Page 45 Review by Stephen
We cant build the new Palace with forced labour.
No, they wouldnt like that. Look, I think the democratic way would be first to impose heavy taxes
and then pay them back as wages!
Are you crying with laughter or just crying right now? Either way, Ill wager youre crying with recognition.
Welcome to the world of nation building, MOOMIN-style. Its no more absurd than the reality of politics just a lot less painful to laugh at. It all begins like this. Imagine
Youre wiped out after an exacting day of long hours and hard graft, but finally the blessed bed beckons. Ah, how soft the sheets, how snug the blankets and how gratefully your weary limbs luxuriate in the soft, soothing give of a mattress! And slowly you sink off to sleep
Now imagine that instead of a single days exhaustion its been three long seasons, you havent hibernated properly in years and three seconds later Moominpappa bellows from the foot of the stairs
What is it?
No another guest again?
Wake up, everybody!
Thank you we have!
Ah, the scowl on Snork Maidens face! Love the put-upon frown: Lars totally nails tired and tetchy.
So what is it now? Its not a new guest, its young Moomins bed-time reading: a new continent has been discovered and Moominpappa, ever the pioneer, is determined to colonise it first! It is, however, winter, so the oceanss frozen over and are they really going to have to all skate their way there? No, an ice-raft is built big enough to fit the Moomins, Mymble, and Mrs. Fillyjonk
but probably not her heifer. Or potted plants. Maybe her children. But definitely not her enormous Queen Doris Pier-Glass dresser.
Naturally within panels it all goes pear-shaped when the ice starts to melt and then they are all at sea. However, more by luck than navigational prowess our intrepid party finally lubber their way to land and set about settling in, each in their inimitable style. For Moominpappa this means a paper crown and declaring himself Viceroy; for Mrs. Fillyjonk its all about culture, tradition and getting one over on Gaffsie, whom she is determined to make jealous with the novelty she notes in the diary which shell probably leave for Gaffsie to read one future coffee morning. The problem is, the problem is
they may not have got there first, and some of their neighbours might not be new.
What follows in this first of four stories is both a cracking comedy of manners and piss-take of priorities, with politics skewered into the bargain. Like CEREBUS: HIGH SOCIETY condensed twenty-five-fold, this is all so familiar but accomplished with a feather-light touch, especially currency, committees and the pomp, protocol and preparations for state visits which we know all too well to be white-washes. First the trappings of empire then the affectation of democracy is lambasted, followed, post-disaffection, by totalitarianism and a much-needed bucket of freezing-cold water. Mothers know best.
Then there are the take-over bids whether its mass state-seizure or incorporation by stealth then placating your not-so-much-willing-as-bewildered coalition partners with something of seeming substance.
Weve elected you into the Cabinet.
As Minister Without Portfolio.
Well, have you got a portfolio?
There you are.
Poor Moominpappa! Im going to go out and buy a folder. Just in case.