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Moomin Complete Lars Jansson Comic Strip vol 7 h/c

Moomin Complete Lars Jansson Comic Strip vol 7 h/c back

Lars Jansson



“We can’t build the new Palace with forced labour.”
“No, they wouldn’t like that. Look, I think the democratic way would be first to impose heavy taxes… and then pay them back as wages!”
“Oh… beautiful!”

Are you crying with laughter or just crying right now? Either way, I’ll wager you’re crying with recognition.

Welcome to the world of nation building, MOOMIN-style. It’s no more absurd than the reality of politics – just a lot less painful to laugh at. It all begins like this. Imagine…

You’re 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 day’s exhaustion it’s been three long seasons, you haven’t 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 Maiden’s face! Love the put-upon frown: Lars totally nails ‘tired and tetchy’.

So what is it now? It’s not a new guest, it’s young Moomin’s 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 oceans’s 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 it’s 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 she’ll 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 it’s mass state-seizure or incorporation by stealth then placating your not-so-much-willing-as-bewildered coalition partners with something of seeming substance.

“We’ve elected you into the Cabinet.”
“You have?”
“As Minister Without Portfolio.”
“Why without?”
“”Well, have you got a portfolio?”
“There you are.”

Poor Moominpappa! I’m going to go out and buy a folder. Just in case.