Short Ghost Stories:
The Man With The Axe
In His Back
Author: Queenie Chan
Publisher: Bento Comics Short Ghost Stories is presented in an unusual format, though manages to perfectly illustrate its four counterparts through a mix of prose and comics. Queenie Chan, the sole author of Short Ghost Stories, constructs the best aspects of two different content mediums, a new way of telling a story, which she likes to call comics-prose. Chan, who has had experience as a manga artist and graphic novelist, pays tribute to a classic Twilight Zone approach to storytelling. Comprised of four short stories, it investigates everything strange, as you could probably guess from its title. To give a little bit of insight, this review will focus entirely on The Man With The Axe In His Back, the first of four short stories illustrated. Imagine this. It’s your first day of your new job. You walk around the sterile work environment, guided through its hallways by white walls of hopelessness. You feel completely out of place as unfamiliar faces watch you pass by, but something much more grim is awaiting your presence. The Man With The Axe In His Back torments Janet Combs, the company’s newest resident. As his mysterious murder haunts her, her first day doesn’t quite go to plan. Following afterwards are three more stories; Cassie and Lassie, The Hollow Tree and Civilised People, all of which follow the same thematic structures. Queenie Chan’s experimental approach to these short stories provides the reader with a new way of storytelling. Her experience as a manga artist has been displayed through a series of highly detailed illustrations that accompany the stories text, which use very minimal colour, only to emphasize the truly horrifying events. With very few texts to compare to, it makes this a truly unique and alternate reading experience.
ShortGhost Stories is available in print version only, though for readers who stay true to their nature and are seeking a new approach to comic creation, that shouldn’t be a problem. It can be purchased online at thebentonet.com.au