ALS [with] 8 Puffin Moomin Books [and] 156 Moomin newspaper clippings

A grouping of Tove Jansson items from the collection of American cartoonist and science fiction writer Ray Nelson (1931- 2022), including an ALS from Jansson to Nelson, clippings of the Moomin comic strip in English and Norwegian, and Puffin editions of eight of the nine novels in Jansson’s Moomin series (lacking only the first book,The Moomins and the Great Flood, not translated into English until 2005). Jansson’s 1959 letter graciously answers a previous offer from Nelson to translate the Moomin strips into English, informing him that English- lettered versions of the strips already exist and are distributed by her agent at Associated Newspapers in London. She notes that they have tried to place the strip in American papers, “but with poor result,” and informs him about the strips’ publication in book form and the Moomin novels’ publication in English. Nelson is perhaps best known for having co-authored the 1967 science fiction novel The Ganymede Takeover with Philip K. Dick, a close friend of his from childhood. Nelson’s 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” was adapted by John Carpenter in 1988 for the film They Live. As Jansson’s letter predates the books in this grouping (and presumably the newspaper clippings), it appears that Nelson enjoyed a continuing fascination with the Finnish writer and illustrator’s most beloved creation.

Individual items as follow: 1) Comet in Moominland, Finn Family Moomintroll, Exploits of Moominpapa, Moominsummer Madness, Moominland Midwinter, Tales From Moomin Valley, Moominpappa at Sea, Moominvalley in November. London: Puffin Books, 1961-1974. 8 vols., mass-market paperbacks with illustrated wrappers. Four first Puffin printings (Finn Family Moomintroll, Tales From Moomin Valley, Moominpappa at Sea, and Moominvalley in November), else reprints thus. All very good or better, with occasional light crimping and creasing to corners. 2) ALS from Jansson to Ray Nelson. Both sides with autograph text, dated “4.3.59.” With several folds, corner creases and light toning. Good or better. 3) 139 newspaper clippings of Moomin comic strips. 28 in Norwegian and 121 in English (from UK papers), with penned at base of one of the English strips: “Ray - one or two missing. And probably not in order. Still, I hope they’re ok. -Ron [or perhaps Ren?].” Norwegian strips folded vertically at center. All toned to varying degrees. Good to good very good. In legal-sized envelope, heavily creased, addressed to “Mr. Walter H. Nelson,” with “Moomin” penciled on front and rear; rear also features two lines of a musical score in pencil.

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