Today we have another great segment with our guest reviewer , Jason Lenzi from Bif Bang Pow! who does a far better job than me, so take it away Jason!
‘RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK’ Coloring/Activity Book by Happy House, illustrations by Ken Barr, 1981
Ok, some years back, I had a massive Indiana Jones collection, one of the biggest in the US, I’d venture to say. I had games, toys, lobby cards and one sheets from all over the world. And then, one day, I decided to sell it all, including the entire Kenner range of toys. ‘Why’ is a story for another day, but two of the few items I hung onto were coloring and activity books for ‘Raiders’.
They’re pretty odd items you don’t see often, and easy enough to store, so I still got ‘em. What’s most interesting about them, to me, is the slightly adult and suspect nature to some of the pages. Looking back, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ is a pretty dark and adult flick, that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to coloring books. (editor's note: kind of like Dune?) Let me explain
Not a bad opening shot of our hero, and decent artwork. The first thing I think of looking at this again is how many drab crayon colors you’d need to use to make this accurate.
Are those native butt cheeks peeking through? Why I do believe they are. That may be a first in a coloring book. For kids, anyway.
How good is THIS depiction of Harrison Ford? It never gets this good again in the book, but I’d say this is one of the best renderings of him in any collectible. Well done, Ken Barr!
4. What would a coloring book be without a little torture scene? Boring, that’s what! “Pass the orange, Joey, I wanna make this poker HOT!”
Now, I’m no authority, but I’d bet that Hitler’s never made an appearance in a coloring book. Well, the ‘Raiders’ monkey is as close as you’re gonna get then. What I especially love is that Barr took it further than the infamous scene in the film, and had our monkey friend do the Hitler ‘tache as well. That trick deserves a fresh date.
Slightly inappropriate scene in a kid’s coloring book #4: Indy getting hammered. Again, I don’t own every coloring book ever made, but whiskey drinking pages must be a rarity, right?
And now the money shot. Every Indiana Jones fan knows there was originally a 3 or 4 page scripted fight scene between Indy and the Cairo Swordsman that Harrison Ford opted out of because of dysentery. He subsequently came up with the genius idea (Spielberg says he had the same idea as well) of just shooting the guy and getting on with his business. There ARE some few seconds of raw footage of the scene on the ‘net, but this page gives another tasty little glimpse of what might have been.
Many thanks to Jason for doing these excellent guest reviews.
If you have a colouring book you'd like to guest review, I'd like to hear from you!