For the past few years, Luke Pearson’s Hilda books have been a hidden gem within the comics world, that only an enlightened few seemed to be aware of. However with our favourite blue haired troll botherer now having a hit animated series on Netflix, it seem that the whole world is getting in on the act. And so what better time for Pearson to release a new volume of Scandi scampery.
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Writer: Luke Pearson
Artist: Luke Pearson
Price: £16.99 from nobrow.net
For those not in the know, Hilda is a young girl who lives with her mother, and half deer half fox pet Twig, in the city of Trollberg (which is a kind of contemporary Scandi city filled with mystical creatures). At the end of the last volume (Hilda and the Stone Forest), she found herself turned into a troll and whisked from her home back to the troll forest.
This new volume picks up the action immediately after this switch and sees Hilda attempting to escape the mountain kingdom and return home to her mother. While her bewildered Mum attempts to cope with a baby troll now living in her house.
While Hilda books all have this relentless energy and enthusiasm for life, Hilda and The Mountain King is backed up with a real emotional depth, thanks to the glorious relationship between Hilda and her mother. While in previous volumes this has been strained (as her mother attempted to curb her daughter’s more outrageous antics) the realisation that neither can manage without the other really tugs at the heart strings. Which gives Hilda and the Mountain King one of the most wonderful emotional cores that any of the Hilda books have managed so far.
Alongside this wonderful relationship is the usual incredible artwork and glorious characterisation that we have come to know and love with the Hilda books. The characters are top drawer, especially the bizarre trolls and craggy mountain king. Pearson’s style evokes memories of classic Scandi books like the Moomins, along with the expressive style of European comics and the wistfulness of a Studio Ghibli animation. It is also dripping with contemporary cool thanks to a paired back colour scheme which make it feel like the ultimate in hipster comic book chic.
Pearson’s’ densely panelled pages make every spread a glorious and frenetic delight that draws you into Hilda’s world effortlessly and once you are in you won’t ever want to escape. Hilda and The Mountain King is another slice of comic perfection, and if this is your first journey to the world of Trollberg, then it won’t be your last!