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Famous Author Writes Adult Coloring Book

June 20, 2016
Not THAT kind of adult coloring book. (image via wikimedia)

Not THAT kind of “adult” coloring book! (image via wikimedia)

When I first heard the term “adult coloring book,” I thought it would be something I couldn’t show my daughters.  I was actually kind of disappointed to see that it was simply a coloring book too intricate for most kids.  20 years ago, we called them black-and-white comic books.  We rarely colored our black-and-white comic books back then, but we could have.  Since we have to be clear about how “adult” these adult coloring books are, they should probably be called coloring books for adults.  When it comes to the word adult, word placement means everything.

Most people who don’t read books might not recognize the name Chuck Palahniuk, but they know Fight Club.  Everybody knows Fight Club.  Everybody knows the rules of Fight Club.  Even people who haven’t see the movie know the rules of Fight Club.  Anyway, famous author Chuck Palahniuk who wrote the book Fight Club is collaborating with Dark Horse comics to put out a collection of new short stories  in a coloring book format .    Fans of Chuck Palahniuk might buy his coloring book simply because they’re fans of Chuck Palahniuk.  Fans of coloring books for adults might buy it because it’s intriguing, and then they might read some of Chuck’s other books later on.

Dark Horse is a comic book company that has put out a lot of underrated stuff.  It’s not ever going to overtake Marvel or DC, but it’s a respectable company that takes some risks, and some of their stuff (at least 10-20 years ago) was worth reading.  Maybe they’re hoping to attract comic book readers too.  Comic book fanboys like Fight Club.  Comic book fanboys like anything that has fights in it.

Some adults malign this new trend of coloring books for adults.  Some say it’s childish, that adults today are clinging to their childhoods rather than embracing their responsibilities.  I read comic books until my mid-40s, so  I don’t have any business mocking somebody else’s hobbies.  As far as I’m concerned, as long as adults are fulfilling their responsibilities as adults, their hobbies should be whatever they want it to be.

I never enjoyed coloring, though, when I was younger.  I had a few coloring books, but to me they were a waste of time.  The stories were always very basic, and they didn’t take long to read.  They usually had only one sentence at the bottom of each page.  They weren’t very challenging.  Even the pictures weren’t complicated, and if you colored outside the lines, some other kid always criticized you.

Color by numbers were even worse because it eliminated all choice.  “What kind of fascist puts out a color-by-number coloring book?” I yelled out in school one day.  I didn’t know what fascist meant, but it sounded good.  I think I’d heard that word around my house a lot.

As a former comic collector, I’d be torn about the Chuck Palhniuk coloring book because the first rule of comic collecting is that you don’t mess up the comic book.  You wrap it.  You store it in a safe, dry, dark location so the color doesn’t fade.  And for god’s sake, you never color a comic book, even if it’s black-and-white.  Comic collectors who buy the coloring book won’t color it because they see coloring it as ruining the value.  30 years from now, somebody might want a mint condition Chuck Palahniuk coloring book for adults.

I’ve read some Chuck Palahniuk short stories.  To me, this coloring book for adults looks like a gimmick.  I don’t see how making a new short story into a coloring book for adults makes the story better or improves the experience.  I’m not against a coloring book for adults.  If they made a Fight Club coloring book, I might buy it.  It’s Fight Club.

*****

What do you think?  Is a short story coloring book for adults anything more than a gimmick.  Would you be more likely to buy an adult coloring book or a coloring book for adults?

From → Pop culture

10 Comments
  1. Adult coloring book is fun and relaxing so I will buy .

  2. I have a theory regarding the comic books and the coloring book. I think Chuck Palahniuk is done. As a die-hard fan, I looked forward to the new Palahniuk books, then they started to become over complicated and boring (GASP!). I haven’t purchased the last three novels. I got suckered in on that short story collection, and it was ok. I think he’s done now, and he’s going to resort to these gimmicks for the rest of his career to cash in on the name he made for himself with the books he wrote earlier in his career. He wrote some terrific stuff, but it appears as though the gas tank is empty, and he’s done. It happens. Now back up the Wells Fargo truck and let the man live in the luxury he’s earned after all those years of struggle.

    • I haven’t read enough of Palahniuk’s books to have an opinion, but I saw that he and Dark Horse Comics are putting out a Fight Club 2 comic book. That might support your theory (unless the comic book is really good).

  3. I’ve bought many coloring books for my wife. She uses them to relax and to practice her skills (she’s gone back to school for an art degree after already earning a BS in English – GO HER!!).

  4. I’m kind of obsessed with adult coloring books. I find coloring in them terribly relaxing and stress-reducing. And I’m a little obsessed with Chuck Palahniuk. So I’ll definitely be buying this coloring book. YES!

  5. That coloring should be considered a kids-only activity is exactly what’s wrong with the world. Coloring is calming and meditative. People who get all in a twist about adult coloring books could probably benefit from a little coloring… 😉

    I didn’t know Chuck Palahniuk was releasing one of his own. Hmm. His books like to go into dark territory, and coloring is such an innocent pastime, so maybe he likes the juxtaposition of those opposite qualities?

  6. I don’t fancy an ‘adult’ comic book, not because I don’t want to run my felt tips over cartoon genitalia, but because just using various skin tone pens would be really boring. Unless I fancied spicing it up and turning some of the characters into aliens, in which case I could use whichever palette I chose.

  7. Coloring books and comics are very different. Comics are stories told in a series of short periodically publicized illustrated work (or something like that, I don’t really know the definition), but adult coloring books are more about art than literature. Coloring books are created by artists and are usually a compilation of different drawings based on a common theme that people can buy and color in. There is a big difference between the two.

  8. I like the idea of them, and there are some very nice adult coloring books I’ve seen. Hey, if I can take the pages out and decorate my home with them, even better! Semi-free art. Of course, I love color, and I have a 100-crayon box that doesn’t get near enough use.

    And now Hobby Lobby has picture frames you’re supposed to color, which is a neat idea.

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