Adult Coloring Books: Art Therapy or BS?
I’m sure, that by now, most DC Comics collectors are aware of the coloring book variant covers being pushed. I too fell for the marketing trap, picking up a Wonder Woman variant that appealed to my aesthetic senses (with no intention whatsoever of coloring it). Looking over the cover, I got into a conversation with the Midtown Comics floor guy. What he told me was that adult coloring books have been around for a number of years, and that it’s suppose to be relaxing.
Not really buying it (frankly I thought it was bullshit), later that night I started Googling it. Surprisingly, I found more than expected, across some very serious articles from the likes of: The New Yorker, New York Post, The Atlantic, and NYMAG.
They all had similar themes: this is not a fad that is going to go away, and adult coloring books serve as a means to exercise our creative muscle in a zen-like therapeutic setting. In addition, the internet and social media has served to increased its popularity, with adult colorists posting their artistic colored pages on the web via Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, and pretty much everywhere else.
Then a couple days later I saw that Marvel put out a Deadpool adult coloring book. I bought it, and that evening at home, I unboxed an old set of coloring pencils that I had bought for my daughter (which she never used), and went to town.
Damn, if they weren’t right; as I stared at my completed colored page with satisfaction and pride. The only negative I could come up with was that I had wasted an unproductive two hours. Then again, that’s kind of the point isn’t it? To do something enjoyable, just for the fun of it.
After my coloring experience, I can see why the marketing pros at DC and Marvel are jumping on this bandwagon, and carving out another niche market (Marvel has a slate of coloring books coming to print; and DC isn’t far behind, selling both the books and their own branded set of coloring pencils). One has to wonder at the amount of research (psychological and field tests) they put into this product.
All I have to say is that I’ve been schooled. You should expect to see more of my colored pages proliferating out there on the web soon; and perhaps this can serve to resurrect my sub-latent artistic abilities.
And let us know what you think: is this a short-lived gimmick, or a serious new hobby for comic book enthusiasts? I’d love to hear what others think about the Big Two’s concerted push into the adult coloring book world.