This collected volume really is delightful. It comprises the complete Moomin comic strips as drawn by their creator Tove Jansson, and best of all they have all their errors corrected. This I have to admit was something I was worried about as I know the individually...See more
This collected volume really is delightful. It comprises the complete Moomin comic strips as drawn by their creator Tove Jansson, and best of all they have all their errors corrected. This I have to admit was something I was worried about as I know the individually published editions had a number of pages which contained errors, a problem which the publishers corrected by offering replacement pages to be sent to buyers. Thankfully Moomin is in all his perfected glory in these humorous tales of Moomin Mama and Papa, Moomin, The Snork Maiden, Snufkin and Sniff and the rest of the inhabitants of Moominvalley and beyond. The book is predominantly black and white (which is because the original strips were produced for newspapers) and thankfully nobody thought it would be a good idea to colourise them. This would have been a major disaster. All five original collections are included and they emanate a delightful mix of humour and gentle satire, played out beautifully in the delightful style of Jansson. Even in these fairly simple illustrations, the clean lines of her penmanship are a joy. No mark is made that shouldn''t be there and she captures light and texture so well in what can be a difficult medium to work with. The same can also be said of her writing too, the simple and yet pointed tales are also very poignant. Tove Jansson dearly loved the Moomins, and this comes across in her early scripts. But is interesting to know that she finally became enslaved to them. Although she was an accomplished illustrator and novelist, the public just wanted more Moomin tales until she finally wrote the last of her stories set in their Valley, a story in which they never made an appearance, and as she tired of her creation her brother Lars took up the comic strip, and his work can be see in other volumes. The Deluxe Edition itself is pretty hefty hardback (although I do think the paperstock could have been a bit thicker, especially as it is a deluxe edition) and it is bound in a primary red paper. On the front Moomin is embossed in a simple design and the look of the volume is quite elegant and understated. Inside the endpapers are the same bright images as the slipcase and a poster of the slipcase art is also included. There is a brief introduction where there are more enlarged colour works of Moomin and then the comic strips begin. In the back are a number of glossy pages with original character sketches on them. I have to confess that the bright slipcover and introduction do not feel like genuine Tove drawings but more like a pop artist interpreted them. The book would have been perfect if it had used some of her beautiful Moomin paintings, but I can see why they went for the more graphical images rather than watercolour ones. The book is after all about her comic strips, not her paintings. But I do believe that adding some of her other concept art would have really made it the deluxe volume it calls itself. One thing I was very grateful for was the strong well constructed slipcase. Wrapped in printed designs it is beautiful and looks great on a shelf. The stock photo shown by Amazon is not entirely accurate, the case side is narrower than shown and cropped more so that Moomin seems bigger. The spine is also not completely black but has a flower on the bottom of it, the lettering also does not read down the spine, but like a normal book. All in all I was delighted to receive this book and even at it''s full price it is cheaper than the individual volumes and you don''t have to worry about sending off of sticky pages to amend your books. If you are a Moomins fan then it really is a must, lose yourself in the delightful tales of Moominvalley, laugh good-naturedly at their exploits, but beware of the trolls! Many thanks for reading!