The Top Ten Nerdy Coloring Books for Adults

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If you’ve used the internet or stepped outside anytime in the last year or so, you may have noticed a new trend among savvy adults. Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’ve been focusing on more important things, like examining the contrails of government planes or telling people on the internet about the dangers of the contrails of government planes or … or … what was I talking about?

Oh, right, savvy trends. Yes, if you’ve engaged at all with Western society in the last year, you’ll have likely noticed that more and more people are diving headfirst into the world of adult coloring books. And why not? Coloring is a relatively low-cost, simple hobby that can provide hours of quiet fun. It has a stupid easy learning curve. (Put color in the lines. Or don’t. Whatever, no one’s judging you here.) This CNN article says it’s good for you. And it provides a handy way to tell passersby that you are busy, dammit, and you don’t have time for human interaction without having to pull out actual work.

A small girl colors with a crayon. Move over, child! Let the grown ups show you how it's done. [Courtesy Flikr/R. Nial Bradshaw]
Move over, child! Let the grown ups show you how it’s done. [Courtesy Flikr/R. Nial Bradshaw]
Many of the most popular coloring books feature intricate mandala designs, animals with a lot of tiny shapes on their bodies, or just…lots and lots of lines. Which is totally fine for people who like that sort of thing. But I can tell, from the close friendship we’ve had since the beginning of this article, that you’re looking for a bit more variety in your coloring life. “Weird circles are nice,” I hear you saying, “But can’t I color and indulge in my obsessive need to nerd out at the same time?”

Yes, my friend. Yes, you can. Merely cast your eyes upon this list and you, too, can enter the wacky and wonderful world of Nerdy Coloring.

Please note that, while I said there were ten coloring books in this list, there’s actually more. That’s because I opted to give you some variety. Because I am the best.

Lord of the Rings

JRR Tolkien in 1916. This man wrote about eleves singing to the stars and hobbits smoking "pipe weed". He would probably approve of you drinking half a bottle of wine and coloring pictures of dwarves. [Courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
This man wrote about elves singing to the stars and hobbits smoking “pipe weed”. He would probably/definitely approve of you drinking half a bottle of wine and coloring pictures of dwarves. [Courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
We start our journey in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Fans of Peter Jackson’s mega-movies should head on over to The Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy Coloring Book. This 80 page book offers drawings of movie scenes and quotes to fill in. Beware, though, that drawings are printed on both sides and that can make things difficult for pen and marker users.

If you’re looking for something less Jackson-y, you can check out Tolkien’s World: A Fantasy Coloring Book. It’s unlicensed and unofficial, but based off of JRR’s original works and also super cool looking.

Harry Potter

There’s, like, a dozen official HP coloring books, so I’ll start with the general Harry Potter Coloring Book. The paper is fairly thick and printed on both sides. If you’d like to get more specific (of course you would, you nerd), there’s also books for creatures, artifacts, and places and characters.

I highly suggest putting on Wizard People, Dear Reader in the background. You can thank me later.

Game of Thrones

Harry Potter is great, but sometimes you just want more violent murder and ice zombies in your fantasy, you know? Yeah, I do know. So I found you The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book: An Adult Coloring Book (A Song of Ice and Fire). Please note that the title is about as long as the wait for GRRM to finish that stupid series.

The book features 96 pages of detailed pen and ink illustrations. They are so intricate, in fact, that it might be a little difficult to fill them in. Still, you’re a GoT fan, so I’m assuming that you’re used to suffering through years of pain and torture in order to have one sweet triumphant moment before everything goes to hell again.

Cersei knows what you need for coloring night.

Outlander

A halfway point between Potter and Thrones, Outlander offers a decent balance between magical wonder and depressing sadness. The Official Outlander Coloring Book offers a similar balance between simple drawings and more complicated designs (according to reviewer “iiiireader”).

I recommend starting it after the season finale on July 9. Take as long as you can. Maybe by the time you’re done, Droughtlander will be over once more.

And my beloved Frasers will have come back to me. (On left, Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. On right, Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser. Courtesy Starz.)
And my beloved Frasers will have come back to me. (On left, Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. On right, Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser.) [Courtesy Starz.]

Steampunk

If I’m giving you historical fantasy, it’s only decent that I give you historical scifi, too. Hence, I present Steampunk Coloring Book by Über Goober Games. This one follows their Über RPG series, but you don’t have to be a player to have fun with this book.

