You see, when someone sets out to create a coloring book, they are faced with a problem of how to fill it. The first part is easy: choosing a topic or character, but then, after that, everything completely crumbles to pieces (which, all things considered, is probably an accurate metaphor for your life if you make coloring books for a living.) So you have a character... Now you have to make them do something interesting for thirty pages or so. They've got to be doing something that kids are going to be able to color, and, unfortunately (unless it's a princess themed coloring book,) not every page is allowed to be a picture of the character in the same pose with alternating backgrounds of flowers, hearts, and sparkles. This usually results in the characters just doing... stuff... for the duration of the coloring book. Not really anything consequential, just stuff.
Everything from mundane daily activities
to bizarre, and occasionally nightmare-inducing randomness
I think some of the finer examples of awkward come from coloring books based on characters that already exist in their own cartoon or movie. In this case the character already has a context in which they exist which the individual making the book has to convey. This is where the captions usually come in to explain what is going on in the scene, and somehow manage to drain the scene of any dramatic tension it may have had.
Somehow the caption magically makes these events seem very... nonchalant...
Another approach is to have the caption narrate what the character is saying. What the character is saying, incidentally, is usually completely inane.
Even without the captions, the pages still always seem to be drained of anything exciting or meaningful by depicting events that take place directly after something exciting has obviously happened
My favorite variation of this whole concept is the coloring books based on live-action movies, or actual people. See, with cartoons it's easy enough to render it on a page and keep pretty true to how it looks on screen. However, there is a special kind of awkward that can only come from trying to transfer something real onto a coloring book. Rather than clumsily trying to explain this, I am just going to show you examples from the gloriously terrible coloring book based on The Beatles that I stumbled upon whilst Google searching.
Here we have examples of everything I talked about:
Mundane daily activities
As well as bizarre randomness
And don't forget the quotes that seem to contribute precisely nothing to what is going on
This kind of awkward is simply inspirational to me. There's just something beautiful about the subtle discomfort that seems to weave its way through the pages of these coloring books. I only wish I knew how to capture this magic for myself. How do they do it? What intricate methods do they employ to make these pieces so outstandingly uncomfortable? There is a delicate art to it, I think, and I aim to study it and find out what it is. Only then will I be able to completely understand the true soul of the coloring book. Only then will I be a true artist.