Coloring books

You know, I DO NOT NEED another hobby. But I have to say, these new adult coloring books are really quite tempting.

Here’s a post at about a new Sherlock coloring book.


One does see articles like this one at the New Yorker, declaring that adult coloring books, like YA stories, are inherently childish and thus reflect a negative cultural shift away from adulthood. While I’m certainly willing to decry some of the directions American culture seems to be taking, this argument is surely too silly to actually need refutation. I mean, think about it for two seconds and I’m sure you will recall that the extremely similar hobby of paint-by-numbers was popular among adults in the fifties, a decade seldom held up as evidence of a trend away from acceptance of adulthood in American culture.

Anyway, Sherlock is okay, I guess, but I was never into Sherlock Holmes and don’t care about the modern reprise of Sherlock. No, the coloring book that tempts *me* is Rachel Mayo’s dragon coloring book, which I saw at Archon and nearly but not quite picked up.


Ah, yes, dragons! Even though I can hardly justify spending time with coloring books, no matter how elegant, I really am *very* tempted. Next time I see one of Mayo’s coloring books, shoot, I’ll just pick it up so I can *look* at it now and then. And pick up a nice set of colored pencils. Surely one drawing a month wouldn’t be too self-indulgent?

If you’d like some Mayo dragons to admire, here’s her coloring book at Amazon.

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9 thoughts on “Coloring books”

  1. Adult coloring books are supposed to be a good way to distract yourself. It’s part of the whole idea that if you step away from a vexing problem and do something else for a while, the solution will come to you on its own. I think it’s a good thing so long as it’s actually helping people.

  2. It’s hard to see how anyone could protest adult coloring books and not say a word about, oh, computer solitaire. I’m just sorry I didn’t pick up Rachel Mayo’s dragon coloring book when I saw it. Next time I will.

  3. Your introvert mileage may vary, but coloring together with friends is even better than reading together with your friends — for those of us who enjoy that kind of quiet companionship. I say get the coloring book and go crazy with those dragons!

  4. The dragon looks like fun!
    Rereading “The Fall of Ile Rien” trilogy. Love the author and the series, and Tremaine is a great character. The convention of refering to how “fiction is not like this” or “it’s just like being in a book” is annoying. There is nothing likelier to crash your suspension of disbelief than an overt reminder than HEY READER! THIS IS FICTION!

  5. Okay, I did wind up going over to Amazon and picking up that dragon coloring book. 52 dragons! I guess you’re meant to do one per week? I need to see if those colored pencils I used to have are still downstairs…

  6. There’s something very relaxing about coloring – I occasionally do mandala-ish things – and those dragons look spectacular. Wanders over to Amazon and drops in cart.

  7. I plan on having a Coloring Book panel at ARCHON next year. I’ll talk a little bit about the phenomenon and some supplies, but then it will be coloring time!!

  8. Liz, that sounds very cool! Since I now have a coloring book, do you have any tips about the best kind of colored pencils or whatever?

  9. Not Liz, but the Teen was just bending my ear about it. She likes the Color Giant pencils from Mercurius for their smoothness and depth of color. Says if you want fine detail, like making feathers look right, use regular colored pencils over the base color from the color giants.

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