June 25, 2009

Controversial Cartoon Books

After a recent trip to Frisch's, a local cafe-of-sorts, for an all-you-can-eat breakfast on borrowed money (long story), I became captivated by the children's coloring book placemat my friend and I were given. It featured, of all things, dinosaurs with one of the city's architectural landmarks, Union Terminal, in the background!

WOW, I thought...kids of all ages are being treated to a fantastic meal AND are learning about the city's architectural heritage all in one happy event. THIS is what will put the profession of architecture back on the map!!! After some quick research back at the office, I discovered this children's cartoon has some controversial company.

Most notably, FEMA - the United State's disaster management organization - released an infamous cartoon coloring book, titled "A Scary Thing Happened" to the eWorld after 9/11 featuring burning buildings and the twin towers under attack by commercial airlines. Soccer moms nationwide were pissed, and rightfully so! If you have a free two minutes & eight seconds, check out the enjoyable YouTube video below.

Already inspired, I stumbled across more equally frightening coloring book imagery - this time religious-based. Scenes of friendly dinosaurs accompanied by bible verses from the book of Genesis had me trembling.

I came to a couple of key conclusions. The first being, children's coloring books are a creative source of propaganda that ALL governments, religious institutions, etc. should be aware of and exploit to their full advantage. The second being I will NEVER let my kids near crayons and coloring books...EVER.

In response to all of these controversial coloring books, and in the spirit of Contemporary Space's (CS13) recent "Greetings From Cincinnati" opening, I decided to make a coloring book of my own, after all, why not put on a clinic for all of Cincinnati's spoiled little brats? The following pages celebrate everything from the Queen City's colonization of Native American tribes, to our overly-industrialized landscape. CS13 and others doing a fantastic job at cleaning up Cincinnati's image after media attacks year after year were not too pleased with my work. I hope you are repulsed and offended by the following as well.


Lauren D. said...

you gotta post it big enough so we can read it! I'M INTERESTED.

N O R T O N said...

My apologies!!! I included a link to the larger format.

Lauren D. said...


I kind of want to get the panel of Lil' Oh crying next to Crosley tattooed on my body.

N O R T O N said...

wow that means a lot to me...let me know when that happens so i can add it to my portfolio and resume.

Anonymous said...

reminds me of Tom Waits' Children's Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgmzcdrI8YQ&feature=related

Groupdmt said...

Thanks for sharing this information and beautiful picture.. They are really stunning... You did a great job.
Cartoon coloring