My Dirty Dumb Eyes & Moomin featured in NPR's top 5 summer comics

“The Funny (Touching, Fascinating) Pages: 5 Comics For Summer” / NPR / Myla Goldberg / June 18, 2013

My Dirty Dumb Eyes
by Lisa Hanawalt
Hardcover, 1 v. (unpaged)
Then, of course, there's My Dirty Dumb Eyes, by Lisa Hanawalt, which might qualify as a guilty pleasure if it wasn't so smart. Hanawalt is weird and funny, and has given her imagination and subconscious free rein in this collection of vignettes, jokes and contemporary observations, which showcase drawing styles ranging from surreal and cartoony to frighteningly accurate caricature. Hanawalt's mind is a dangerous place that you'll feel lucky to visit through illustrated movie reviews and musings on popular culture that will — among other things — change the way you think about Martha Stewart, celebrity chefs and Anna Wintour forever. What makes her so fun to read is her willingness to champion the sorts of thoughts most of us barely admit to ourselves — ideas about sex, borderline behavior in movie theaters, and an animal hat fixation that results in several pages that will make you laugh even if you're in a public place at the time. Read this book because it's funny, because it's beautiful, and because it will nourish the inner weirdo you've been keeping under wraps for too long.


Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip
by Tove Jansson
Hardcover, 95 pages
The last must-read comic I'm going to wing your way isn't even a book — it's a whole series of them (the next one comes out in September). Finnish cartoonist Tove Jansson is as famous as Walt Disney in large swaths of Europe, but in this country she's someone most people haven't heard of. Jansson created the creatures known as Moomins, and while she wrote some memorable children's novels about them, she (and later her brother, Lars) also created a quirky, original comic strip masterpiece for European newspapers. Moomin ran from 1954 to 1975 and, at its peak, appeared in newspapers in over 40 countries. The Moomin universe is what you'd get if you took Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz, and mixed them together with Finland's cartoonishly long summer days and winter nights. On the outside, your average Moomin resembles a cross between an albino hippopotamus and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but like all timeless characters, Moomins are the vehicles through which Jansson explores everything that's laughable, charming, laudable and suspect about being human. Whether they're exploring the oceans, entertaining ungrateful guests, or trying their hands at being artists or being famous, the Moomin series — like Peanuts — is the sort of thing you can read at age 8 or at 48 and find equally gratifying

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