Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon)
This review was first published on: Jun 2013.
Bendon Publishing International, Inc. seems to be the primary publisher of Spider-Man colouring books in the U.S. at the moment. This "Amazing Spider-Man Jumbo Coloring and Activity Book" was produced as part of their range of tie-ins to the 2012 film.
There were four versions of this book: "Web-Slinging Superhero", "Swinging Into Action", "Stick With Me!" and "Wall Crawling Wonder". The only real difference is the covers. Inside are basically the same pages, just shuffled slightly in sequence.
Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon)
Year 2012 : SM Title
Summary: 96pp, No ISBN
This book is a standard 8" x 10.5" format, glossy cardboard cover, square-bound with 96 newsprint black and white pages.
The artwork for these 2012 Bendon books is completely new, and replaces the previous artwork from the Bendon "Spider-Sense" range. The new artwork features Spider-Man's costume style from the 2012 film, and also features scenes and characters taken directly from the movie.
Otherwise, the general mix of content is pretty much the same. Coloring pages, word puzzles, games, mazes and such like.
Unfortunately, there's something just a little odd about the new "movie tie-in" artwork. Specifically, the angles and proportions of Spider-Man's body just feel disturbingly "not-quite-right". Some limbs are too long, others are too fat, and joints bend at angles which just make me want to cringe in sympathetic pain.
Now, don't get me wrong here. I know that Spider-Man is supposed to be drawn as flexible and dynamic. He's among the most agile of Marvel's characters, and there's no shame in renderings evoking the bug-like nature of his origins.
But this is just a step too far. Flexible is one thing. But broken and distorted is another thing entirely!
There's nothing to be ashamed of in the cheap newsprint format. Much as I love crisp white thick pages, there's also a place in the world for reasonably-priced colouring books.
But whoever drew (and whichever editor approved) this awkward, broken Spider-Man should definitely be ashamed.