Tove Jansson to Be Inducted into Eisner Hall of Fame

According to Comic-Con International, Tove Jansson, a Finnish visual artist and author, has been selected by the Eisner Award judges to be automatically inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2016. Hooray, Tove!

Tove Jansson Complete Moomin Comic Strip

Jansson (1914-2001) is best known as the creator of the incredibly popular Moomins books and comics. Besides Jansson, there’s a second automatic inductee: Carl Burgos, Golden Age creator of The Human Torch.

In addition, the judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select four to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. Visit the Comic-Con International: San Diego Eisner Awards page for details. The ceremony takes place July 22, 2016, in San Diego.

Found via File 770.

Image by Eppu Jensen

Theodor Kittelsen’s Naturalistic Fantastical Art

Norwegian Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) developed into one of Scandinavia’s most popular artists. He’s especially well known for his nature paintings and illustrations of fairy tales, legends, and trolls.

Trollet_som_grunner_pa_hvor_gammelt_det_er
Theodor Kittelsen: Trollet som grunner på hvor gammelt det er [troll wonders how old it is], 1911. Via Wikimedia Commons.
His art clearly shows how strongly the Norwegian nature inspired him. Kittelsen’s style is said to include aspects naturalism, mysticism, and Art Nouveau.

Kittelsen Collage
Theodor Kittelsen, clockwise from top left: Nøkken [water spirit], 1887–92; Gutt på hvit hest [boy on white horse]; Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon [white bear King Valemon], 1912; 12 villender [12 wild ducks], 1897. Via emmeffe6 on Flickr (one, two, three, four).
The element of a boy on a white horse is connected with water spirit tales. Apparently some näkki water spirits (to use my native Finnish term) can turn into horses to capture humans to pull underwater. I don’t remember that aspect of the näkki stories from my childhood; perhaps there’s a difference between the Scandinavian and Finnish tales.

The landscapes in Kittelsen’s paintings remind me of the Finnish wildernesses a lot. There’s also something solemn and contemplative in the mood of his imagery that makes me connect it with Tolkien’s art and writing, on one hand, and, on the other, with the illustrations of Tove Jansson (see examples of her work on Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit provided by The Official Moomin site).

Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.

2016 Tolkien Calendar Illustrated by Tove Jansson

According to The Tolkien Society, the Official Tolkien Calendar for 2016 will be released tomorrow, July 30, 2015. The calendar is illustrated by Tove Jansson, a Finnish visual artist and author.

Tolkien Calendar 2016. HarperCollins.
Tolkien Calendar 2016. HarperCollins.

Jansson (1914-2001) is best known as the creator of Moomins. However, she also illustrated Swedish translations of The Hobbit and Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Some of these illustrations were later used in Finnish translations.

Jansson's illustrations for early Swedish and Finnish translations of The Hobbit. The estate of Tove Jansson, via Tolkien Library.
Jansson’s illustrations for early Swedish and Finnish translations of The Hobbit. The estate of Tove Jansson, via Tolkien Library.

The publisher’s description of the calendar reads:

“Jansson illustrated The Hobbit in 1961 for the Swedish and Finnish editions, creating a dozen enchanting full page drawings plus many smaller vignette pieces. Never before published in an English-language edition, the 2016 calendar contains all twelve of these illustrations, many of the vignettes, and a full-colour centrefold featuring her dramatic cover painting of Smaug attacking the Dwarves. The calendar is introduced by Tolkien expert and author Brian Sibley, who corresponded with the artist and provides insightful commentary regarding the genesis of the illustrations and Jansson’s tireless work continuing to build the world of The Moomins. The Official Tolkien Calendar has been an established publishing event for Tolkien fans and Hobbit collectors for the last four decades, and the 2016 edition will continue to delight and surprise.”