One of the challenges in presenting Villain in the Moominhouse was acquiring images good enough to project onto a large screen. The Moomin Museum in Tampere provided immense and invaluable assistance here, rooting out the original slides taken by Per Olov Jansson for the book. That’s the actual slide reel pictured above.

But in some cases, the originals had deteriorated or – more alarmingly – were actually missing in a few cases. Fortunately, I had acquired copies of the 1980 original book in Finnish and the 2010 Swedish edition, and was able to take a few scans from each. But that in turn led to an interesting discovery: there are different photos in different editions.

The original was presented in A4 format, whilst the later impression was a much smaller, almost square book. Many of the pictures had been severely cropped to fit, and someone had definitely ramped up the saturation on almost every image.

Sometimes, the differences were subtle:


In this early image, we see slightly different positioning of little My. The earlier one is more subtle, to my eye.


This is a more marked difference. The camera angle is higher and the debris from the chair are differently positioned, with Little My’s face being obscured in the original. It’s possible that the second image was chosen to make her character more visible?


Again, only a slight difference in shots here.


This is an interesting one, in that it looks to be a different model of Moominpappa in the second image – look at the eyes and the hat, and the right hand. This is possible, though – the Moominhouse isn’t the only model in the Moomin Museum; there’s a great model of the Ocean Orchestra, so it’s possible that different models were used for some shots.


This is the most interesting one. The second photo shows Too-Ticky playing her barrel organ, as described in the text; but the 1980 book showed a different image. Possibly this was chosen to show the Moomin family together – in the later image, Moominmamma and Moominpappa are obscured by the door. This was one of the missing slides, so we might never answer this one…

What prompted the changes? Commercial reasons in some cases, perhaps, but the most likely reason is the state of the negatives. Which is going to make things interesting when it’s time to publish the English edition….