Luke Pearson and London's Flying Eye Books have published the fourth Hildafolk kids' graphic novel, Hilda and the Black Hound. Like the earlier volumes (reviews: Hildafolk and Hilda and the Midnight Giant and Hilda and the Bird Parade), it's nothing less than magical, a Miyazaki-meets-Moomin story that is beautifully drawn and marvellously told.
In Hilda and the Black Hound, Hilda and her mom are now living in the big city, and Hilda's become a scout. But scouting and her relationship with her mom are both disrupted by the appearance of a huge, mysterious black hound that terrorizes the town -- and this seems somehow related to the sudden explosion of homeless Nisse -- house spirits who live in the cracks in the walls and behind bookshelves.
Like the other Hilda volumes, Black Hound deals with some important and serious themes, including compassion, fear and independence. And as in the other volumes, these themes are gracefully worked into the storyline in a way that pleases both kids and their grownups, as you can see from my daughter's review, above.
There's just enough scariness in this story to be delicious and thrilling; just enough pathos to make the happy ending shine. The Hilda comics are genuinely great. As with all Flying Eye books, the actual physical object matches the content for craftsmanship and beauty -- an oversized hardcover with heavy pages and beautiful colors.
This volume is out in the UK now, and it will be out in the USA on May 13.
Hilda and the Black Hound
In November, Bruce Sterling published “Pirate Utopia,” a dieselpunk novella set in the real, historical, bizarre moment in which the city of Fiume became an autonomous region run by artists and revolutionaries, whose philosophies ran the gamut from fascism to anarcho-syndicalism to socialism.
Randal Munroe nails it again in an XKCD installment that expresses the likelihood that your houseguests will be able to connect to your wifi (I confess to having been the “firmware” guide — but also, having been reminded to do something about my own firmware when other difficult houseguests came to stay).
Rainey from EFF writes, “EFF just launched a new video about its efforts to encrypt the web. It features bestselling author Baratunde Thurston explaining why encryption matters and two simple ways to ensure the web we love is encrypted.”
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