Charming all-ages comics that teach important lessons about gender -- while not actually being about gender at all -- are a unique and powerful thing. Luke Pearson’s Hilda books from Nobrow Press/Flying Eye Books are stories about a young girl named Hilda. She could have been any gender at all within the framework of the plots, but the choice to have a female lead in these stories serves a powerful purpose that extends beyond the page.
The title of the first book in the series, Hildafolk, is a play on the Icelandic huldufólk. Huldufólk are elves in Icelandic mythology thought to live in the rocky landscape: they sometimes had tiny houses built for them by Icelanders. The main character of Hildafolk is a young girl named Hilda who lives in a rocky, mountainous area with her mom and her pet fox-with-antlers, Twig. Quite quickly, Hilda’s world is established with a population of mythical creatures. Hilda is a risk-taker and wants to explore her world; she clearly considers herself an adventurer as well as a documentarian.