Writer Kevin Thurston and illustrator Mickey Harmon have teamed up to create a book that is meant to open eyes, and cause a stir. Color Me White, released by BlazeVox Books, is an adult coloring book that broaches the subject of “toxic masculinity in straight white males” as it partially relates to today’s bizarre, heated and unapologetic political climate. It’s a subject that one might come across on social media, but is rarely tackled in mainstream social settings.
The traditional 8.5″ x 11″ coloring book is presented as a way that playfully and artfully thrusts us into situations that might make us feel uneasy with a “bleak kind of joy”. Obviously, the feelings evoked completely depend on the state of mind of the reader… or colorist.
Illustrator Mickey Harmon said, “I was really surprised at the range of this book. I thought it was just going to be a straight-forward bashing of bro culture, but there is an emotional aspect to this book that I love.” Publisher Geoffrey Gatza continued, “Kevin is one of the few writers that I’ve agreed to publish before reading the manuscript.”
Color 80 pages of stark critique! “Color Me White” is playful, yes, but critical at every turn of the entitlement & privilege which inform white, patriarchal power structures.
“From this first page, the straight white male ‘makes eye contact with you’, the reader,” wrote Just Buffalo Literary Center Artistic Director Barbara Cole, in the book’s afterword. “Although, in other instances, this ‘you’ feels like someone else (a former lover perhaps?), much of Color Me White operates by insisting the reader make eye contact with offensive and uncomfortable moments of 21st century life.”
From the press release:
The very first image which accompanies the opening dinner party scene depicts a male figure with his mouth open as if in mid-speech, his eyebrows noticeably crooked as if to suggest that he’s not to be trusted. But the eyebrows are a mere detail. Whose gaze can resist zeroing in on the scruffy haired scrotum and penis standing in for his hand and arm?…
Harmon’s visual pun announces, quite simply, that the straight white male is, well, a dick. This is neither a gag nor a punchline but a literal reading. What unfolds over the next 80 pages is a stark critique—playful, yes, but critical at every turn—of the entitlement and privilege which inform white, patriarchal power structures.
On Thursday, November 16, a book launch and release event will be held at Pine Apple Company, 224 Allen Street, from 7 PM to 9 PM.