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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grown-Ups, Brandish Your Crayons: Coloring Book Mag Coming to S.F. Comics Convention

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Think you can stay between the lines?
  • Think you can stay between the lines?

Most of us probably can't recall the last time we picked up a coloring book -- and let's face it, our childish efforts at employing chiaroscuro on Skeletor aren't likely worth remembering anyway. But not all adults have lost the taste for using crayons between the lines. A quick Google search reveals that all manner of grown-up coloring books are out there these days, the likes of which a child literally could never have imagined. (The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas, anyone?)

A novel strain in this publishing subculture will be featured at the comics convention WonderCon 2009, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Feb. 27 to March 1. The creators of Color Ink Book -- a coloring book periodical that just released its second issue -- are coming to San Francisco for the convention. Color Ink Book is the brainchild of two guys in Southern California, Adam Washburn, a 46-year-old plumber from Oceanside, and his brother Jason, who manages a comics store.

THE COVER OF COLOR INK BOOK'S FIRST ISSUE.
  • The cover of Color Ink Book's first issue.

"We compete with no one, because we're unusual and unique," Adam Washburn said in a telephone interview. "There isn't anything else like this out there." The Washburns are heavily into the low-brow art scene, from which most of the images in Color Ink Book are drawn. The brothers use a stable of regular artists, who supply black-and-white drawings to be colored in. "We wanted to do something different, set ourselves apart, and actually allow the fans to get involved in the artists' work," Washburn said. "Growing up, I remember that coloring books were a real blast."

We agree that it's a pretty cool idea, and markedly less creepy than some other takes on this most innocent of childhood pastimes. For instance, there's no disputing that the Roman Catholic Church's efforts to curb abusive priests with an anti-pedophilia coloring book for kids serves a worthy cause. But we can't help asking: Really?

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Peter Jamison

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