Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man Coloring Book (China) GDA-009
This review was first published on: Dec 2015.
Here is yet another unlicensed Chinese-origin Spidey coloring book. As usual, no date, no ISBN, no manufacturing or publishing information. The only identifying mark is GDA-009 on the back cover. I've put this as a 2015 book, since that's the year I purchased it.
Ultimate Spider-Man Coloring Book (China) GDA-009
Year 2015 : SM Title
The book is 8" x 10.7, glossy cardboard cover. The page count is low, as for most Chinese books. There are 16 color pages on medium/low-grade thin white paper, plus a double-sheet of stickers stapled into the center of the book. Overall the print quality is mediocre, with the pages slightly faded, as if the color laser printer was running out of toner.
All sixteen coloring pages feature only Spider-Man, in a web-swinging or web-shooting pose. Sometimes there's a Spidey logo, or a bit of webbing to fill in the blank space.
Most of the artwork seems to have been stolen and scanned-in from various legitimate authorised products, which means that it's generally of good quality. But one of them seems to be stolen from another Chinese book. You can tell that, because the proportions are a bit odd, and Spidey's head is slightly triangular, bulging out at the top. Another one of the art pieces appears to have been traced from the cover of a Spider-Man 2 DVD. Bizarrely, Spidey's eyes have got dots drawn on them, which make the web-slinger look like he's high on Meth, and he's just about to go strangle a baby otter. Not a pretty sight, is what I'm saying.
Each coloring page has a "coloring guide" at the top. But every coloring guide shows the exact same thing:
- Step 1: Color the RED bits on Spider-Man.
- Step 2: Color the BLUE bits on Spider-Man.
- Step 1: Color the entire background of the picture in PINK, PURPLE, GREEN, or ORANGE.
Also at the bottom of every page is a space for you to write your NAME. That's fair enough, I guess, although the pages aren't perforated for easy removal so I'm not sure why you need your name on each page.
But the oddest thing then is that next to the "NAME" space, there are three stars. A "happy" star, an "OK" star, or a sad "star".
Rating stars? For a kid's coloring book? I assume this is something for Tiger Mom to help their two year old children improve their coloring skills? "After child complete finish picture color – guiding parent mark star show picture good bad quality for learning improve?"
Even with mostly decent source material, and even without spelling errors, there's still something about these rip-off Chinese books that make me shudder.
The images are rotated to strange angles just to make them fit into the page. There's not enough margin between the figures and the dotted outlines, so the pictures are disturbingly cramped. The stickers are aggressively cropped, so random bits of Spidey's body are missing in most of them.
This isn't the worst of them, but it still only deserves One Web.