Silver Dollar City Coloring Books


My very first professional jobs were for Silver Dollar City, a theme park in the Missouri Ozarks. I did three different park maps, coloring books, activity books and miscellaneous other illustrations for various products. For some reason, this weekend I was thinking about those old SDC coloring books. It would be really fun to have another crack at those things. I’m not a big fan of hard line coloring book art, but what if a coloring book could be created with tonal art? I had some spare time, so I whipped up a sample to see what that might look like. You can see what I came up with below, right next to my old original coloring book page…

…HEY… I was straight outa college when I did that! QUIT LAUGHING AT ME!

6 Comments on “Silver Dollar City Coloring Books

    • Pat, was I ever young and clueless back then. I can still remember getting out of a cab with Darrell in downtown New York City in a swirl of confusion, cabs honking at us, porters hustling us, Darrell busy getting camera equipment out of the trunk… he looked over to me and asked if I would take care of the cabbie for him. I said “I’ve only got ten dollars” (which was well short of the tab) Darrell looked at me with shock/amazement/humor and said… “you came to New York city with ten dollars in your pocket?” Yes, yes I did… I didn’t figure I’d need much more than that. I was pretty much the proverbial country mouse that fell off the turnip truck in the big city. đŸ™‚

  1. Dennis, Golly, I don’t even dare go back to my college days and show any artwork so I appreciate your courage to put one beside the other. Your style has evolved but what you were doing in school was still very creative. I remember my first year doing caricatures at Disney World.. Pat Boone’s daughter , Laurie, came into the Contemporary Hotel and asked me to do their whole family in pastels from photographs for a gift to Shirley on Mother’s Day.
    I was so green that they must have looked like i had a blindfold on but Pat picked them up and knew everyone of his family and was overjoyed ( no accounting for taste). I worked there for 6 more years and when people would bring their caricatures back to show me on another vacation 5 years later I would ask them to throw them away and let me draw them again.. it was THAT MUCH of a difference. I hope that most of those early ones have deteriorated by now.!!
    So that is why I admire your bravery to let us see what you were all about back then ( and I think you and I are about the same age).
    God bless you and thank God for progress,

  2. That’s good rendering, Dennis. You were lucky to land a gig out of college. Some people just aren’t that lucky.

  3. I would love to color either one of the copies any day. Your art sings…… ( :

  4. Personally, I think your originals are just as awesome as the new ones!

    I’m an admin for the SDCFans forum, and I’d like to invite you to check it out and maybe post some of your SDC-related stuff over there. The members would LOVE to have a chance to interact with you!

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