Review also includes:
Hilda and the Midnight Giant, 48pp, 978-1909263178
Picking up Hilda and the Midnight Giant first, I wasn’t inclined to like it. The pictures were uniformly dark (well, it was night) and the idea of a household attacked by a lot of very small invisible people, didn’t seem great for a comic book. However, reviewers should persist beyond first impressions and I’m glad I did, for the story continued to develop into something attractively quirky. When I continued to Hilda and the Troll (first published as Hildafolk in 2010), where really I should have started, I was properly introduced to Hilda and her mum living in an isolated cabin in the middle of a wilderness inhabited otherwise by a variety of eccentric creatures that have some relationship with Scandinavian folk tales. Hilda is a blue haired heroine whose default setting is insouciant. True, she gets anxious when she’s lost in a forest in a snow storm – ‘It’s been an eventful day.’ And it’s a shock when a rock troll on whose nose she’s hung a bell arrives tinkling at her door at midnight: ‘Now we must answer to cruel inevitability.’ But generally she finds her neighbours, whose discovery is the basis of her adventures, weird rather than malevolent, and realises that the crises of living together can be worked through if you approach them with good will, a courageous heart, a sense of irony, and faith in your friends. The world that Luke Pearson has created is fascinating, strange and droll, and Hilda is an appealing companion. The stories are strong enough and the humour subtle enough to be enjoyed by a wide age range. There is also Hilda and the Bird Parade in the same series, all handsomely produced by Flying Eye.