You Don’t Know Me: Bernard Caleo on How Moomins Help Us to Appreciate Sadness

Bernard Caleo on How Moomins Help Us to Appreciate Sadness

Ever since he met Tove Jansson’s Moomins lurking in the corner of the Northcote Library in 1973, Bernard Caleo has been comforted and haunted by these large-snouted, pig-like, adventurous, bohemian, lonely characters. He’s not the only one – since Jansson’s The Moomins and the Great Flood was first published in 1945, the series has spawned nine books, a comic strip, multiple television series, a Finnish theme park and a legion of fans of all ages.

What is it about the Moomins that has so enchanted multiple generations of readers? Bernard reckons it might just have something to do with the emotional gulf between Jansson’s  words and her exquisite line drawings. Join Bernard for a magical and surprising illustrated talk, as he shares his thoughts about how the Moomins help us to appreciate sadness.


Portrait of Bernard Caleo

Bernard Caleo

Bernard Caleo is a comic book communicator. He makes comics, publishes comics, teaches about comics and preaches about comics. He published the romance comics anthology Tango from 1997 to 2009. With filmmaker Daniel Hayward, he made the feature documentary Graphic Novels! Melbourne! in 2012, and they have presented the film in Australia, Europe and the USA.