The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books
We’ve had a lot of fun with grown-up coloring books this year, but adult coloring books aren’t exactly a new trend. According to The New Republic’s Laura Marsh, they were also big in the 1960s. She writes, “Where today’s titles offer consumers a neat package of therapy, escape and nostalgia, 1960s coloring books were both genuinely novel and subversive.”
Just look at the captions of 1961’s Executive Coloring Book, which shows a businessman getting ready for work. One reads: “This is my suit. Color it gray or I will lose my job.” And another: “This is my pill. It is round. It is pink. It makes me not care.”
Clever midcentury publishers.