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Alan Robert Talks “The Beauty of Horror” and Adult Coloring Books (Interview)

The world of adult coloring books is ever evolving and expanding. What used to be seen as an activity for children to keep them occupied for a few hours while parents got some much needed rest has now evolved into an opportunity for adults to show off their vibrant talents. Hell, we posted about one themed around Alien just the other day, not to mention the one created for “The Strain“.

But the one we’re focusing on here is Alan Robert’s “The Beauty of Horror“, which we wrote about just a couple of weeks ago. The book features 80 pages of unique, original artwork that have themes ranging from sinister carnivals, the zombie apocalypse, serial killers, and a whole lot more.

Here to tell us more about “The Beauty of Horror” is Robert himself, who dives into why he thinks adult coloring books are a big thing, some of his personal favorite paintings, the possibility of a new coloring book featuring IDW characters, and more!

The book will be available this October and is already up for pre-order.

Adult coloring books are making a big comeback. Why do you think this is?

Coloring books for grown-ups are so popular now, it’s almost impossible to escape them. They’re everywhere… supermarkets, clothing stores, you name it. Last summer it may have been a growing trend, but now it is absolutely mainstream. And I think it’s a good thing. They allow people to forget about their daily stress and get lost in their own heads for awhile. It’s healthy. I think the popularity of them also inspired a whole new wave of colorists. More and more people are getting into them, mostly because the books are getting more diverse. That’s why there’s been such a positive reaction to The Beauty of Horror: A GOREgeous Coloring Book. It’s something very different. For coloring fans with darker, edgier tastes, there seems to be a real demand for it.

Coloring isn’t just a solo pastime either, it’s also become an activity to do with friends for fun. Coloring book clubs have been popping up in virtually every state and there are some great groups on Facebook like Coloring on the Darkside and Adult Coloring Worldwide where coloring fans share their creativity with like-minded people. It’s really cool to see and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Do your illustrations in The Beauty of Horror tell a story or are they just one-off images?

With The Beauty of Horror, I set out to illustrate the ultimate horror coloring book. As a diehard horror fan myself, I wanted to create a book that I personally would want to color. In my mind, of course, it needed to include vampires, werewolves, zombies, creepy clowns, serial killers, and all that. But along the way, I also created a character – a young undead girl named Ghouliana Belie. I began to flesh out her backstory and wrote a poem about her that appears in the start of the book. I hid certain items inside the drawings that Ghouliana left behind. I began to include her in more pages and along the way, I gave her undead pets and ghoulish relatives. I see great potential for Ghouliana in more books and possibly games down the line. She’s become the face of The Beauty of Horror.

IDW is known for having some amazing titles connected to their name. Do you think there will be a time when you release a coloring book with various characters from their comics?

IDW has been an absolutely great partner. They allow me the creative freedom to write and illustrate my books as I see fit. I’ve never worked on any licensed books for them, though. Only properties that I’ve created. I’m completely open to working on their other titles, in fact, I happen to be a huge TMNT fan from when I was a kid. The original black and white Turtles books were some of my favorites. That would be a lot of fun.

What are some of your own favorites comics? How about paintings?

favorite comics… Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and The Amazing Screw-On Head, Mike Zeck’s Punisher limited-series and his Amazing Spidey Kraven’s Last Hunt, and Ben Templesmith’s 30 Days of Night and Welcome to Hoxford. Favorite paintings… Anything Menton3 paints is incredible, I’m a huge fan – he did brilliant covers for my Crawl to Me comic series and I have his artwork tattooed on my leg. Check out the NY Ink episode “Kings of NY” where Megan Massacre inked Menton3’s art on me.

What’s next in your world?

I’m really looking forward to seeing what coloring fans will do with my illustrations inside The Beauty of Horror. It’s very exciting. Plans are in place to have a book release party in NYC this October. I will also be appearing at New York Comic Con, Rock and Shock Festival, and more to support the book.

Outside of that, the new Life of Agony album “A Place Where There’s No More Pain” is sounding killer. That comes out early next year through Napalm Records. We have a bunch of tour dates lined up starting Sept 30th that will take us through December. We just announced our brand new coffee line “Red River Roast” and that’s a lot of fun, because we’re all big coffee drinkers in the band.

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