Saturday, May 31, 2008

BUSY GIRLS!, A Coloring Book for Mature Crayon Users Comes of Age

Join Kinky spectrum and her colorful girlfriends, as they take on the chores of the world, forgetting just one thing – their clothes!
The above was part of the solicitation copy for my first and only “coloring book for mature readers”. Inspired by a life-long fondness for coloring books (and girls), I created Busy Girls! in 1996. It was published as a 32-page coloring book the following year, by Eros Comix, the adult imprint of Fantagraphics Books. This collection of mildly ribald pin-up drawings, done in a style reminiscent of children’s coloring books of the 50s and 60s, was a labor of love, as much a project of ephemeral recreation as one of illustration, my ambition being a fully-realized facsimile of a bygone era of publishing. The end product came as close to what I had imagined as was possible, only one thing was missing: the newsprint pages, though cut from appropriately inferior pulp, looked a bit too new to match those in my personal collection of old activity and coloring books, the pleasingly-aged tomes of my original inspiration. I realized I would have to wait a few years for this effect to materialize. I am happy to announce that the time has come, some ten years of aging having given the pages a wonderful framing of yellow-brown, the true halo of softly-weathered newsprint. To celebrate this culmination of design, I am offering a limited number of the original printing of this “erotic collectible”, aged to perfection like fine wine, for the agreeable price of $7.00 each, plus shipping and handling. Simply contact me at to order yours, but hurry, supplies are indeed limited.
Also, to further honor this event, I am, for the very first time, offering for sale, the original art to a handful of the book’s pages, plus its cover. Having held on to these for over a decade, they are now exclusively available at Comic Art Collective, so please have a look today. Presented below, you’ll find the pages in question, scanned from a copy of the aged edition itself, in all their “cheap newsprint glory”, as they are meant to be seen. You’ll also find the published version of the cover, an early, inked rough sketch, plus colored versions of three pages, crafted to appear as if they were dutifully seen to by imaginative crayon-holders. These were part of a Busy Girls! gallery show, held in the summer of 1997, at The Lusty Lady, Seattle’s famous peep show theater, a month-long presentation of the original art, commemorating the publication of the book.