Adult Colouring Books From The Sixties Rediscovered For Presidential Election Year

Adult Colouring Books From The Sixties Rediscovered For Presidential Election Year

Posted by June 17, 2016 Comment

Nat Gertler, publisher of the About Comics line, is broadening out for 2016. Well, it is Election Year. The publisher of the superhero comic that never featured its superhero, The Factor, non-Peanuts Charles Schulz strips, made-for-exploitation Licensable Bear TM and the Blank comic Book where every page is blank, has a new imprint for Election year, The Presidential Bookshelf.

And with the emergence of the Adult Colouring Book craze, a realisation that nothing is new under the sun…

CWCCold War Coloring: Political Adult Comics of the Kennedy Era

The first time adult coloring books swept America, they weren’t therapeutic… they were satiric. In the early 1960s, the first wave of parody coloring books used the form to mock the culture of the day. Here are five prime examples that took on the politic conflicts of that era. Most of these have been out of print for half a century.

  • JFK Coloring Book – a genuine New York Times-certified best seller, this look at the Kennedy White House, the Kennedy friends, and especially the Kennedy family contains beautiful art by Mort Drucker, master caricaturist from Mad.
  • New Frontier Comic Coloring Book – an all-out attack on the Kennedy administration, produced by Arthur J. Weaver, grandson of a Republican congressman, son of a Republican governor, brother of a Republican congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate himself, and thus a personal expert on political dynasties.
  • Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev Coloring Book – a look at the notorious but colorful Soviet leader, written by Amram Ducovny, father of actor David Duchovny.
  • Khrushchev’s Top Secret Coloring Book – with Gene Shalit on the writing and Jack Davis of Mad fame handling the art, the communists take it on the chin.
  • The John Birch Coloring Book – a poke at the right-wing John Birch Society, who were concerned with communists abroad and communists (real and perceived) at home.
  • Paperback, 8.5″x11″, black-and-white
  • $9.99 US
  • ISBN: 978-1936404-62-9
  • Available from Amazon and other fine sources.

JFKletterscoverKids’ Letters to President Kennedy

Genuine letters sent from the kids of the early 1960s to JFK show you the dreams, obsessions, and general attitude of America’s children. New York Times best-selling book creator worked with the White House mail department to find letters that were delightful, intriguing, and representative of the thousands of letters that would stream in each week. The book is augmented by dozens of delightful illustrations by Louis Darling, better know for this work on Beverly Cleary’s Beezus & Ramonabooks and on Silver Spring. Out of print for half a century, this book is now back in this paperback edition!

  • ISBN: 978-1936404-61-2
  • Paperback, 5″x8″, 162 pages
  • $14.99 US
  • Available from Amazon and other fine sources.

LBJCover700x700roughlyDear President Johnson


What do you get when Bill Adler, creator of such best-selling books as The Kennedy Wit, teams up with Charles M. Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang, and they draw from the creativity of the millions of kids in America? You get Dear President Johnson –a collection of the letters kids sent to the White House, facing the President with their questions, their wishes, and their dreams. Originally published during the LBJ administration, this book has been brought back to print to delight a whole new generation.


JFK Coloring Book

JFKcover600x800How did a coloring book spend 14 weeks on the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers list???

The year was 1962. America was in love with the young family in the White House, speaking of them with awe and reverence. Then the JFK Coloring Book was released, and punctured all that.

Conceived by publisher Alexander A. Roman, with drawings by Mad Magazine’s master caricaturist Mort Drucker and text by his Mad cohort Paul Laikin, the book used the form of a coloring book supposedly crafted by four year old Caroline Kennedy to poke fun at the whole Kennedy clan, their friends and their fellow players on the political scene, including everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jimmy Hoffa. The publication of this unique volume lead off a whole Kennedy comedy stampede, with things like Vaughn Meader’s First Family albums coming in its wake.

Comedy was replaced by tragedy with JFK’s assassination, and the Coloring Book which had once had print runs in the hundreds of thousands disappeared from bookstore shelves, not to return for over half a century. Now the time has come to remember Kennedy and his family not just as tragic figures, but as the way they were and the way we saw them then.

As an added bonus, this edition also includes Political Wind-ups, another book full of Drucker caricatures, with text by Roman and Rochelle Davis, taking a look at the political figures of the day (Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Nixon, and many more) and asking a vital question: if this person were a wind-up toy, what would it do when you wound it up?

Annotations have been included for both of the books, to educate those who are too young to have lived through the times and to remind those who may no longer remember the details.

“The JFK Coloring Book, published early in 1962, started the trend toward political satire. […] it leaped unexpectedly to the top of the best seller list and stayed there to sell better than 400,000 copies.” – Ralph Cosham, UPI

“So funny!” – Dorothy Kilgallen, “Voice Of Broadway”

List Price: $7.99

8.5″ x 11″
Black & White Bleed on White paper
76 pages

Published by About Comics
ISBN: 978-1936404-48-3

Available at Amazon and other fine outlets


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

(Last Updated June 17, 2016 10:57 am )

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