Tina Reaches the End of Her Groove
by BK Munn
Cartoonist Rina Piccolo announced today that she is ending her long-running syndicated newspaper strip Tina’s Groove to begin a full-time collaboration with Hilary Price on her strip, Rhymes with Orange. Piccolo has been a guest-contributor to Price’s strip but was approached recently with the idea of a permanent spot. “Hilary asked if I would join her in drawing and writing Rhymes With Orange. And I said yes,” writes Piccolo. Both strips are distributed by King Features.
Claiming the burden of maintaining two syndicated strips would be too much of a workload, Piccolo regrettably is shutting down her Tina strip, which she began in 2002:
“Choosing between Rhymes With Orange and Tina’s Groove was a difficult decision to make, but because of my inclination towards single panel work, I did not have to think long about it. This is not to say that Tina’s Groove was unenjoyable. Quite the opposite. Tina’s Groove was a gas to work on! I mean the way I feel about it, Tina was my baby— and there are few projects in your life that you can say that about. In fact, the one and only thing that could pry me away from Tina is a chance to do single panels full time, every single day of my life. You could say that Hilary’s offer was a kind of miracle. Like I mentioned, although I like many categories of cartooning, gag panel work has always been my preference. Friends have told me that it is my strength — a sort of “true calling.” I know that sounds a little flaky, but if there is such a thing as a “true calling,” then this is mine.”
The end of Tina’s Groove, focusing on the life of the titular sarcastic waitress, has been in the planning stages for two years now, says Piccolo, who urges readers to stay tuned for the final wrap-up of her “baby” over the coming weeks.