Everyone needs something to let off steam. Some people play sports, others fish, while others cook, do crafts, or play video games. While these activities can go hand in hand with hobbies, which one person may indulge in for excitement and entertainment, another does it for the purpose of relaxation. After a long, hard day, it’s something you do to relax, and everyone has their own thing.
Adult coloring books have been very popular in recent years, for this reason: it’s a way to escape from childhood and indulge in an activity that you loved as a child, while having a feeling of achievement and industry all the time. Insight Editions – one of the most eclectic and exciting publishers out there – has us covered with Batman: The Official Coloring Bookwhich does exactly what it promises.
So if you’re expecting anything other than a cool Batman-themed coloring book, you’ll be disappointed, but…come on. It’s right there in the title. Not in the least misleading.
It is a coloring book that can be enjoyed by both adults and children, thanks to its large pages and impressive but not too complicated images. And yes, I mean that in the best possible way: many coloring books marketed for an older audience have intricate designs and small dots that require a steady hand. That’s all well and good, but depending on your patience, skill level, and even your personality, having to focus on minute details can be just as stressful as the stress you wanted to relieve.
The coloring book contains over 60 images of Batman, his partners and allies, his rogues gallery and several vehicles and areas of Gotham City. Each page is an original image illustrated by Ze Carlos, which has a nice, clean style that reminds me a bit of Freddie Williams II. Batman is of course the most represented, but Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Damian’s Robin, Commissioner Gordon and of course Alfred all make frequent appearances. It’s a curious mix of styles and eras, as most of the heroes are in their Rebirth costumes (Batman has the biggest chest symbol supposed to have the yellow outline, Nightwing has curls around his forearms, Batgirl is in his Burnside costume), while the villains are far more traditional in their designs. Joker, Bane, and Penguin in particular have the classic looks you associate with each character, and Harley Quinn even pops up in her jester outfit at one point.
Really, though, they all look solid and on the model, with each character easily identifiable as themselves. Carlos portrays the heroes in several different “hero poses”, and there are also a good amount of action scenes and “pin-up” style shots. You can go from coloring Batman in a cool, stoic pose as he towers over Gotham City on one page, then flipping a few pages forward to bring an image of Batman riding a jet ski to life.
Yes, this page rules.
None of the pages are so simple that you couldn’t find some sort of coloring inspiration, and none are so detailed that they’re intimidating. Carlos strikes a good balance to make the book accessible to virtually anyone, so you can make your coloring and shading as simple or complex as you want.
Retailing for $11.99, the book is very good value for its type, especially with the strong, high-quality paper used for the pages. Whether you’re a big Batman fan looking for something different or someone who likes to express themselves through art, you’ll definitely get a lot out of Batman: The Official Coloring Book.
Disclaimer: Insight Editions provided a copy of this book for review.
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