Comics : Spider-Man 3 Stickers Coloring Book TS-346 (China)
This review was first published on: Jan 2014.
I just happened to spot a couple more Chinese-origin rip-off Spidey colouring books at my local $2 store. It's only a perverse sense of duty that compels me to pick these up and include them in the database. Still, my suffering is your gain.
Spider-Man 3 Stickers Coloring Book TS-346 (China)
Year 2013 : SM Title
Each of these rip-off books are awful in their own special little way. This one is 8.2" x 10.8". It features 16 colouring pages, and an insert double-page sticker sheet.
The artwork is a ghastly mix of styles. Some pages appear to be swiped verbatim from credible, original U.S. sources, including the beloved classic Romita Sr. "running towards the camera" pose. Others appear to have been badly traced perhaps from original sources. A couple are so dreadful in quality that they must have been drawn by the publisher's infant (and apparently slightly drunk) children.
Each page features a rectangular spot to attach one of the stickers from the first sheet. The logo "Spider-Man 3" has been stencilled onto each page. As if writing the word is some sort of magical invocation which can somehow make the image related to the movie, even though it's not.
As always with these books, it's the sheer depth of the disrespect for quality which is so impressive.
The paper quality isn't actually so bad this time. But the printing reproduction is notably poor. In terms of the actual art, a couple of the unmodified stolen images are acceptable, but the vast majority have been bastardized in the tracing/adaptation process as to be truly unpleasant to behold. The random mishmash of different art styles adds insult to injury.
To round off the whole process, whoever was responsible for putting the pictures on the page couldn't even be bothered to get the contents inside the borders. Several images have Spider-Man's foot clipped off at the page edge. This must be human carelessness - no modern printing press could be that erratic.
It staggers me to behold just how little of a damn the creators of these books care for the quality of the product they have created.
How can an entire enterprise arise for the purpose of manufacturing a series of Spider-Man books when clearly not one single person involved in the entire process gives a flying fig about what is actually produced? I try and live by Hanlon's Razor - "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." But honestly, books this poor are damn near vindictive in nature.
Really, it makes me want to take a plane to China, track these people down and feed them through their own printing presses. These products demean us all.
As always with these books that lack Copyright and ISBN info, the "Cover Date" is actually the year in which I purchased them.