It is October! The kids are back in school, the sweaters are out from storage, and the Christmas displays are up at stores just in time for Halloween. And of course, grown-up minds turn to hot, new coloring books!
My unscientific count of new publications debuting online and in retailers in October is almost 200. There are some great new coloring books for new and experienced colorists, as well as some books that may get the non-coloring people in your life into the pastime. And popular franchises such as Outlander, Breaking Bad and even Candy Crush are entering the fray.
Here are some interesting adult coloring book releases for October.
Note: Prices given are as at the time of publishing this post – they can vary depending upon day, time, and retailer.
Cutaway Colouring 1960 onwards – October 1, 2015
by Editors of Haynes, 9″ x 11″, 96 pages, $10.99
Haynes car manuals are essentially step-by-step instructions with diagrams and photographs of an actual strip down or rebuild of a car. The series of books is aimed at both car DIY-ers and professional mechanics and focus on the maintenance and repair of cars (300 models of car and 130 models of motorcycle).
With this coloring book, Haynes has produced one of the first and few with a very structured and mechanical illustrations, which will appeal to car aficionados of any age. The Haynes classic car cutaways are a refreshing change from the flora, fauna and abstracts we find in most coloring books, and the variety of cars included are quite diverse. Cutaway Colouring contains over 180 cutaways, along with a brief history of the classic Haynes Manual.
Tangle Wood: A Captivating Colouring Book with Hidden Jewels – October 1, 2015
by Jessica Palmer, 9″ x 9″, 75 pages, $14.36
This “seek and find adventure” coloring book has animal and nature themed illustrations that indeed feel hand-drawn. Some illustrations are two-page spreads, so expect the standard challenge of trying to color in the crease. There is a lot of detail, so keeping your pencils sharp is important.
And I think pencils are the way to go: the illustrations are printed on both sides of the pages, and with my Sharpies I did get some bleeding through the paper. Just as an aside, I was a bit annoyed to find that during printing some of the ink transferred between pages mucking up a few of the illustrations. And although I am not a fan of white space, some illustrations in this book might be too dark for some.
Secret Tokyo: Color Your Way to Calm – October 6, 2015
by Zoe de Las Cases, 10″ x 10″, 96 pages, $10.16
I was born in Japan, so I have a particular fondness for things Japanese, including coloring books. Simply browsing through the illustrations by Zoe de Las Cases, who did the illustrations in quite a few great coloring books is calming.
Many of De Las Cases’ hand-drawn illustrations are intricate, others more simplistic. Subjects include thousand-year-old woodblock prints, objects including kimonos and fans, modern cityscapes such as Tokyo and Kyoto, and even manga. Images in this book are printed on both sides of the pages, and the paper is a bit thin, so it is not ideal for pens or markers.
Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge – October 13, 2015
by Kerby Rosanes, 10″ x 10″, 96 pages, $7.14
Kerby Rosanes is a freelance illustrator from the Philippines known for his intricate cartoon and fantasy doodles on sketchbooks. Rosanes draws whimsical illustrations that include patterns, characters and little elements that combine into a larger work. In a way, the illustrations are reminiscent of Mattias Adolfsson sketches – packed with detailed, fanciful scenes and sometimes odd creatures.
The illustrations in Animorphia are, as one would guess, animal-focused, with many two-page spreads and most “morphed” to include a multitude of peculiar, cartoonish characters. Every illustration has an object for you to find, and for those of us who are a bit “seek and find” challenged, there is a helpful key in the back of the book. I sometimes like to tear pages out and put them on my clipboard for coloring, so this book is not ideal for that.
The Candy Crush Adult Coloring Book: Creatively Color the Candy Kingdom – October 27, 2015
by Candy Crush, 10″ x 10″, 96 pages, $13.46
Every day, almost 100 million users worldwide play “Candy Crush Saga” and “Candy Crush Soda Saga.” As a “sometime” (cough-cough) Candy Crush player, I had high hopes for this one. The illustrations do cover the Candy Crush Kingdom, from the characters to the candy elements. I even learned the names of a couple of the characters (yes, they have names).
Unfortunately, I was disappointed in this coloring book for several reasons. First, I prefer more “organic” illustrations with some detail – I find detail work more meditative. These pages are clearly computer generated – some illustrations even look like the creator just repetitively copy/pasted the elements. And many of the pages have a LOT of white space.
This book would be adequate for practicing coloring techniques, such as getting different depths of color from a single pencil or pen, but I don’t find that particularly relaxing.
The Official Outlander Coloring Book Paperback – October 27, 2015
by Diana Gabaldon, 10″ x 10″, 96 pages, $10.59
If you are a HUGE Outlander franchise fan like me, ye ken we’ll buy anything Outlander. Calendars, Luckenbooth Thistle Earrings, Tote Bags, Magnets. I have even preordered THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume Two that debuts on October 27, so I can see how the publishers were itching to get a coloring book out as well!
I have not been able to get my hands on an advance review copy, but I do know from following Diana Gabaldon on her site and social media that this is not a storybook = it won’t tell you anything you don’t already know about Jamie and Claire. Each illustration is on a separate page, and there is a brief, relevant quotation on the facing page. Gabaldon has reviewed and approved of every illustration and quotation, so that gives me some encouragement. From the cover art you can see there will be faces, and that will be a new coloring challenge for me!
From Amazon: “From the lush green of the Scottish Highlands to the military red of a British soldier’s coat or the vibrant hues of a tartan kilt, the colorful world of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser is now yours to explore. Featuring natural landscapes, detailed drawings of Claire’s medicinal herbs, depictions of the books’ most beloved scenes and characters, and intricately rendered clothing, weapons, and armor straight out of eighteenth-century Scotland,”
The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book – October 27, 2015
by George R. R. Martin, 10″ x 10″, 96 pages, $10.34
Here is yet another franchise trying to attract a whole new audience to the world of coloring books for grown-ups. This coloring book would make a perfect gift for any fans of George R. R. Martin’s books and HBO’s series. Again, no advanced review copy, but the book will have 45 illustrations. And given the amount of gore in the books and series, I’d suggest a good number of various reds in your colored pencils, pens and markers will be in order.
From the Publisher: “In a world where weddings are red, fire is green, and debts are paid in gold, countless images leap off the page thanks to the eye-popping intricacy of the vivid settings and details. Now, for the first time, fans of this blockbuster saga can fill in the blanks and marvel as this meticulously imagined universe …”comes to life, one sword, sigil, and castle at a time.”
Breaking Bad: Cookin’ Up Some Color, Yo – October 29, 2015
by Walter Foster Creative Team, 9″ x 12″, 80 pages, $11.06
Although the series Breaking Bad is has called it wraps, you can still get some fun from Walter White’s successful meth business! Throughout this coloring book, you will find the cast of characters, some of its cliff-hangers, and relevant locations. The book moves chronologically through the series and includes word searches, crossword puzzles, and dot-to-dots along with quotes and anecdotes from the show.
In my opinion, the drawings are cartoony. Add this to the non-coloring activities, I would say this book is a way to ease the Breaking Bad fans in your life to adult coloring and not so much a great book for a colorist.