Thursday, February 4, 2016

Scattered like litter on the floor: Cats in Paris

Cats in Paris: A Coloring Book of the Felines of ParisCats in Paris: A Coloring Book of the Felines of Paris by Won-Sun Jang

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"I have a great concept for a coloring book!" said the artist.
"Oh? And what is that?" queried the publisher.
"That's nice, but cats have been done. Can you throw anything else in there?"
"That sounds great!"
"But, I don't have a lot of drawings of Paris, so how about we just do whatever with cats and say it's in Paris?"
"Sure, that'll work too."
And that, I think, sums up what went into this book. There are cats all over it, so that wasn't a lie. But there's very little of Paris in it. The art style also changes wildly throughout the book. There were actually three distinct art-styles throughout. The first portion of it we'll call "sketch jazz ugly."

During the sketch jazz ugly portion, the illustrations are sketchy with some bits of dialogue included where a supposedly Parisian cat shows you his favorite sketched-out Paris haunts. It's as weird as I just described it. This portion of the book lasts for about the first 16 pages before it moves on to the next style, "Sketch jazz real." The illustrations from here forward are much nicer than the initial ugly jazz stage, but continue to be "sketchy." I think there may be two clean lines in this entire book. In any case, during the middle portion there are more varied cats, and it looks as though the illustrations are speed drawn from live cats. To be fair, if you like cats, this part might make you happy. It certainly made me laugh, because there's an illustration of a cat lying on its back, presenting its butt-hole to the viewer. No, I'm not kidding. It made me laugh because that's true to cats, but now you've been warned that there is illustrated cat a-hole in this book.

Shortly after the cat a-hole image, the artist's caffeine-and-sugar-fueled high subsides long enough to provide us with some nice, albeit boring compared to cat-butt, images of cat stamps. Yes, stamps. Like the kind you put on your mail. Totally useless to actually send mail, but nice. However, the trip into staid sanity is short-lived, and we return to madness (of the “what the hell is that cat doing?” variety) for a few more pages before the book simply ends.

This book is scattered. The cats in Paris portion is awfully short to have the whole book named after it, and the art style isn't consistently good. It isn't the worst coloring book in the world, but I know I'll enjoy my other coloring books far more. You might like this book if:
1. You like cats
2. You like weird stuff
3. You would like to color cat-related sketches.
If you're looking for Paris, look elsewhere. There isn't enough of it here to qualify.

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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