This was apparently announced back in January, but it only just came to my attention, thanks to Peter Trei over on rec.arts.comics.strips:
Drawn & Quarterly will publish the first of a five-volume series of MOOMIN: THE COMPLETE TOVE JANSSON COMIC STRIP in September 2006, it was announced today by Chris Oliveros, President & Publisher of the Montreal-based graphic novel and arts publishing house. This is the first time the strip will be published in any form in North America and will deservedly place cartoonist and author Tove Jansson among the international cartooning greats of the last century.
“All of us at D+Q are huge fans of Jansson’s Moomin children’s books, especially the editor of the series, Tom Devlin, who brought the Moomin comic strips to our attention,” said Oliveros. “The quality and quantity of what Tove created in the MOOMIN comic strip is nothing short of astounding.”
“To comic strip fans, there are few surprises or unknown strips out there that have yet to be published in North America,” said Tom Devlin, Editor and Production Designer. “To be the editor of a five-volume series that will bring the comic strip of one the most internationally renowned children’s authors and her creations to a whole new audience is thrilling. Comic strip fans as well as fans of the MOOMIN chapter books will be fascinated by the caliber of Tove’s cartooning skills.”
Jansson is revered around the world as one of the foremost children’s authors of the twentieth century for her illustrated chapter books regarding the magical worlds of her creation, the Moomins. The Moomins saw life in many forms but debuted to its biggest audience ever on the pages of world’s largest newspaper the “London Evening News”, in 1954. The strip was syndicated in newspapers around the world with millions of readers in 40 countries. MOOMIN: THE COMPLETE TOVE JANSSON COMIC STRIP; BOOK ONE is the first volume of Drawn & Quarterly publishing plan to reprint the entire strip drawn by Jansson before she handed over the reins to her brother Lars in 1960.
The Moomins are a tight-knit family – hippo-shaped creatures with easygoing and adventurous outlooks. Jansson’s art is pared down and precise, yet able to compose beautiful portraits of ambling creatures in fields of flowers or rock-strewn beaches that recall Jansson’s Nordic roots. The comic strip reached out to adults with its gentle and droll sense of humor. Whimsical but with biting undertones, Jansson’s observations of everyday life, including guests who overstay their welcome, modern art, movie stars, and high society, easily caught the attention of an international audience and still resonate today.
Oh, I want it. I want it very much. 🙂