Book Review: Pop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful World, Camilla d’Errico (2016)

September 10th, 2016 7:00 am by mad mags

Not just for manga fans and adult coloring book aficionados!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Blogging for Books.)

Confession time: I’ve never really gotten into the whole adult coloring book fad. I mean, who has the time, right? Not to mention, I have a fat stack of kid’s coloring books gathering dust in my library. Rather, when this title popped up on Blogging for Books, it was the artwork that caught my eye and compelled me to request a copy.

And Camilla d’Errico’s illustrations are indeed lovely. Beautiful. Dazzling, even. Stunning and surreal. The sort of thing I could stare at for hours on end. Honestly, there’s just no overselling it. If nothing else, Pop Manga Coloring Book would make a wonderful coffee table book.

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The book’s synopsis describes portraits and patterns, but the majority of the pages are filled with the former, sometimes superimposed on the latter for an extra-challenging coloring experience. Portraits of wide-eyed girls and women, some fully human, others only partially so: mermaids, steampunk mechanics, dragon wranglers, and kraken-girls. Here you’ll find androids and wolves, clockwork fishes and chariots pulled by ginormous butterflies. The world that d’Errico has created is weird and whimsical and hecka fun.

In fact, some of the artwork is reminiscent of my favorite kid’s movies from the ’80s – most notably Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. d’Errico’s wooly mammoth-type creature calls to mind Ludo,

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while the armored lizard immediately conjured images of SkekSil (his sharp and pointy face, anyway).

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It seems like the bulk of the illustrations fall into one of three broad categories: steampunk, under the sea, and goth girl, interrupted. Whatever the case, all are brimming with creativity and artistry.

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Part of me doesn’t even want to color in any of the pictures, lest I ruin them! Though I’m pretty sure this would offend/depress Ayako, the cute little blob-with-eyes who serves as our guide. She encourages us to bend the rules, exercise our creativity and, above all, have fun. Ayako pops up throughout the book to offer tips and dish gossip about her boss/creator. That’s the kind of book we’re talking about here.

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Whether you’re a manga fan or simply appreciate funky art; are skilled in the ways of coloring with pencils, or new to the adult coloring book scene – d’Errico’s Pop Manga Coloring Book is guaranteed to amaze. Seriously, SF/F nerds – you need this book now.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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