This Wasn’t Your Ordinary Coloring Book
Monster Gallery coloring book (Troubadour Press, 1973)
Troubadour Press published beautifully crafted coloring books that stood head and shoulders above the usual coloring book fair. They specialized in genre content and treated these subjects with the same reverence as the kids who these books were made for.
These 11×14″, heavy paper stock coloring books covered a wide variety of subjects and contained detailed and thoughtful descriptions opposite beautifully intricate and eye-catching line drawings.
In 1973, Troubadour published their first monster coloring book, Monster Gallery, written by Leah Waskey, Troubador’s bookkeeper, and drawn by Mark Savee, Savee’s elaborate drawings capture a wide range of classic monsters and were a site to behold for this very young Monster Kid.
I had several copies of this book, along with others from Troubadour, and I loved to color them and then display them as the art they truly were. Until discovering these books, I wasn’t much into coloring. I much preferred drawing monsters myself. But I spent hours studying Savee’s art and attempting to recreate as my own drawings. I think his simple, yet detailed, style made a lasting influence on my own drawing style to this day.
If you are unfamiliar with Troubadour Press, or simply want to know more about this influential publishing company, I highly recommend this interview with Malcolm Whyte, Troubador’s founder.
Here is a full scan of this wonderful coloring book for your viewing pleasure (click on any image to see a larger image in a separate tab):
Collecting Monster Gallery Coloring Book
Unfortunately, not only is Troubador out of business, their books long out of print, but it seems I wasn’t the only one upon whom these books made an impression.
Monster Gallery now regularly sells for $50+, even though a reprint exists (with a terrible cover), which can be had for around $7.
Did you have this book as a kid? Do you still have it as a collector? Share your memories and thoughts with us: