When adult colouring-in books became a thing a few years ago, they seemed like just another wacky wellness fad. And while we still find the whole exercise a little twee, it’s hard to argue with the evidence (such as it is) that they may help those doing the colouring-in achieve that elusive zen-like state known as mindfulness. No doubt the uplifting illustrations – birds, unicorns, flowers, butterflies, mandalas and Ryan Gosling, to name a few – have something to do with this.
But what about those of us who need something, well, a little less zippity-doo-dah to get in the zone? Look no further than Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk’s Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color.
Known for his perverse take on the human condition (and for making people faint at his public readings), the best-selling novelist’s debut colouring-in book comprises eight short stories accompanied by nearly 50 intricate line drawings by comic book artists such as Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy) and Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer).
Suffice it to say, you won’t find any sunshine and lollipops in Palahniuk’s twisted tales. Here’s a taster (courtesy of publisher Dark Horse Comics):
- A passenger on the Titanic who finds a surgical solution to the obstacle of "women and children first”
- A Hollywood star whose fading brand faces a viral (and scatological) internet campaign
- An animal psychic who coaxes a statement from a fish that witnessed a political assassination
- Increasingly terrible birthday gifts that place a girl at the centre of an extinction-level event.
Sharpen your pencils.