drawing monsters and robots for a living. I don’t have a favourite genre outside of generally the fantastical. I sometimes do storyboard work for ads and films and drawing people sitting in a room talking is never as much fun as drawing a rotting undead nightmare.
“Behind You” is a collection of single scenes with a caption. Are you telling a whole story in these images or just part of a story?
It can vary. Sometimes I definitely have a wider story in mind outside of the sliver that I’m showing. But often I won’t have a clear arc and will instead add in some small details that could be interpreted as part of the story without knowing what they mean myself. It’s a bit of a cheat really, I’m making a puzzle without knowing the answer. Hopefully the fun part is trying to solve it and not whether there is or isn’t an actual solution.
Do you feel that it’s hard to portray the story/event in a single scene?
Visually not so much, but I find that I can write long accompanying paragraphs and then have to edit them down to a sentence or two. It’s better to let the picture do the storytelling or at least do the hinting.
Are you involved in any other medias of Horror?
Over the years I’ve done little bits of concept design that can veer into “Monsters and Robots”. It can be very satisfying as after my part is done it’s handed off to incredibly talented sculptors and designers who turn a rough sketch into a real detailed creature.
Outside of that while I have some story ideas for short comics I haven’t yet made any of them a reality.
Who are your influences in the world of Horror?
There’s a big world of great horror out there to “borrow” ideas from. Comics by the likes of Mike Mignola and Emily Carroll and Junji Ito. I love lots of horror films from those of Jacques Turnier to Hammer to Carpenter to Cronenberg. And I’ve really enjoyed most of the new wave of horror cinema such as It Follows and The Witch and Hereditary. I’m probably not as well read as I should be in horror literature, it seems that for every book I’ve read I hear of 4 more I should read. Lots of Lovecraft and M. R. James but I need more Saki and Rampo and Robert Aickman and Ramsey Campbell and a hundred others.
There are artist like Giger and Wayne Barlowe and Zdzisław Beksiński that are endlessly inspiring. For Behind You I have found folklore often a fruitful starting point. I also love reading online accounts of spooky ‘real-life’ incidents. And a quick look on the internet will always reveal a thousand horrible things to be influenced by!
Is there anything in the works you would like the Horror community to know about?
I do hope to try my hand at some actual storytelling with these short comic ideas of mine but for the moment there’s Behind You which I’m still updating every couple of weeks. There is a lovely hardcover book out from IDW which collects the first seventy odd of them, and it features a really fantastic introduction by Joe Hill.
Let us know where we can find more of your work!
Behind You pops up on Tumblr here: thehairsonthebackofyourneck.tumblr.com
There’s also a patreon page here: patreon.com/behindyou
My general blog is here: briancoldrick.tumblr.com
And my website is here: briancoldrick.com
As well as that there’s the usual twitter/facebook/instagram:
Thank you to my Guest…
A big thank you to Brian Coldrick for his time and samples of his art! I encourage readers to head over to his pages and check out his work. Even if you’re not a big fan of horror, there is something for everyone.