Comics Worth Reading | Johanna Draper Carlson | October 10, 2012
Comics Worth Reading promotes Pippi Moves In and the latest from Moomin
Drawn & Quarterly has three releases in their Enfant line. Two books kick off their re-releases of Tove Jansson’s Moomin comics in color paperbacks. The flexible covers and landscape format are more kid-friendly. Each volume holds one Moomin story. In Moominvalley Turns Jungle ($9.95), the Moomins are trying to cope with unusual heat when a crate of tropical seeds wash ashore, a fast-growing jungle threatens to take over. Then zoo animals appear, and the Moomintrolls risk being mistaken for hippopotamuses. (A clever plot, especially for new readers who might be confused by their appearances.)
The other book is Moomin’s Winter Follies ($9.95), in which the lovable characters experience the opposite weather extreme. A frozen pond means it’s time for winter sports. But first, the family has to debate whether to follow the tradition of hibernating. I’m not previously familiar with the Moomins, but I was reminded of how much fun I had reading Babar as a child. The animals behave like people but their unusual appearance makes it all otherworldly in a creative way that spurs the young reader’s imagination.
The other Enfant volume is a debut. Pippi Longstocking comes to English comics for the first time in Pippi Moves In ($14.95). The first of a planned three volumes is by creator Astrid Lindgren and illustrator Ingrid Vang Nyman. Originally published in the late 1950s, these comics adapt the chapter book stories in visual form.
As you’d expect, the art is unusual and distinctive, dating from another era but looking fresh as a result. The chapters are short — four pages each — and so the storytelling is stilted, but it’s fun to see Pippi’s ridiculous way of living illustrated.