June 24, 2015
Marvel enters the race for the next Great American Coloring Book For Adults
by Andrew Karpan
The Long Book! The Short Book! But what of the coloring book? Over here at Moby Lives!, we’ve been affording due coverage to the skyrocketing trend of these newfangled “grown-up coloring books.” And now the comic book and film adaptation-spinning barons over at Marvel have announced their foray into this Amazon-bestselling field. The latest press release from Marvel sells the move as giving fans a chance to creatively interact with some of their favorite characters:
You’ve read the comics. You’ve experienced these iconic and groundbreaking stories. Now it’s time to experience the Marvel Universe like you never have before – as a coloring book! […] This truly is a way for fans of all ages to be a part of the creative process and bring their personal artistic style to these epic Marvel events.
Or — as David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Marvel, explains it: “Now is the perfect time for us to join this latest book market trend.”
Earlier this week, the good folks at The Herald-Times swept the ground floor of this trend over in the Heartland, talking to an Indiana bookseller who reported her stock of coloring books “flying off the shelves.” Defying any measure of conventional word-reading demographics, she concluded:
Women buy them; men buy them. I had one gentleman in here who bought probably 20 or 25 at once one time. I thought he was buying them for his grandchildren because he was in his 60s, but he said, ‘Nope, these are for me.’
Tracey Forrest, who runs the Facebook page Coloring Isn’t Just for Kids, says coloring books appeal to adults like herself who primarily see them as a stress-relieving way to cope with the pressures of everyday life. “My mom just died in October,” she told The Herald-Times, “So I’ve really gotten back into it […] to try to kind of keep me from being stressed and depressed.”
Marti Faist, an art therpist, concurred:
I’ve watched people under acute stress, almost panic-attack level, color and have their blood pressure go down very quickly. It’s cathartic for them.
Two of the three cathartic coloring books Marvel will be introducing appear to be tie-ins with existing Marvel franchises that have or will soon see blockbuster film adaptions: Age of Ultron Coloring Book and Civil War Coloring Book, the latter of which will be hitting theaters in next May under the title Captain America: Civil War.
The third, titled Little Marvel By Skottie Young Coloring Book, collects some of the Marvel-published work of acclaimed Eisner Award-winning illustrator Skottie Young for fans to color in themselves.
To answer the obvious question of how this new line will differ from the vast array of coloring books that Marvel already puts out to tie-in with their film franchises, cover art for the three releases are already being teased out along with some details. Age of Ultron Coloring Book clocks in at an adult-length of 72 pages (sounds like a novella!) —promising some level of a stand-alone narrative within the Marvel universe while the “Color Your Own” masthead that the new books share is a liminal invitation for fans to really make these corporate franchises their own.
Age of Ultron Coloring Book will be coming out in October while both Civil War Coloring Book and Little Marvel By Skottie Young Coloring Book will be hitting stores sometime next year.