Spider-Man 3: Colouring Book (Alligator)

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


This UK-only offering from Alligator Books kind of looks like it's part of the series of Spider-Man Color/Activity Books (HarperCollins). At 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" with soft-cover card, there's 24 pages of clean white paper B&W artwork inside.

Story Details

At least we're not getting the mechanically reconstituted art that the 2006 Alligator books offered. The interior art here is clean-lined stuff that kind of looks so damn clean that it might almost be computer generated. It looks very similar to the art from Spider-Man Color/Activity Books (HarperCollins), but it's not quite the same.

But there's a level of interest in the HarperCollins are that is totally missing here. There's something rather unnatural and sterile about the whole look and feel of the art in this book that is really rather disturbing. It doesn't help that all the pictures are of Spider-Man. Spidey, Spidey, and more Spidey! No Venom, no New Goblin, no Sandman. No MJ, no nobody except Spidey!

To exacerbate the problem, the backgrounds are almost non-existent in these images. And when they are present (for example the occasional city skyline) they're skewed into extreme perspective, and poorly placed. But most of the pictures are simply Spidey in yet another swinging pose, with a lot of clean white wasted space around him. That makes for a yawn-fest of a coloring book!

General Comments

The paper is good, the lines are clean, the cover is bright and glossy. But the artwork is just terrible! Is it so damn hard to make a decent coloring book? Well, apparently so. The idea of actually paying a starving artist a couple of hundred bucks to throw out twenty vaguely interesting line sketches of Spider-Man is clearly unacceptable. Sigh.

The back of this book says "Bring the action to life with your crayons or colouring pencils as Spider-Man saves the city from evil!" However, there's no "evil" pictured inside the book. Not a villain is in sight!

Overall Rating

Looks good, but the art is bankrupt. One and a half webs.


Cover price is three pounds sterling. I paid full price for this in W.H. Smith.

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)