Hilda is a series of graphic novels by British cartoonist Luke Pearson and published by Nobrow Press under their children's imprint, Flying Eye Books.
All of the books revolve around the eponymous Hilda, a bright, adventurous young girl living out in the mountainous wilderness with her mom and deer-fox buddy, Twig.
So far, the series consists of:
- Hildafolk (originally published in 2010, and then reprinted in 2015 as Hilda and the Troll)
- Hilda and the Midnight Giant (published in 2012)
- Hilda and the Bird Parade (published in 2012)
- Hilda and the Black Hound (published in 2014)
- Hilda and the Stone Forest (published on September 1, 2016)
- Hilda and the Mountain King (to be published in 2019)
The series as a whole is noteworthy of being quite the audience and critic-favorite, praising its visuals and characters, particularly Hilda herself. The second and fourth books are noteworthy for being nominated and winning literature awards from the likes of British Comic Awards and the fourth book itself won the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids' Comics in the year 2015.
Netflix announced on June 2016 that an animated series based on the books was coming in 2018 from Silvergate Media and Mercury Filmworks* and released it on September 21, 2018. A second season was confirmed during the show's panel at New York ComicCon a few weeks later. Follow updates on the Netflix show here.
The Netflix animated series has its own page.
This page needs a LOT of Wiki Magic Love.
The Hilda series contains examples of these tropes:
- Art Evolution: A weird case. The tone, look, and feel is consistent throughout the books, but the differences in character appearances is very noticeable. Notice how Hilda◊, her mum◊, and Twig◊ visually change in the first three books. However, the designs start appearing more consistent starting with The Bird Parade.
- Black Bead Eyes: David has these eyes.
- Black Best Friend: Hilda gets one, Frida, when she moves to Trolberg.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Averted at first when the first book was titled Hildafolk, but starting with the Midnight Giant, this was played straight. (Eventually, Hildafolk got republished as Hilda and the Troll to retain consistency with the rest.)
- Cheerful Child: Hilda herself.
- Cool Pet: Hilda's deerfox, Twig.
- Disappeared Dad: Hilda doesn't really seem to have a father, with neither her nor her mother mentioning him.
- Free-Range Children: Hilda and her friends often roam wherever they want to.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: Twig is a creature called a deerfox.
- Nice Hat: Hilda consisently wears a cute French Beret.
- No Name Given: We still don't know Hilda's mum's name. The Netflix series says her name is Johanna.
- Norse by Norsewest: Trolberg is implied to be somewhere in Scandinavia. Word of God confirms that the comic is heavily inspired by one of the Pearsons' family holidays to Norway, as well as the works of Tove Jansson.
- Overprotective Mom: Hilda's mum. Can't really blame her though, considering how weird the world they live in can get.
- Plucky Girl: Hilda in spades.
- Scout-Out: Hilda, David, and Frida are all members of the Sparrow Scouts.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Hilda, David, and Frida.
- Two Girls and a Guy: Hilda, Frida, and David.
- World of Weirdness
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hilda has blue hair, though her mom's a brunette, so maybe it's dyed? Word of God sort of provided a Non-Answer when asked about it.The Bookworm Baby: Why the blue hair?Luke Pearson: Why is your hair the colour it is?
- All Trolls Are Different: Around here, trolls look like giant rocks.
- Bait-and-Switch: Just as it seems that the troll is going to eat Hilda, it turns out that it wanted to give her back her notebook.
- Book-Ends: The book begins and ends with Hilda at peace during a rainy night.
- Ironic Echo Cut: A variation of this occurs when Hilda and Twig encounter a Giant walking by.Hilda: A giant! I bet he knows where he's going.(cut to the giant's POV which shows him reading a map)Giant: Damn it! (looks behind him) Everything looks the same from up here...
- Orwellian Retcon: When it was first published, Twig was drawn with blue fur and a white underbelly, which was kept in the hardcover release of Hilda and the Troll. However, in the later paperback editions of Hilda and the Troll, Twig was recolored as white with little black spots on his back to retain consistency with the other books.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Hilda herself when it turns out that the ringing of the bell that she put on the troll is actually considered the worst kind of torture to trolls.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Actually subverted with the Midnight Giant itself. It's more of a "conversation with a fifty foot whatever" than anything really. He even has a proper name: Jorgen.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Midnight Giant and his girlfriend are reunited. But in their joy, they are blissfully unaware that they crushed Hilda and her mum's house, forcing them to relocate. However, Hilda brings back the idea of moving to the city, citing how it's not so quiet in the outside anymore.
- Brick Joke: When Hilda confronts the Mayor of the Hidden People, his fat cat sneaks into Hilda's hair. After Hilda uses this to her advantage to find out where the Prime Minister is, the cat ends up all skinny.◊ Much later, when Hilda feels itchy and thinks she has nits, it turns out the cat gave birth to kittens (or nittens)◊.
- Gentle Giant: The eponymous Midnight Giant, as it turns out.
- Invisible to Normals: The elves and their houses. Evidently, you can see them just fine as long as you fill out the proper paperwork.
- Meaningful Echo: After the house gets attacked by invisble elves, Hilda's mum tries to tell Hilda some of the perks of moving to the city. Much later on, when everything is said and done and their house gets crushed, Hilda uses the same perks that her mum used regarding moving to the city.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Hilda uses these on her mum after she brings up the suggestion that they'll have to move.
- The Reveal: The nearby mountain turns out to actually be not just a giant, but the Midnight Giant's girlfriend.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Mostly because your house accidentally got crushed by giants.
- Youthful Freckles: Hilda has these, but they don't appear in any of the later books...nor were they there in the first book.
- Identity Amnesia: After getting hit by a rock and falling, the raven Hilda befriends can't remember who he is. Not only that, but he also forgets how to fly.
- The Moving Experience: A variation of this trope is in play when the plot has Hilda, her mom, and Twig adjusting to moving into their new home at Trolberg after their first house got wrecked in The Midnight Giant.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Hilda's mom when Hilda gets a little too inquisitive about why she can't explore Trolberg with the same freedom as the outdoors. She immediately apologizes for it though.Mum: You're not going anywhere.Hilda: But WHY?Mum: BECAUSE I SAID SO!
- Tempting Fate: During his nervous breakdown, the raven insists that he be left for the cats. When Hilda leaves him, a bunch of cats are nearby, ready to pounce on him.
- Toothy Bird: Hilda's raven friend has teeth.
- Call-Back: Hilda's mum reuses the "Because I Said So" card on Hilda in this story after previously using it in The Bird Parade.
- Disapproving Look: A "precious stone" vendor gives one to Hilda when she just grabs a rock from the ground.
- Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: At the beginning of the book, Hilda is seen going on so many adventures that eventually she can't think of any more excuses. One evening when she comes home covered in slime, she just tells her mum: "Whatever you're thinking, it's not that".
- Shout-Out: There's a train in this page◊ that distinctly looks like an inanimate version of Thomas the Tank Engine.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Hilda sports one in this story.
- The Stinger: After the main events of the story, Hilda's mum discovers that Hilda has been replaced with a changeling when she tries to wake her up in the morning. Meanwhile, Hilda wakes up to discover that for some reason she's in a troll cave and has been transformed into a troll child.
- You Are Grounded: Played for Drama when Hilda's mum grounds Hilda for A) having one too many unsupervised adventures and B) her hurtful outburst.