Thursday, October 8, 2009

In a Moomin Mood

Here's another wonderful Finland creation that's new to me: the Moomin comic strips (collected and published some fifty-years later by Drawn & Quarterly--I got them from the library). They are the work of Finnish artist-author Tove Jansson (right, 1956).

Neil Gaiman calls the comic, which ran in a London newspaper starting in the mid-1950s: "A lost treasure now rediscovered--one of the sweetest, strangest comics strips ever drawn or written. A surrealist masterpiece. Honest."

Jansson wrote books about the Moomin as well as these cartoons. She based some of the residents of Moominvalley on her friends and family. Too-ticki, below, was based on her life-partner, graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä (I can't tell from Finnish names, but Tuulikki was a woman).

I'm feeling a little low today, like a wobbly hippo-thingie whose wind-up has wound-down--probably because I finished (!) the Montana movie The Disinherited yesterday---I always go into an emotional slump when I finish a project.

I may go downtown later today to the newly discovered FinnStyle store and buy myself a Moomin mug ( saw them there, and little toy Moomin figurines too!)--to dose myself with hot chocolate against this November-like weather.
"behind which the sun does not warm"


momo said...

Sounds like a great prescription! congratulations on finishing another project. I hope to see it soon, perhaps in person....? will there be a film fest?

ArtSparker said...

The books are wonderful, and either still in print or reissued - your library may have them. I hadn't seen the 3D versions before - thank you.

Fresca said...

MOMO: (Your name could be Moomin!) Thanks--It's only 5 minutes so maybe we can watch it at the premiere, if people aren't fatigued after 18 minutes of Fly films... Also I'll post it on youTUbe.

ART SPARKER: Oh! You've heard of them! I wonder if any other American I know has.

I checked just now and the library does indeed have the books. They're shelved in the children's section, while the comic books I have were in Adult Nonfiction with the other graphic novels--which just goes to show how confused "graphic novels" make people. What are they?!? : )

Nancy said...

What a delightful find, the Moomin! Finland is a treasure trove, it seems.

Annika said...

I love the Moomin mugs! Does your FinnStyle store stock all the varieties, with the different characters?

I haven't got one myself, since they were too expensive for me while I was a student. I used to like studying them in the shop and try to decide on a particular one to put on my wish list, but I never succeeded. My favourite character is Snusmumriken (whatever his name is in English) - the pipe-smoking guy with the pointy, green hat - but I seem to remember that there was something about that mug I didn't really like, maybe the background colour or something.

Now I'm inspired to give it another try! There's no better way to serve hot chocolate.

Fresca said...

It was your nudge that led me to the Moomin: thanks!
The pipe-smoking guy is "Snufkin" in English. If you click on the FinnStyle link in the text, it takes you right to the page of mug designs.
I want several of them, but I just bought the Too-tikki mug at the store yesterday--though it was expensive ($28 here).
I find myself buying little artsy things lately... I think I want to reward myself for my own work somehow.
But now, back to austerity measures.

James said... has a bit wider variety of moomin tableware.