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Rina Piccolo is a Canadian cartoonist, best known for her comic strip Tina's Groove, distributed by King Features Syndicate from 2002 to 2017. She has been a professional cartoonist for more than two decades and recently gained recognition as an author of short stories.

Life & Career Edit

Born and raised in Toronto, Piccolo began her career in 1989 when her first cartoon submission was accepted by Now magazine. According to Piccolo, her "early acceptance gave me a false sense of how hard the next years were going to be. It was followed by trillions of rejections."[1][2]

The magazine Comic Relief published her cartoons during the early 1990s. Starting in 2000 she was the "Wednesday chick" on King Features’ daily Six Chix strip, a position she held through October 2016. In 2002, Piccolo launched Tina's Groove, about Tina, a single, attractive and self-aware waitress who works at Pepper's Restaurant. Over its 15-year run, the strip was published in newspapers throughout the United States and Canada. Working six days a week, she draws the comics on alternate days. She talked about gag writing in a 2003 online chat: "I discover Six Chix gags when I’m fishing for Tina’s Groove gags…I do my writing for both strips at the same time, usually two to three days a week."[2] Tina's Groove ended its run in July 2017.[3]

In May 2010, Piccolo started a webcomic, Velia, Dear. Published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Velia, Dear is about a young Toronto woman who lives with her conservatively Catholic mother and is dating a Jewish boyfriend.[4] The strip went on indefinite hiatus in February 2012.

Piccolo has stepped in as a guest cartoonist on Hilary Price's Rhymes with Orange twice, as she discussed in 2010 with Michael Cavna of Comic Riffs:

"I don't know if I'm a better gag writer than I was eight years ago, but I've certainly written and drawn more gags since then, so I can say I've practiced my socks off, and know this stuff better than I ever have. And yes, I also know Hilary's slant on things, her voice as a gag writer, from reading her stuff all these years. She's grown as a cartoonist, too! So when I say that my first RWO stint wasn't "up to snuff", it's simply my neurotic self talking. You might say I had stagefright back then, and maybe now that I seem to be more aware of my work—and certainly more practiced—the stagefright is no longer an issue. I've gained some degree of confidence."[5]

She has also created drawings for books, cartoon anthologies, greeting cards and magazines, including Parade and The New Yorker. She lives in Queens with her husband, Brendan Burford, and their canary, Olive.[6]

Awards & RecognitionEdit

Piccolo's art was featured in the 2002 exhibition She Draws Comics. Her story, "The Dinner Plan", was a finalist in Narrative magazine's Spring 2011 short story contest.[7] The Fall 2011 issue of Narrative published her story, "Takeout".[8]

BooksEdit

  • Stand Back, I Think I’m Gonna Laugh (Laugh Lines, 1994)
  • Kicking the Habit: Cartoons about the Catholic Church (Laugh Lines, 1996)
  • Rina’s Big Book of Sex Cartoons (Laugh Lines, 1997)
  • The Trouble With Men: A Wickedly Funny Analysis of Male Behavior with Kitty Mancini (Chamisa, 1997)
  • Tina’s Groove: A Cartoon Collection (Andrews McMeel, 2006)
  • Quirky Quarks: A Cartoon Guide to the Fascinating Realm of Physics with Benjamin Bahr and Boris Lemmer (Springer, 2016) 

Anthology Reprints Edit

External LinksEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. McLeod, Susanna. "Rina Piccolo, Creator of Tina's Groove and One of Six Chix," April 16, 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Washington Post Online Chat, June 2003.
  3. "Farewell, Tina", RinaPiccolo.com. Published 24 Jun 2017.
  4. Baute, Nicole. "Homesick cartoonist draws Toronto". Toronto Star, May 23, 2010.
  5. Cavna, Michael. Comic Riffs: Rhymes with Orange: Rina Piccolo fills us in on her Hilary Price fill-in". Washington Post, August 30, 2010.
  6. Lynch, Mike. "A Visit to Rina Piccolo's Studio," August 8, 2006.
  7. Narrative, Spring 2011.
  8. Narrative, Fall 2011.
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