Clearly, adult coloring is here to stay. But Mulga's Magical Coloring Book, which comes out today, is a decidedly (and refreshingly) different moment in the crowded genre. The animals in this coloring book are far from cutesy: there's a gangster chicken, beanie-sporting gorilla, and laser-beam-equipped goat. Here, Sweet talks with Australian artist Joel Moore, the man behind the magic, about creating his disruptive coloring book, what makes it so wicked, and, of course, beards.
What made you want to make this book?
"When I found out coloring was a thing, I thought it would be super awesome to get involved. My art is perfect for coloring in, as it all has black lines and lots of detail. I like that when someone colors in my drawings it's like a collaboration. It's interesting to see color choices and how they approach it.
What's your favorite illustration in the book?
"I like techno goat because he is a DJ goat from Jupiter and because he has laser beams. Laser beams are pretty neat-o."
What sets your book apart from other coloring books?
"It has lots of bearded dudes and zombies and radical animals with laser beams, and there are also skulls: skulls are cool. Those kinds of things are lacking in a lot of coloring books at the moment and it's a real shame."
Who is this book for?
"Mum and dad and little Johnny and little Tammy. I know one family that bought 4 copies so that mum, dad, and the two kids could all have their own book for family coloring time."
What inspires you?
"Radical creatures and radical humans—and beards, they are very inspiring. They are truly magical and mysterious."
Mulga's Magical Coloring Book (Little, Brown), $15, mulgatheartist.com.au.