Tove Jansson retrospective “Illustrators” book released

Just out from Thames & Hudson UK is Tove Jansson (The Illustrators) by Paul Gravett, an appreciation of the life and art of Tove Jansson, creator of the much-loved Moomin books.

Tove Jansson drew her first Moomin on an outhouse wall, before committing Moominvalley to the page in the 1940s. This book offers a fresh, insightful appreciation of her life and art, from imaginative child to art student, painter, author, cartoonist and illustrator, bohemian lesbian and Finnish cultural icon.

Jansson’s flourishing Moomin books are examined in detail, as are her interpretations of such classics as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandand The Hunting of the Snark, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

The release is the latest in the “Illustrators” series that also features retrospectives on Judith Kerr by Joanna Carey, Raymond Briggs by Jones, and Posy Simmonds, also by Paul.

Paul Gravett (right) with comics journalist Heitor Pitombo, with a copy of Tove Jansson (The Illustrators), out in the wild. Photo via Paul Gravett

To celebrate the book’s release, Paul will be doing a number of interviews, talks, signings and special events in the coming weeks. The first will be as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Saturday October 15th in conversation with John Freeman.

(LICAF is also hosting a genuine Finnish sauna and Paul be doing a (short but steamy) talk there too, about Tove!)

Later, on 10th November Paul is at Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle to talk about both Moomins and Manga, including their connections: and will be co-tabling with writer and collaborator John Harris Dunning at Thought Bubble: The Yorkshire Comic Art Festival on 12th and 13th November.

Check out Tove Jansson (The Illustrators) on the Thames & Hudson UK web site | Available from all good bookshops ISBN
9780500094334 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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