Book Review: Moomin, The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip Volume One

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'I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream!'

If you know me, you will not be surprised to hear that I love Moomins. There's something about those squishy, hippo-like trolls that just appeal to my heart, and if you give me anything to do with them, I will love you eternally (take note). 

This volume is the first of eight collections of the original black and white Moomin comic strips written and drawn by Tove Jansson from 1954-9, with her brother from 1959-61, and just by Lars until its end in 1975. This first volume contains the first four stories Tove wrote: 'Moomin and the Brigands', 'Moomin and Family Life', 'Moomin on the Riviera' (recently developed into a French animated film in 2014), and 'Moomin's Desert Island'. As you can see above, there are four strips per page and the volume itself is a gorgeous fabric hardback that just makes me want to collect the entire set simply because they'll look so beautiful together. 

We are introduced in these first four stories to a great deal of the main characters of the series, including the excitable Moomin and his parents (Moominpappa and Moominmamma, as well as their 'relations'), the greedy Sniff, the loving Snork Maiden, the adventurous Snufkin, the determined Little My, and Stinky (no description needed). My favourite has to be Snork Maiden with her fluffy fringe and incapability of making her mind up about anything. 

There's not a lot I can say about this collection regarding story as they're really something you just need to pick up and read for yourself. A lot goes on in one plotline and the hidden details of the panels themselves create a depth that is one of my favourite things about the comic medium for telling stories and including the reader. Although these are pieces of translated fiction, the comedy and witticisms of the characters remain intact, as well as their famous philosophical musings.

This collection would make the perfect gift for someone in your life who loves Moomins. If you don't have anyone in your life who loves Moomins, be that person.

M x

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