Archive for the ‘moomin’ Category

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January 5, 2007

Ooh, look, here’s a sample (the entire first episode, 91 strips) of the Moomin comic!

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January 5, 2007

Ära vare glad!! I have wished for years and years to get hold of the Tove Jansson Moomin comic in its English-language original form; Tove made the comic for the Evening Standard and its original language was English. I have only read it in Swedish translation, an excellent translation to be sure (since Tove naturally translated it herself) but as I say, I have wanted to read the original as well. When I was a kid, before I knew it was originally in English, I used to wonder why the props in the comic strips always had English text: “Explosives”, for instance, or “Mixed Seeds”.

Now, the Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly are publishing Tove’s comics in five books; the first one is already available. I need to get hold of it. By hook or by crook. (Or by buying it, probably.)

A note for the bibliographically inclined: the Moomin comic is episodic in nature, with long finished story arcs. Tove wrote and drew the comic from 1954 until 1959; then she and her brother Lars worked together on a few episodes, after which he took over and drew and wrote it until 1975. Their styles are not identical, nor are their storylines. I like them both. Drawn and Quarterly’s publication appears to be only the Tove strips.

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May 30, 2002

Det var en liten ekorre,

en mycket liten ekorre.

Han hade inte mycket förstånd

men han var varm och luden.

Nu är han kall, alldeles kall,

och alla hans små ben är stela.

Men han har fortfarande

den vackraste svansen i världen.


Tove Jansson, Trollvinter

<!–There was a little squirrel,

A very small squirrel.

He wasn’t very clever

But his fur was nice and warm.

Now he’s cold, quite cold.

And all his legs are numb.

But he is still the squirrel

With the marvellous tail.


Moominland Midwinter, translation by Thomas Warburton–>

I have just buried a squirrel. Not the cats’ doing; it had drowned in the water butt and I found it when I went to get a canful of water to provide for the plants. At first I thought it was a pine cone. . . but that was its tail; it was floating there quite peacefully. Unless all the crime novels I’ve read lie, it can’t have been in there too dreadfully long for it was quite stiff — all its legs were indeed numb — and rigor, I have learnt, leaves the body after a few hours. I buried it between a couple of roots beneath a birch. Good thing we don’t have dogs; while the furheads were interested, they won’t start to dig it out.

Unless I’m much mistaken it is about to start raining. (I hope it is; it’s been dreadfully close and clammy today and I’ve had a roaring headache almost all day.) If it had started a little bit earlier I would never have felt the need to water the redcurrant bushes, and hence wouldn’t have discovered the poor squirrel. I can’t say that prompts me to any deep philosophical thoughts, but it is nevertheless true.