By now we all know that the adult coloring books trend has taken over — just check any recent NYT Bestseller list. But if your inner nerd is wanting more than mandalas and nature scenes to help you get your zen on, check out these awesomely geeky coloring books for adults I’ve found. I’m already bookmarking them all for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and my own wishlist. (Sign us all up for Sherlock, mkay?)
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Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults
The cult-fave small press, Geek Overlord, is just out with Kitchen Overlord’s Colorable Compendium of Geek History by Chris-Rachael Oseland and Tom Gordon, a followup to their Illustrated Geek Cookbook. It’s so much fun, because it starts with H. G. Wells and his 1885 time machine, taking us chronologically through geek history to show just how the genre has changed over time. Also happy to see that along with the usual geeky pop culture suspects, The Princess Bride makes an appearance along with Scooby Doo, E.T., and even Bob Ross.
If fantasy is your thing, and you’re more interested in Harry Potter for the Hagrid’s menagerie than the spells and potions, then the Harry Potter Magical Creatures coloring book (at top) is for you. It’s very detailed, and there are some complaints from serious coloring enthusiasts about the fact that many of the images are spread across two pages, making it hard to color in the binding. But the array of animals is pretty awesome, and I say if this is your thing, just tear the pages out (or better, cut them out with an X-Acto) and lay them flat to color.
Of course you couldn’t talk about the fantasy world without including Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien’s World: A Coloring Book by Mauro Mazzara and Andrea Piparo takes you to straight to Middle-earth. The art isn’t Peter Jackson-level great — it is an unauthorized tribute to all things LOTR, after all — but if you’re just looking for a fun activity I think you’ll enjoy it.
The Doctor Who Coloring Book by Price Stearn Sloan has plenty to make any Whovian happy, with 96 pages of images of the Tardis, Gallifrey, weeping angels, Adipose, the time vortex and even a Dalek mandala.
Whether you read the books or are hooked the show — or both — I think you’ll like The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book which is actually by George R. R. Martin. Coloring scenes are all on the righthand side with quotes from the book on the left, so you don’t have to cross that well in the binding as you color. And the pictures are really intricate — as in, you’ll likely get through a few episodes of the show before you finish one. Hurry — you’ve still got a little time before season 6 starts.
We’ve been touting the Color Me Good series, full of ready-to-color images of Ryan Gosling and geek hero Benedict Cumberbatch. But Sherlock: The Mind Palace: A Coloring Book Adventure by Mike Collins is really more for fans of Sherlock specifically, with intricate, detailed scenes of Watson and Sherlock throughout London; Sherlock and Mycroft playing Operation (one of my favorites); and even Watson’s wedding, minus the best wedding speech of all time. That said, there’s still plenty for you Cumberbabes.
The Art of Coloring Star Wars: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity and Relaxation by Catherine Saunier-Talec and Anne Vallet is an incredible mix of mandalas featuring Star Wars characters, Art Nouveau style images of everyone from Jar Jar Binks (eh) to Han Solo (yes, please), and all-over graphic patterns of images like C3PO’s face or a stormtroopers helmet. Other than a noticeable shortage of Luke Skywalker images, this will make any big fan of Episodes I – IV happy.
Related: Awesome printable Force Awakens coloring pages: Found them!
If you’re really wanting an authentic sci-fi experience for your late-night coloring, I found this vintage The Star Trek Adventure coloring book coloring book from 1978. You’ll have to drop a hundred bucks, but sweet dreams of young Kirk might be worth it.