This Horror Coloring Book Brings Scary Movie Scenes to Life

Alan Robert’s Beauty of Horror adult coloring book series is a marvel. The horror-centric art books comes from the mind of Alan Robert, a rockstar-turned-comics creator known for his work in the band Life of Agony. The first five Beauty of Horror books—which include three regular volumes and two holiday editions—are all splendidly gore-geous, featuring hand-drawn images of central character Ghouliana as she goes on horrifying adventures.

Now, Robert is back with two new additions to the Beauty of Horror family. First, there’s Beauty of Horror IV: Creature Feature, a new coloring book that finds Ghouliana and friends taking their own stab at recreating famous horror movie scenes. And then there’s Haunt This Journal, a guided journal and companion piece to the coloring books that brings you on another macabre journey with Ghouliana.

Nerdist recently chatted with Alan Robert about the spooky new coloring book and journal.

A coloring image from Hellraiser.
Alan Robert/IDW Publishing 

Nerdist: How did you decide to do a horror movie coloring book for this edition of Beauty of Horror?

Alan Robert: First of all, if I go back in time a little bit, when I did the very first Beauty of Horror book, I just set out to make the ultimate horror coloring book because one didn’t exist in the world yet. It was a huge undertaking because it was 88 pages of horror tropes and I had my list of werewolves and vampires and monsters, and I just wanted it all packed in there. I almost did the first book kind of as a joke because I was really focused on doing my horror graphic novels. And Beauty of Horror just blew up and became this incredible success and it gave me a chance to dig deeper into the world and see where I could go with the characters. So, all of these books later, it really opened up the world. With each book I get to tackle things that I would want to see. I’m a horror fan first, so I’m just trying to make good for all the horror fans out there, and find out what they want to color, and what they ant to engage with.

I definitely wanted to bring the humor into it this time around. There’s a double-page spread of Nemo getting attacked by dozens of piranhas. There’s the Cenobites from Hellraiser behind a Cinnabon’s stand. It’s a mashup of pop culture. This is probably the most fun I’ve had drawing a book.

A coloring image from the movie Alien out of Beauty of Horror.
Alan Robert/IDW Publishing 

What was your favorite image included in this one? 

AR: I just got my copy so I’m flipping through it for the first time. Probably, there’s a spread of They Live! So you’ve got Ghouliana with the glasses and all of the “obey” signs behind her. And on the flip side you have the politician decomposing with the word “color” behind him instead of “obey.” I really tried to even get some kind of low-key homages in there. Real subtle things for horror fans, like [the dream sequence from] An American Werewolf in London. Or even Poltergeist, I drew Ghouliana in the little girl’s pose next to the TV, that iconic shot, but on the next page is the characters from Poltergeist 2 but it’s in the pose of American Gothic.


Can you tell me a little bit about Haunt this Journal and how that came to be?

AR: I work very closely with the people at IDW [Publishing] and they’ve been big supporters of the brand and really seeing where we could go with it, outside of coloring. Activity books definitely interest me. I’ve been doing them since I was a little kid. In the early ’80s there was something called the Anti-Coloring Book, and there were a bunch of volumes, and they were very similar to today’s guided journals. But now that guided journals are so popular—again, I haven’t seen a horror-themed one. So I was just trying to do my best for horror fans to get our stamp out there. Horror fans need stuff too!

I’m a musician, and all of our touring for the year got postponed to 2021, and I was supposed to leave for tour on Friday the 13th of March. And that’s when we heard the news that everything was going to get shut down. And that’s when I started Haunt This Journal. So the pandemic gave me the chance to really dive into making this a really fun book for horror fans.

An image from the guided journal Haunt This Journal.
Alan Robert/IDW Publishing

The Beauty of Horror IV: Creature Feature and Haunt This Journal are available now.

Featured Image: Alan Robert/IDW Publishing 

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