Feature image from the inside front cover of Call of Cthulhu.
I read a lot of faerie tales and myths as a kid (okay, I still do), and was particularly into the HP Lovecraft inspired Cthulhu Mythos for quite a while as teen. As an adult, I especially enjoy reading other authors playing in that sandbox cos I legit love the idea of shared universes that anyone can write in.
When a rep from Chaosium asked if I would be interested in receiving a review copy of their Call of Cthulhu colouring book, I jumped at the chance. HELL YES, I WANT TO COLOUR GREAT OLD ONES, AYFKM?! So, yes, I received a free copy of this colouring book in exchange for an honest review.
What I liked: The illustrations in this book are GORGEOUS. Artist Andrey Fetisov has done an outstanding job bringing these stories to life in ways that are legitimately fun to colour (click here to see more of his work).
I like the fiddly little detail work, especially with fine-tipped pens (<.3mm or GTFO, amirite?) and there’s a lot of this. Even though it’s the size of a normal colouring book, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the intricacies on the page for hours. I coloured one page, and spent more than a week doing so, probably around 18-20 hours total? So, for someone like me, this is a huge bonus.
The book is bound with staples, so it’s super easy to get it to lay flat. I didn’t have any problems with the ink smearing when I used lighter colours or a blending pencil. Love that.
I also really dug the fact that opposite the main page is a mostly blank page with a smaller illustration and a quote that inspired the page you’re working on. This was great, not just for inspiring ME, but also because it meant I didn’t really have to worry too much about using pens or markers, cos the paper was thin enough that they’d definitely bleed through. Which brings me to…
What I didn’t love: The paper is thin. If it weren’t for those mostly blank backs of the pages, I’d have loved it a lot less than I do. I’m only considering this a minor nitpick. What bothered me slightly more about the paper is that it’s not a whole lot different than what I use in my printer at home. I found that it would only accept so many layers of light colour before it just wouldn’t take any more, which made me wish I had pressed harder to begin with. Still not a huge deal, since I print shit out at home to colour all the time, you know?
Would I recommend it: Hell yes. Especially if you’re a fan of the Great Old Ones. Or even if you’re not and are looking for a colouring book with more of a horrory madness vibe than a lot of other stuff that’s out there. I’ve looked at a ton of horror colouring books and most of them look amateurish, or they’re printed with terrible ink that makes it impossible to colour them.
You can head over to Chaosium and purchase it here. If you buy the physical colouring book, you get a free PDF copy, which is pretty awesome (in case you want to practice or test colours or even use a different medium).