The Tomb Raider Coloring Book Puts the Spotlight on Fan Art

Tomb Raider Coloring Book  Crystal Dynamics (writer), Randy Green (artist), Phillip Sevy (artist), Katie Swindlehurst (artist), Tholia (artist) Dark Horse Comics February 13, 2019

Tomb Raider Coloring Book 

Crystal Dynamics (writer), Randy Green (artist), Phillip Sevy (artist), Katie Swindlehurst (artist), Tholia (artist)
Dark Horse Comics
February 13, 2019

Spanning the last few decades of Lara Croft’s career, the Tomb Raider Coloring Book features 45 pages of black and white line art for Tomb Raider fans to bring to life. In a similar style to many pop culture colouring books, each spread features a quote on the left side, with the corresponding image opposite. From video games to Dark Horse and Top Cow comics, Lara Croft’s recent past and her present are featured in illustrations by various artists including Randy Green, Phillip Sevy, and Katie Swindlehurst, as well as Tholia, who is also the cover artist.

Tomb Raider Coloring Book  Crystal Dynamics (writer), Randy Green (artist), Phillip Sevy (artist), Katie Swindlehurst (artist), Tholia (artist) Dark Horse Comics February 13, 2019

Lara’s appearance varies with each artist, with some taking a more realistic approach, while others are more stylized. Some artists give us a more serious Lady Croft, while others are more playful. Each page is a solid opportunity for anyone to indulge in some mindful coloring moments with everyone’s favourite raider of tombs, whether she’s lounging in her mansion, stalking bad guys, or fending off ferocious creatures.

I am particularly impressed by the way each image seamlessly blends ample back and foreground details with the main character herself, without being too busy. That is to say, for someone like me who isn’t always fond of the intricate details involved in some of the background imagery, I could get away with colouring just Lara herself and come away from a page still feeling wholly satisfied. I also liked that the pages that involve patterns likewise aren’t trying on my personal patience levels. But for someone who does enjoy taking more time and care with their colouring, every page has so much to offer.

What really makes this colouring book special and a must have for fans is the fact that it actually includes fanart. Artists Illyne, Loïc Leroy, Libbey O’Gorman, Maxim Ragey, and Inna Sokol responded to Dark Horse Comics and Crystal Dynamics’ call for contest entries. Illyne took the grand prize while the other four were granted the opportunity to also have their work become part of the collection.

Illyne’s prize pack included the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider Croft Edition, Tomb Raider Library Edition Volume 1 signed by writer Gail Simone, Tomb Raider: Survivor’s Crusade TPB, and assorted Shadow of the Tomb Raider swag. The four additional contest winners received Shadow of the Tomb Raider Croft Edition and the accompanying swag.

The contest seems to have been well-received by Lady Croft’s many fans, whether or not they are artists themselves. The response from artists was impressive enough to prompt Dark Horse to offer a further opportunity for fans to have their work showcased: “We were impressed by the caliber of contest entries submitted, and so will be creating a supplementary digital coloring book for all participants who’d like to be involved.”

Using the hashtag #tombraider and #DHcolors on Instagram, artists were invited to show off their best line art, adhering to the criteria spelled out in the contest rules. Below, Illyne shows their work in progress image (left), which would have had me grumbling about the overuse of black in a colouring book. But the final result, like the other spreads in the colouring book, allows the colourist to do all the work, without overwhelming the pages with black ink.

The Tomb Raider Coloring Book makes its way to the top of my list of favourite geeky coloring books thanks to its variety of images, balance of fore and background imagery, and, most of all, for understanding that colouring books need to leave lots of space to colour. This is a cheerful homage to the Lady Croft. It’s a must have for Tomb Raider fans, but can be just as welcoming for those who simply enjoy colouring cool pictures.

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.