That’s sort of the way I see it to, only in reverse…
Grooving With Tina: Please forgive me, but once again, I’m interrupting this Velia page to bring up Tina’s Groove (I really wish someone could set up a special spot somewhere on this site for Tina comments; I feel rather awkward about doing it this way).
This week has been almost like a total reinvention of Tina’s basic set-up. The series has always been very funny, but grounded in reality. But this last week has seen the debut of classic visual cartoon tropes like the angel/devil on the shoulders and the heart-on-a-spring popping out… and Tina doing going ga-ga over a guy! I’m tempted to call this week a 21st Century take on Betty Boop! I’m not saying I don’t like it at all, I’m just stunned by the abrupt shift in tone. Clearly, the experiment of telling a longer story with Velia is beginning to be reflected now with Tina, but with a completely different approach as to style. Is it a test to see what the public reaction is, or maybe just a feeling that it’s time to switch things up a bit?
P.S. I do want to point out a bit of detail I loved in the Saturday strip – Devil Tina’s gown is more temptingly form-fitting than Angel Tina’s. No matter what the approach of this strip, I really do adore it!
Neil: “Tina” comments are more than welcome here, so fire away when you’ve got something to add! Anyway, the departure I see in “Tina’s Groove” is more about her character than anything. Readers have written in to tell me when the “smart” Tina was coming back! This series was a little experiment on my part — I asked “what if Tina fell ridiculously in love with a total slimy jerk?”… and that gave birth to the series (which is ending 1st wk in Jan. btw.)
As for the style — I don’t know if I can agree with you on this one, Neil — because if you look back to some old strips (before the present story) you’ll see a lot of playful cartoony things going on — like dogs using toilets; a customer without a head; a working dog sitting at a table having dinner, and more. I remember telling my editor Jay early on that I did not want the universe of “Tina’s Groove” to be too grounded in reality — I wanted to be able to stretch reality. (I once did a sunday where the consequences of Tina not forwarding a chain email — you know the kind — resulted in having the four horseman of the apocalypse show up outside her window..)
I think I’ve been doing it more during this series though — perhaps that’s it — there’s more of it than ever. Anyway, it’s interesting how being in a story dictates the types of gags I use.
And the devil’s dress — ha ha! you noticed she’s more curvy than the “good Tina” Angel!
Tony — in reverse? how in reverse…. if you see this reply please tell us what you mean…!
Rina – As as experiment, then certainly I want to see more of this type of storyline. You’re right in that the older strips did indeed feature many impossible things. I’ve read every Tina strip from day one, but most were only read once, amidst many other strips of the day, and I admit I don’t recall everything I saw, especially the one-day-only gags. I really have to buy the book from Amazon and relive many of those early days. And, of course, this has been the longest sustained story in Tina’s Groove history, so I didn’t really have any precedence by which to judge it.
I’m always happy to see you doing new things with the strip (I may be wrong, but I think this Noel story featured Tina’s first ever romantic embrace with a date!) because one must continue pushing boundaries in order to keep a series fresh and original. When I compared this current run to something out of Betty Boop, well, I don’t know of anyone who would seriously consider that an insult! It’s was meant more along the lines of ‘expanding the approach’, proving that Tina does have more emotions than just exasperation.
Anyway, I do indeed look forward to seeing the outcome of the serial, and I wish for more cute guys for Tina to wrestle with (and that can definitely include her getting pissed at ‘em as well as snuggling) as well as more ongoing bouts with the Peppers gang.
All right, I’ll go back to talking about Velia for another week or so
Neil, thanks so much. You’re not the first to make the “Betty Boop” parallel! (I’m a fan of Betty, and how appropriate is it that Tina and Betty both hail from the same syndicate!)
Luv the snowman with one eye and the other “X”ed out!
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