Marvel Comics Super Heroes Color/Activity (Landoll, Green)

Background

Landoll Publishing only produced a handful of Marvel coloring books, and they don't seem to have had huge distribution. So, while these books aren't especially valuable, they are still slightly rare and hard to find (especially if you're looking for high-grade copies).

I spent a few years hunting for my copies. Since I couldn't necessarily count on "Landoll" being in the item description on eBay, and they don't have any obvious ISBN, I had to actively check any reference to Marvel Heroes coloring books.

But after some persistence, I recently got my hands on the last one of the four 32 page books to complete the set of Green, Blue, Brown, and Purple. So let's have a look at them now.

Story Details

  Marvel Comics Super Heroes Color/Activity (Landoll, Green)
Summary: Coloring/Activity Book 8" x 10.5" (32pp, Spider-Man Stars)
Publisher: Landoll, Inc.
  Marvel Comics Super Heroes Color/Activity (Landoll, Blue)
Summary: Coloring/Activity Book 8" x 10.5" (32pp, Spider-Man Stars)
Publisher: Landoll, Inc.
  Marvel Comics Super Heroes Color/Activity (Landoll, Brown)
Summary: Coloring/Activity Book 8" x 10.5" (32pp, Spider-Man Stars)
Publisher: Landoll, Inc.
  Marvel Comics Super Heroes Color/Activity (Landoll, Purple)
Summary: Coloring/Activity Book 8" x 10.5" (32pp, Spider-Man Stars)
Publisher: Landoll, Inc.

These four books are sized 8" x 10.5" magazine size. They're only 32pp each, which means they're staple-bound through the glossy cardboard cover, not square-bound.

Originally published in 1994, and the 20 years age is just enough time to give the newsprint pages a nice tanned appearance. The paper-stock isn't great but the line quality is good and the inking is clear.

The artwork has the classic look of Erik Larsen, Jim Lee and his colleagues of the time – strong, over-the-top figures, with way too many muscles. Some of the art looks like it's taken from comic books, but I couldn't be sure if all of it is.

None of the art has background, only the foreground figures are depicted. About half the pages are simple coloring, the others are join-the-dots, complete-the-artwork or simple puzzles.

General Comments

Other than the variation in the covers, you really couldn't tell one book from the other by looking inside, each one mixes Silver Surfer, Spidey, Thor, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Magneto, Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman, Black Cat and various other characters in fairly equal proportions.

There's surprisingly little overlap between the books. Flicking through two side-by-side I saw occasional/partial re-use, sometimes within the same book. But nothing excessive.

Overall Rating

A 32pp page count feels low for a book "Made in the USA", and the paper stock isn't great.

But the print quality is great, and there's a certain charm and innocence to these "old school" coloring books that is hard to ignore.

Footnote

P.S. I'm still missing a copy of the sticker book!