Color for Initiative! Book Review: The Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book
The phenomenon of the adult coloring book has been longstanding since maybe the mid-2010s. During my time, I've seen variations themed on awesome popular culture, and others featuring pretty fractal patterns, to relax and meditate.
The Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book features 80 pieces of black & white art, including the inside title pages, with detailed line-work, featuring some classic Dungeons and Dragons artwork and characters. To the untrained eye, everything swells with fun fantasy flavor, but to one as well clued in as I am, there are many hidden gems.
Fans will recognize pages given over to some fan-favorite characters from the Forgotten Realms storyline; like Strahd, Minsk, and Boo. The surprise, yet pleasant appearance of characters like Tasha, Mordenkainen, Acererak, and even the Xanathar makes for some truly unforgettable portraits.
Retro-style redesigns of classic D&D artwork abound, like taking the gems from the eyes of the grand statue to the centaur and dragon from the front page of the first-ever Player's Handbook.
The people who compiled these pages really knew the brief and ran with it. The last seventeen pages of the book are made up entirely of dragon artwork Some of them are classics, while there's also a pleasant mixture of newer pieces to try and test players on knowing which breed of dragon is which. Remember that blue dragons have big horns on top of their heads, while black dragons have arcing horns on the sides of theirs.
There are also a surprisingly high number of art pieces for things that were never in the main Dungeons and Dragons media but were actually pieces from the sister card game, Magic the Gathering. The jolly-looking Dragonborn Bard is actually a piece called "Wandering Troubadour" and the picture of the gold dragon in flight is actually taken directly from the Magic card. It's an important reminder that certain things are well within the Dungeons and Dragons banner of ideas, without officially being from a specific D&D release.
The Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book is an unexpected but welcome hit of fun for those who like to get creative, or those who like Dungeons and Dragons and want a new way to connect with the game. For me, this is a chance to have some practice with my terrible art skills.
The Dungeons & Dragons Coloring Book will be available to buy from all good book retailers from September 5th: