Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tribute to Masters Series -- Tove Jansson

The Moomins are forest trolls. None of the folklore, stories, myths, or legend I grew up with had trolls in them. Trolls originate from Scandinavian folklore. When I grew up, there were Chinese legends, Arabian tales, Japanese myths, English stories, American folktales... But Norse mythology
never popped up. This, plus the rare chance a city child like me would ever walk into a forest, altogether drew far distance between me and this cute troll. I simply could not make sense out of it. Was it Snoopy without his nose? Was it Totoro* but not a cat? Since it was beyond my scope of imagination, I didn't pay much attention to it.

Years past, and I have grown to love it. I develop a better sense of what type of illustration and design draws on me. The simple, elegant, watercolor style of the Moomin makes me feel warm.

Tove Jansson (1914–2001) was a Finnish illustrator, painter and novelist. She studied art and design in Stockholm, Finland and Paris. For 6 years, Tove Jansson drew comic strip of the Moomintroll, and it was widely popular in Europe. She stopped to pursue her bigger passion in painting and writing. Her brother, Lars Jansson, continued the Moomin project.

Moomin products are rare in America. A couples year ago, when I was in a Comic Convention in San Diego, I saw a booth selling the Moomin comics. I was thrilled and bought them in excitement. I believe one can purchase these comics online nowadays, and I highly recommend them.

*Note: Totoro is technically a troll. But as a kid, I associated it more as a giant forest cat.

Tove Jansson

Artwork (The Moomin Series) by Tove Jansson

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