David Bowie – Retrospective and Coloring Book – Mel Elliott (Watson-Guptill Publications)
The season five premiere of Happy Days featured a scene that would become a cultural icon as the always hip Fonzi, decked out in swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket water skis and in an effort to prove his manhood jumps over a confined shark. Forever enshrined in the lexicon, “jump the shark” became synonymous with something coming to a fateful end or signifying a downhill slide that something will not recover from.
So why tell that story here you ask? Well it appears to me that David Bowie – Retrospective and Coloring Book by Mel Elliott may be the jump the shark moment for the whole adult coloring book phenomenon. Described as a retrospective of Bowie’s career…and a coloring book; this fails to deliver on either front. The fact that a drawing of a pair of platform shoes is included to mark a significant point in Bowie’s career arc should be all you need to know about this one.
While Bowie was easily one of rock music’s most significant innovators and most colorful showman, this should not be considered a significant milepost in remembering his greatness.