National Coloring Book Day took place last month, and at the end of August, there were a profound number of funny adult coloring books that started trending in the news. In fact, over the past year, adult coloring books have topped the charts on Amazon, and CNN says 2015 was one of the biggest years for the genre, according to Bedford and Bowery.
Naturally, it is not surprising that coloring books designed for adults are taking off because many are printed on high-quality paper that easily absorbs professional or artist markers without colors leaking outside the lines. For this reason, pastels, watercolors, and other adult coloring book art supplies also look professional enough to show off to friends.
On the other hand, some are simply cashing in on adult coloring books as a trend. Gazettes highlights this with a recent Long Beach TV show host who created his own adult coloring book called Coloring Your Way to Success.
Adult coloring books also represent a mixed group icebreaker that is perfect for parties or a bridge activity that gets teens off their phones. For example, Winona Post writes that an adult coloring book club was being offered at the local public library in Minnesota.
The librarian in charge of the club said that part of the reason there is so much interest in adult coloring books is due to “a bunch of publishers who have started picking up coloring books” that print adult themes such as Ryan Gosling or Game of Thrones.
On top of this, engaging with teens in conversation without technology being a focus is difficult to overcome if you are a hopeless step-parent, aunt, or uncle who does not know what to do with new step-children, younger cousins, nieces, or nephews during times such as the winter holidays. For instance, the Spokesman quotes a therapist stating the following about using adult coloring books for teens.
“A teenager is less apt in the first counseling session to verbally communicate their feelings and their needs to me. So [coloring in adult coloring books is] an act of joining with them.”
Adult coloring books are also partly trending because of their humorous adult themes that will be lost on children. For example, Cinema Blend says their pick for the top adult-humor coloring book is called The Sausage Party.
Naturally, the kind of horror-scene-themed adult coloring book described by Bloody Disgusting would also not be appropriate for kids.
One other adult coloring book that might be restricted for children or teens might is called Modern Lovers. While this new adult coloring book features fully-clothed celebrities like Jay Z and Beyonce, the pictures described by Essence still might not be appropriate for kids to use because they may not understand some of the captions or scenes.
On the other hand, there are some adult coloring books that can be colored by children, but the themes and words are meant to educate adults about religion. For example, Catholic New World says a new adult coloring book ideal for congregants discusses Catholic theology.
As for the future of adult coloring books, it is unlikely that they will fall by the wayside as a trend, and some in the publishing industry are giving them clout. For instance, although they normally give serious book reviews for non-fiction and novels, book critics and reviewers from the Washington Post give their humorous spin on the “adult coloring book takeover” on August 23.
Other top publishers noted for political satire comics, such as the New Yorker, are also getting on board with the adult coloring book revolution by creating their own pages.
For instance, in their September 2 issue, Jason Adam Katzenstein and Blythe Roberson created several humorous coloring book-style comics titled “stress-Relieving adult coloring book pages of things that stress me out” that included “Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s super aggro press tour” and “watching other people bike in Manhattan.”
Other reasons that adult coloring books will likely grow as a trend throughout the winter of 2016 is due to the fact that they are being used to raise money for a good cause. Oxford Leader highlights an adult coloring book of this type on August 31 that was created to raise money for an animal rescue.
Finally, in an age where it is almost impossible to keep images copyrighted to gain a profit, adult coloring books are creating income for artists. Salem News writes on August 4 that one coloring book artist thinks that this form of fun is not a trend, but is here to stay, and states the following.
“It’s fun and creative, and you can feel like you’ve created something beautiful. People are going in and making beautiful things because they have parameters set up for them.”
[Photo by Getty Images]