Sheila Heti at The New Yorker:
In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, one of the most famous cartoonists in the world was a lesbian artist who lived on a remote island off the coast of Finland. Tove Jansson had the status of a beloved cultural icon—adored by children, celebrated by adults. Before her death, in 2001, at the age of eighty-six, Jansson produced paintings, novels, children’s books, magazine covers, political cartoons, greeting cards, librettos, and much more. But most of Jansson’s fans arrived by way of the Moomins, a friendly species of her invention—rotund white creatures that look a little like upright hippos, and were the subject of nine best-selling books and a daily comic strip that ran for twenty years.
Jansson travelled frequently to conduct her duties as the ambassador of Moominvalley, mingling at parties where businessmen wore Moomin ties.