Hilda: "Well, the wind shook the tent all night.. it was cold, wet... overall pretty traumatic.. but such is the life of an adventurer."
Hilda (also called Hildafolk) 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:
- Hilda and the Troll (originally published on November 14, 2010 as Hildafolk, and then reprinted in 2015 as Hilda and the Troll. Contains 2 stories)
- Hilda and the Midnight Giant (published in 2011)
- 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 (published on September 3, 2019. Some people got early access to it.)
- Hilda and Twig Hide from the Rain (TBA) - A spin-off aimed at younger audiences focused on Twig.
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, and released in December of 2020, while a movie based on the sixth and final novel was released in December of 2021. In November 2021, a third and final season was greenlit, and is scheduled for release in December of 2023. Follow updates on the Netflix show here.
The Netflix animated series, which ran from 2018 to 2023, has its own page.
The Hilda series contains examples of these tropes:
- Art Evolution: A weird case. The tone, look, and feel of the series 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, and were eventually solidified by The Black Hound.
- Black Bead Eyes: David has these eyes.
- 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.
- Citadel City: Trolberg is surrounded by a huge wall that was built to keep the Trolls from entering the city. The wall also has giant bell towers on top for the same purpose as well.
- Disappeared Dad: Hilda doesn't really seem to have a father, with neither her nor her mother mentioning him. The only time she expresses interest in having a father is after being transformed into a Troll in The Mountain King.
- Free-Range Children: Hilda and her friends often roam wherever they want to.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: Twig is a creature called a deerfox.
- No Name Given: We never learn Hilda's mum's name at any given point in the comics. 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.
- Signature Headgear: Hilda consistently wears a cute French beret.
- World of Weirdness: Hilda's whole world is filled with various supernatural creatures running about. Some of them tend to show up in Trolberg. Such as the Great Raven, and the gigantic Black Hound.