A cat walks on grass, wearing a top hat and monacle adn smoking a pipe. The internet tells me that this is Steampunk. So...I guess it is.
The internet tells me that this is Steampunk. So … I guess it is.

And since many people are drawn (haha, PUNS!) to Steampunk for its weird and amazing contraptions, there’s also the Creative Haven Steampunk Devices Coloring Book.

Serenity

The scrappy underdog of the scifi world, you can’t take Serenity from its fandom. And now, Browncoats can put their markers where their mouths are with The Serenity Adult Coloring Book, debuting on October 25. Which means they can then plaster the walls of Fox headquarters with thousand of coloring book pages in a silent demand for a new series. I, of course, do not endorse or condone this action in any way.

Along with Avatar: The Last Airbender Coloring Book, this will be the first in a hopefully long procession of products from publisher Dark Horse’s new adult coloring book line.

Doctor Who

The Doctor seems like the kind of chap who would be into coloring books. Or get sucked into a coloring book. Or use a coloring book to save the universe. Something along those lines (more puns! I am on fire today).

The man fights metal cannisters with toilet plunger weapons, so coloring doesn't seem that ridiculous, relatively speaking. [Courtesy BBC/Simon Ridgway.]
The man fights metal cannisters with toilet plunger weapons, so coloring doesn’t seem that ridiculous, relatively speaking. [Courtesy BBC/Simon Ridgway.]
For fans of the British scifi staple, there is both the Doctor Who Coloring Book and the Doctor Who Travels in Time Coloring Book. One has blue on the cover and the other has red. Both provide many pages of wibbly-wobbly illustrations to help you pass the timey-wimey.

Star Wars

Doesn’t matter if you’re Jedi or Sith, Resistance or First Order, everyone could do with a bit of Star Wars coloring time. There’s already a ton of children’s Star Wars coloring matter out there, because at least some people are trying to raise their children responsibly.

For more of a challenge, check out Star Wars: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity and Relaxation. The drawings feature well known characters and plenty of mandala-type designs for people who like staring at tiny shapes. But, you know, cooler tiny shapes. Because Star Wars.

There's like, X-Wings and Stormtrooper helmets shapes and stuff. It's pretty cool. [Courtesy Marvel.]
There’s like, X-Wings and Stormtrooper helmets shapes and stuff. It’s pretty cool. [Courtesy Marvel.]

Star Trek

And what list of nerd anything would be complete without Star Trek? Apparently, the people who make coloring books did not get the memo, because I couldn’t find an easily available Star Trek coloring book anywhere.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

There’s this rather pricey vintage TOS book. But if you don’t want to plunk down a stack of cash for a rare collectible that you can’t actually color (because you spent a stack of cash to get it, remember), then the internet has you covered. It’s pretty easy to find individual pages to print out and color as many times as you want.

Wild Card

If none of the above has piqued your interest, then you should do two things. 1) Be more grateful. I could have been watching “A Piece of the Action” for the 152nd time. But instead, I wrote you this article. Think about that, why don’t you.

2) Check out Unicorns are Jerks: A Coloring Book Exposing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth, which features everybody’s favorite mythical animal doing what it does best. Which is, apparently, being a jerk. (And be sure to check out artist Theo Nicole Lorenz’s other coloring books, which are all pretty sweet.)

Whether you give the unicorns speech bubbles so that they can say creative strings of swear words is up to you. But you should. Because jerk unicorns.

A unicron, prancing in a field, under a rainbow, and being highly smug about it. Ugh, look at this magical schmuck. Being all sparkly and crap. Where the hell do you get off, sir? [Courtesy qwerpy5485/DeviantArt.]
Ugh, look at this magical schmuck. Being all sparkly and crap. Where the hell do you get off, sir? [Courtesy qwerpy5485/DeviantArt.]
So there you have it. Enough coloring books to keep you occupied until the robots rise up and enslave us all. Or until Supernatural is finally cancelled. Or the heat death of the universe. I’m not sure which of those things will happen first. It’s a toss up.

Got anything to add to the list? Come yell it at us on Twitter or Facebook. And be sure to tell us all about how we ruined your life by giving you the perfect way to waste AHEM I mean intelligently spend your time.

While you’re busily filling in those lines, why not check out our premium selection of podcasts?

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