Comics : Meredith "Jumbo" Spider-Man Color and Activity Book

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This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

For the last five or so years, "Paradise Books" have been the only game in town when it came to Spider-Man coloring books. Then a few months ago, Marvel simultaneously announced a block of book deals with DK Publishing, Harper Collins, Meredith Books and Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books. We've already seen some kids story-books from "Meredith", and now here's some coloring/activity compilations from too.

In Detail...

Meredith "Jumbo" Spider-Man Color and Activity Book
Jan 2005 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0696225131
Summary: 400pp
Publisher:  Meredith Books
Editor:  Don Curry
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Review

This is your standard 8 1/4" x 11" coloring book, cheap newsprint pages with B&W interior printing. The pages are perforated for easy tear-out too. What's perhaps most notable about this Jumbo book is its sheer size. 400 pages makes it roughly the same physical size as my local telephone directory. The binding is pretty much exactly an inch thick!

The interior art is pretty clearly taken from the Ultimate Spider-Man series. Sadly, the reproduction is very poor. I would have assumed that Meredith would get access to the original pencil art, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead it looks like the line art in this book has been generated by post-processing color panel scans from the actual comics, blowing them up, and manually removing the background detail to get a clear picture for coloring. I'm not sure if that was the case, but whatever process was used has led to very poor line quality on many of the pictures.

Furthermore, the mix of coloring page to activity is about four to one, which doesn't quite feel like enough activity pages to me. Still, the sheer bulk of pages is quite impressive, and for $5.99 this is still a heck of a lot of entertainment for your dollar. I'm sure that any keen young Spider-Fan would be delighted to get one of these slabs dropped on them on a rainy weekend.

In General...

Perhaps a little heavier on quantity than on quality, but still good value for money. The new art is a welcome change from the same recycled stuff that the "Paradise Books" coloring and activity books have been endlessly re-issuing for the past five years.

Overall Rating...

Just what you would expect out of a four-hundred page coloring book. Three webs.

Footnote...

There are two variants, a Grey and a Red cover. Both have the same ISBN.