Adult coloring books are a unique trend with a very niche audience. Fans are asked to interact with the artwork at a fundamental level, meaning the property these books are built around need to have a passionate fanbase. As such, Adult Swim’s sci-fi comedy series Rick and Morty seems tailor made for this kind of product. If you’ve somehow managed to miss out on the phenomenon surrounding the show, currently airing its third season, Rick and Morty is the creation of writer and voice actor Justin Roiland and Community scribe Dan Harmon. It follows Rick Sanchez, genius super scientist with a penchant for booze, nihilism and cross-dimensional travel, and his grandson Morty, a somewhat slow teenager who exists mostly to sell the weirdness of his surroundings in direct correlation with how blase’ his grandfather’s reactions tend to be. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg of what is a hilarious show that perfectly encapsulates the comedy stylings of both Roiland and Harmon equally.
The often insane (and occasionally improvised) setting of the show has lead to a lot of crazy scenes, characters and environments – which makes for a lot of different and unique pages for fans to color in. From the frenzied game floor of Blitz and Chitz from season 2’s Mortynight Run to the mysterious alien landscape of the first season finale Ricksy Business, there are plenty of environments to recreate. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword for purists, however, as the alien and often bizarre nature of these pages can make it hard to match colors to be episode-accurate. Some would argue the point of adult coloring books is as an artistic outlet, meaning matching the color of the Adult Swim series is unnecessary and sort of antithetical, but to each his own I suppose.
If there’s one strength to the coloring book, it’s that they choose a weird and wide variety of images from the series. There are entire pages devoted to the varied members of the Council of Ricks, several expanding on the characters from the Interdimensional Cable episodes (Rixty Minutes and Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate), and some pieces that can only be described as “inspired by” the show, such as a skeletal Morty flying through the farting butt world and the plombus mandala.
The art is pretty consistent with that of the show, though there is the occasional mistake or omission. On one page littered with several random brain parasites from the episode Total Rickall I found myself having to add details to certain characters (such as the mouth of Mr. Beauregard in his guise at Morty’s prom date), whereas another page showing the stair side tavern from Meseeks and Destroy had some issues with lines appropriately denoting where one colored section begins and the other ends. If you’re using markers to color the book (which I would recommend. I used colored pencils first and it was not as fun of an experience.) these little delineations can lead to some messy mistakes.
There is a TON of content here and some pages can get VERY ornate, meaning there are hours of entertainment to be had for the completionist out there. Huge fans of the show will have fun pouring through the book too, as it’s essentially 100 pages of easter eggs. Of course, no one is buying this book that isn’t a huge fan of the series so I imagine most of you will be able to get schwifty on the page devoted to Cronenberg world. And that’s the Waaaaaaaaay the news go!
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