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Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One Hardcover – November 14, 2006
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Tove Jansson's Moomin stories are read and loved around the world, enjoying devoted attention in Japan, Europe and Jansson's native Scandinavia. Jansson's work is now seeing a further growth in popularity, with the Moomin chapter books republished in Britain and France, and new US editions released by FSG. The revival continues in North America with this new volume of comic strips from premium publishers Drawn & Quarterly.
Originally published in London's Evening News, Jansson drew and wrote these strips in English. Written in the same period (1954-1960) as the chapter books Moominsummer Madness and Moominland Midwinter, these strips will entertain children with their familiar characters, while adult readers will appreciate their gentle wit and often satirical stance.
This volume is the first in an anticipated five-volume set, and collects the four stories Brigands, Family Life, Moomin on the Riviera and Moomin's Desert Island.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. From 1953 to 1960, the late Finnish artist Jansson drew a comic strip about her creation Moomin for the London Evening News. Though the strip was an enormous success around the world, this is the first North American edition of an expressive and endearing classic. Moomin's stories begin simply (he needs to rid his home of freeloaders, or goes on a family vacation) and snowball into a series of amusing, whimsical misadventures, which can involve elements of the fantastic, like magic, monsters and ghosts. Although Moomin, his parents and his girlfriend, Snorkmaiden, are trolls, they look like friendly hippopotamuses. Moomin is reminiscent of a big, chubby baby; there is something of Charlie Brown in him: Moomin is like a child beset by life's troubles and usually (but not always) too passive to get angry and fight back. Adults should appreciate Jansson's satire—although she always provides happy endings, dark undercurrents are at play: one episode opens with Moomin attempting suicide; reunited with his missing parents, he's abandoned by them again. Jansson's deceptively childlike style masterfully conveys her characters' personalities. Moomin's mouth rarely appears, but his eyes, his brows and his gestures are expressive and endearing. (Oct.)
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The comic strips are good, but they are not nearly as good as the books. There simply aren't enough words, and the pictures are not sufficient to substitute for Jansson's masterful descriptions in the books. For the reader who already knows the books, the comic strips will be a pleasant diversion, just to see more of Jansson's work. But anyone who reads the comic strips without having read the books is missing out on the real treasure.