by Alan Robert
Published by IDW Publishing on September 12th 2017
Style: Contains Extras, double page printing, Interactive
Format: Card cover with fold out
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the product or the content of my review.
Alan Robert has created a follow-up to his smash-hit, horror-themed adult coloring book! Follow everyone's favorite undead girl Ghouliana, as she mischievously attempts to trick budding colorists into unleashing a deadly spell.
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The Beauty of Horror II Coloring Book Video Review
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The Beauty of Horror II Coloring Book Review
No one was more surprised than me last year, when I fell in love with the Beauty of Horror Coloring Book. I had bought the book on a whim, not expecting to like it but more to satisfy curiosity. When I opened those pages, the amazing art work and the quality of the book really struck me. As readers know, I have seen quite a few coloring books in my time. I probably have close to 1000 in my coloring cave, maybe more, but I don’t dare count 🙂 It takes a little bit to impress me.
I’m always impressed by great art though, but that is often let down by scrimping on the publishing. It’s rare that a book has both.
As I said when I reviewed the first Beauty of Horror Coloring Book, this book has great art and a publisher that has gone the extra mile, to present it so well. I was not sure if Beauty of Horror 2 could live up to my high expectations from both an artistic and a publishing point of view. It didn’t.
It surpassed my expectations.
Not only does the book have a continuity of the theme from the original Beauty of Horror, but there is a natural flow in the art work. You feel that there is a story in the pictures and it is up to you, the colorist, to bring that story to life. The publishers have not only maintained the standard set with the first book, but they have splurged with lovely blood red foil highlights, which gives the book an extra bit of glam.
Cover & Layout
The Beauty of Horror II has been sized to match the first Beauty of Horror book which is great for people that like their bookshelves just so, like me 🙂
Cover art on the thick gloss dust jacket shows a GOREgeous selection of creepy imagery with a liberal amount of red foiling. The red foiling features on the spine, as well as the back cover of the book and fold out flaps. The back cover art is the same as the front, but transposed. The cover art that features on the front of the book is also included in the book for you to color as well.
The title has also been covered in red foil and uses the same typography as that featured on the first book. Some of the detail of that typography has been lost with the foiling, but it is still very effective.
On the inside of the dust jacket there is a pattern of bats and skulls which you could color in, if you wanted to.
The card cover on the coloring book proper is a matte black with a faint grey frame. The title is repeated in red and you can see the detail on the lettering, on what must be, a custom designed font. The inner card cover is a rich red with a wall paper pattern on it (which is the same design that was in the first Beauty of Horror book). These small touches give a real consistent theme to this series of books which I always find reassuring.
The Beauty of Horror II measures approximately 25cm x 25cm.
The title page features that lovely detailed typography (I love fonts) with copyright information on reverse.
A nameplate page follows that contrasts with the first pages with a lot of solid black and our introduction to our creepy little friend.
Beauty of Horror II is interactive, so there is a lovely page full of things for you to locate. You could color all these missing items as well.
An introduction to the book follows which is elaborately decorated with Ghouliana and skulls and vertebrae. Any of the preceding pages could be used to test your mediums before you dive in.
At the end of the book there are also pages that you could use to test your mediums and to keep track of favorite color palettes.
There are two double pages featuring jars for you to create your own spells, potions, decaying bodies or whatever takes your fancy.
One of the cutest coloring palette pages follows so you can “save your sinister shades”. Created to resemble a mock scroll they look adorable with a grinning Ghouliana guarding your precious palettes.
A two page visual index follows which is the legend for the missing ingredients you were tasked with finding.
Illustrations have been printed on both sides of the off white paper. The paper is very good quality and medium to heavy weight.
There are 24 double page scenes where the line art does run to the spine of the book. At the moment, the book is brand new and the spine is a little stiff. As you will see from the video though, a little bit of gentle pushing does relax the spine to color in these areas. The majority of the images have been positioned away from the spine to make it easier to color.
Beauty of Horror II Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
Alan Robert has been very clever with Beauty of Horror II and the illustrations included. They include our creepy girl already connecting us with the first book, but he has also included other elements that have a familiarity from the first book. Metal fence posts, fields of flowers and what I call a warped Alice in Wonderland scene. These elements have found their way into the second book and bring with them a sense of continuity and flow.
What I love about the illustrations in the Beauty of Horror II is that the illustrations are creepy and macabre and sometimes strangely cute and innocent. It is such a difficult concept to get that combination right and to actually represent it in line art.
In the Beauty of Horror II you will find the things that you expect from a horror coloring book; skeletons, skulls and creepy creatures. There are also other elements like flowers, bows, carousel horses, furniture and cupcakes. For colorists wanting to practice different techniques there is a massive variety of ways to showcase your skill of coloring metal, glass, clothing, hair, skin, wood, stone, feathers and of course glossy, rich blood.
The line art is a dull black line which is crisp and very easy to see. The line weight varies between fine and medium depending on the illustration .
Most of the illustrations have a lot of smaller details on the page. Colorists with a minor visual impairment may want to omit coloring the finer detail altogether, or just color wash over it, if it proves too challenging.
Great art always makes you feel something. It might be happy, sad or just a little bit scared that you are at home alone. That’s the beauty of this book, it sets the stage with the illustrations that form a story on their own. It allows your imagination to take over creating your own stories and coloring them to match.
At the end of the book, Ghouliana promises to be back 🙂 I’ve got to say ..I’m looking forward to it. I’m getting quite fond of my little creepy G.
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Happy coloring x