Commerce in Moominland

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Sorry about the title. I can’t resist a pun.

The new Moomin website, announced earlier today on Twitter by Drawn & Quarterly (who publish the beautiful Moomin strip collections), is not as baldly mercenary as all that. Even if it was–well.

What do you want from a Moomin official site? What do I want? I don’t know. Something that feels “real,” in the way that Moomin stories do–hints on growing potatoes, maybe. A currant jam recipe. “How to sew an apron like Moominmama’s”, complete with very attractive photography. The web version of an issue of Oh Comely, basically, and even Oh Comely‘s website doesn’t provide that.

https://www.moomin.com/en gives us a long scroll, past four sections a la the four floors of a Moominhouse: currently Love, Winter, Solitude and Night. Cosy. Images from flickr accounts, images from the Moomin shop, images from etsy–these correspond with the four themes, and build the beginnings of a comfortable Moomin atmosphere. Pretty pictures like one one below. Does that fit with my idea of a Moominous life? I’ll say yes. A cautious yes.

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Between each section, under the floorboards of each stacked room, there’s a paragraph or so from Tove Jansson. Either from her own mouth or a gem from her characters, like this one:

Snorkmaiden stood with her ears drooping. Moomintroll pressed his snout against hers and said, “There’s no need to pretend that you are radiantly beautiful, because you are. Don’t worry, we can play ‘damsel in distress’ tomorrow instead.

Will these be updated? Will All Things Moomin be a site to return to? It seems possible. It will be if the folks in charge are smart.

There’s a fair array of profiles at the “Characters” link. It’s a worry, when you have such a full world, that somebody might get shortchanged. And they have, of course, but when the choice is between leaving a character out or writing them up using everything their canon appearances will give a reader it’s probably the right choice to leave them as a mystery. Treasure to be discovered. The profiles are written in a modern style (Little My is described with a blogger’s decorum and I think her rep should be sharper than that) but they’re charming, and fun.

Stinky’s other hobbies include eavesdropping, vandalism and duping the police.

For the new Moomin reader, there’s a timeline. I found it very touching and I’m not sure why. Under “Places” you can find your nearest all-moomin retail destination, or plan a holiday around one if that strikes you the right way.  There are two in Tokyo. That would make for a cute/expensive weekender.

Personally, the main importance of this website has been reminding me that Moominworld exists. I can’t tell you what this picture does to my insides.

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Sustaining a franchise is about money, on a necessary level, and it’s not ~wrong that that’s the case. I have my qualms about some of the licensing ventures that currently exist, sure, but that’s my damage. You think you’ve got an idea that’s true to the soul of Moomin Valley? All Things Moomin has a licensing information page for you.

There’s not a great deal to see on All Things Moomin right now, and it certainly doesn’t fill up my senses the way a Jansson original does. Of course it doesn’t. It’s something, though. Yeah?

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The rock that drops on your head. WWAC Chief Comics Ed. Find me at claire.napier@wwacomics.com

2 Comments

  1. Ah yes, Moominworld. I remember visiting there once, but unfortunately it was very late. Catched a charming stage show though, although aside from that I barely remember much of anything.