Saturday, December 4, 2010

Featured: Tove Jansson's Moomin


Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book One

The enchanting comic strip that introduced adult readers to the wonderful world of Moomin

Tove Jansson is revered around the world as one of the foremost children’s authors of the twentieth century for her illustrated chapter books regarding the magical worlds of her creation, the Moomins. The Moomins saw life in many forms but debuted to its biggest audience ever on the pages of world’s largest newspaper the London Evening News, in 1954. The strip was syndicated in newspapers around the world with millions of readers in 40 countries. Moomin Book One is the first volume of Drawn & Quarterly publishing plan to reprint the entire strip drawn by Jansson before she handed over the reigns to her brother Lars in 1960. This is the first time the strip will be published in any form in North America and will deservedly place Jansson among the international cartooning greats of the last century.

The Moomins are a tight-knit family – hippo-shaped creatures with easygoing and adventurous outlooks. Jansson's art is pared down and precise, yet able to compose beautiful portraits of ambling creatures in fields of flowers or rock-strewn beaches that recall Jansson’s Nordic roots. The comic strip reached out to adults with its gentle and droll sense of humor. Whimsical but with biting undertones, Jansson’s observations of everyday life, including guests who overstay their welcome, modern art, movie stars, and high society, easily caught the attention of an international audience and still resonate today.







Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book Two

"A lost treasure now rediscovered--one of the sweetest, strangest comics strips ever drawn or written. A surrealist masterpiece. Honest." --Neil Gaiman

"[Jansson's] work soars with lightness and speed, and her drawings only echo her writing: delicate but precise, observant yet suggestive... Jansson was exceptional, an exuberant explorer of emotional independence and interdependence, a liberating force." --Los Angeles Times Book Review


In the second volume of Tove Jansson's humorous yet melancholic Moomin comic strip, we get four new stories about jealousy, competition, childrearing, and self-reinvention. The Moomins try to hibernate in the fashion of their ancestors but insomnia places them smack dab into a winter carnival with the winter-sports loving Mr. Brisk. The fickle and eternally lovestruck Mymble and Snorkmaiden find themselves in competition over a thrilling new man. Moomin Mamma meets her new neighbor, the Fillyjonk, causing her to hire the depressed and secretive Misabel as her new maid. Mymble's mother arrives on the Moomin family’s doorstep with her 17 new children. Finally, A prophet arrives on the scene declaring that the happy Moomins are in fact not happy at all and need to get back to nature and be free. Moomin, of course, becomes more and more miserable the freer he gets.






Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book Three

This third volume returns to Moominvalley, where its beloved inhabitants get tangled up in five new stories. Moomin falls in love with a damsel in distress, an unseasonably warm spell turns the valley into a tropical rainforest, and a flying saucer crashes into Moominmamma’s garden. Moominpappa decides to live out his dream of occupying a lighthouse and writing a great seaside novel, only to discover that he hates the sea so close up and has no interest in writing about it, and a variety of curious clubs spring up in the valley. Moomin and Moominmamma do their level best to avoid the whole mess but, of course, get drawn into the muddle.





Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book Four

Drawn & Quarterly’s bestselling Moomin series created by the legendary children’s author Tove Jansson is now in its fourth installment and is the winner of the Harvey Award and has been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards.

“Moomin is about freedom, tolerance, and optimism amid frustration, loss, and fear. One of its poignancies is that it not only serves as the vehicle of Jansson’s progressive philosophical ideologies…but that she is also able to suture her own autobiography and philosophy into the simple allegorical model of a cartoon.” —Modern Painters

“The Moomin family strays far from the tranquil charms of Moominvalley: on the French Riviera, Moominpappa gets drunk and Moomin's sweetheart, the Snork Maiden, is seduced by a toothy film star. But then the hattifatteners appear—mute, sock-like animals that grow from seeds and chase after electric storms...Here is where Jansson's weird but true world begins; where fear, loneliness and insecurity are banished by love and the force of imagination.”—Time.com

“[Jansson’s] strips, more than 800 in five years, stand as perennial classics of children's literature across the Nordic lands...Their belated recovery from crumbling newsprint into five eventual volumes seems almost as fantastical and life-affirming as the Moomin fables themselves.” —The Independent




Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book Five

Moomin Book Five: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip features the final strips drawn by Tove Jansson and written by her brother Lars for the London Evening News, before Lars took over both the art and the writing. The first "Moomin Winter" returns with more unwanted guests than in Book One, especially the curious and secret-spilling Nibling, sending the Moomin household into a tizzy of secrecy and closed doors. In "Moomin Under Sail," the Moomins find themselves without a new adventure until Too-Ticky's compass gives them the idea to build a boat and head to sea. Finally we meet the Fuddler's heart, and his bumbling drives her straight into the arms of Dr. Hatter, the local psychiatrist. Delightfully quirky, the Moomin family does not fare well under the gaze of someone trained in correcting odd behavior.





The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My

In a delightful, curious game of what comes next, Moomintroll travels through the woods to get home with milk for Moominmamma. A simple trip turns into a colorful adventure as Moomintroll meets Mymble who has lost her sister Little My. Along the way, they endue the hijinks of all the charming characters of the Moomin world including the Fillijonks and Hattifatteners. Will Moomin ever make it home safe and sound? A beautiful and boisterous story by internationally acclaimed children's author Tove Jansson, this picture book is sure to tickle the fancies of parents and kids as well as Moomintroll fans everywhere. everywhere!





Who Will Comfort Toffle

'Who Will Comfort Toffle?' is the timeless, magical tale of the wistful wallflower, Toffle– too shy to speak to anyone and too fearful of the world he is watching from afar. Lonely and sad, Toffle runs away from home and watches the magical cast of Moominvalley—Mymble, My, Snufkin, the merry whompses and the Fillyjonk—celebrate and enjoy life. His insecurity continues to only serve his isolation until he has the courage to overcome his fears by reaching out to another frightened introvert, the mesmerizing Miffle. 'Who Will Comfort Toffle?' is an endearing, introspective story that will speak to readers of all ages who have only needed a friend to pull them out of their shell.
Joining Drawn & Quarterly’s archival series of 'Moomin The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip', 'Moomin, Mymble and Little My' and the Moomintroll chapter books is the glorious reprinting of the Tove Jansson classic children’s book 'Who Will Comfort Toffle?' with a loving translation by British poet Sophie Hannah.




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open every day, 11am to 7pm.

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