Marvel Spider-Man: Daring Doodles (Parragon/Scholastic)

Background

This "Daring Doodles" book is dual-published in the UK by Parragon, and in Australia by Scholastic Australia. The pictures are from the Australian Printing, but there should be only trivial cosmetic differences between them.

Story Details

The book is 8.5" x 10.6", squared bound with 224 B&W pages on medium-quality white paper.

The B&W pages all follow the same format. A partial line-drawing is given, and it's up to you (prompted by the caption) to complete the picture. Sometimes the task is easy... "Power Man has forgotten his shades, draw them for him!" Sometimes the challenge is a little more difficult... "Draw Spider-Man as he rescues the Doctor from the exploding ambulance."

Most of the artwork is taken from the Ultimate Spider-Man TV (2012) series, although there are few generic images sprinkled in which make me think that a few other sources were also used.

There are also two "bonus" sheets of stickers at the front of the book.

General Comments

The concept seems sound at first glance. But if I stop and think about it a little more, I have to wonder. I can't help but suspect that people will fall into three different categories regarding this book:

Firstly, folks like me who can't draw worth a damn, and who know it and resent it. A book like this would only serve to remind us of our lack of talent. "Draw Spider-Girl throwing The Lizard over her shoulder." Hah! Right! No Problem!

Secondly, there's a few lucky souls out there who really can draw well. But why would they need a book like this? Surely they'd much rather just pick up a blank pad and draw the entire picture from scratch.

Lastly, there's kids who can't draw well, but they haven't yet developed the self-consciousness and frustration that will plague them in later life and block them from using art as a valuable creative outlet. For them guys, this is a great book. Enjoy it while it lasts, kids!

Overall Rating

This is an interesting concept, despite my reservations as previously expressed. The book is a good, solid physical format with a satisfying weight.

However, the artwork quality is a bit hit and miss. Despite the common source for the images, there's a distinct inconsistency in the line thickness and ink-work from page to page. A couple of the pictures are grainy and unattractively low-resolution, which is always disappointing to see.

Three Webs.