Comics : Spider-Man "Wild Spider" Coloring Book (China)
This review was first published on: Jul 2015.
I purchased this "Wild Spider" coloring book in Australia, but it clearly originates from a Chinese-based design company. There's no date, ISBN, or manufacturer's name – which isn't surprising since this product is indubitably an illegal, unlicensed rip-off. There is a code "CH88-17" on the back cover.
I have dated it as 2014, since that's when I purchased it. But it could be as early as 2012.
Spider-Man "Wild Spider" Coloring Book (China)
Year 2014 : SM Title
The book is 8.4" x 11", and contains 16 "colouring pages" (mostly black and white line art, but also with some coloured backgrounds to help get you started with your own colouring). There's also a two-page sticker sheet centrefold.
Also, in the interests of "maximising fun", the inside front and inside back of the cardboard cover also contains artwork for you to colour.
The book doesn't actually say "Spider-Man" anywhere on the exterior, but his name is all over the interior. The cover does feature a holographic sparkle overlay on the cardboard. It also features a bizarre ring of fire and twirling red/yellow cyclone beneath our favourite web-slinger.
Most of these Chinese knock-off products are really, really, really bad. This one manages to avoid some of the worst flaws, but is hardly pleasing in overall effect.
It's nice to see that the illustrations all manage to stay within completely within the printed page! But there's very little variety between the illustrations, and the reproduction quality on some of the artwork is pretty dodgy. I would have to say that the decoration on the backgrounds is very "Asian", and does not match "western conventions".
Spider-Man's name is printed almost 100% correctly. There are no glaring references to "Super-Man", and the Spider-Man logo isn't accidentally mirror-image flipped anywhere within the book. But Spider-Man does lose his trademarked hyphen at one point (becoming "Spider Man") which is a fundamental error.
The paper is white, and is several steps above the "transparent grey lavatory paper" you often find in these books. But it still isn't what you would call "high grade" at all.
The stickers are collected (i.e. stolen) from various sources over various years, and are rather mixed up. A one-off "Thor" sticker manages to sneak its way into the book. I guess all western super-heroes tend to look alike to a guy earning 25 cents an hour.
Oh, who am I trying to kid. This book is crap. It's a turd. It's a crime, both literally and figuratively.