Some readers have asked me where Tina and Mouse comes from, so this post expands a little on my initial answer to "Why the blog?", which was simply that writing these comic strips is fun. Those who asked about Tina and Mouse's origins already know what follows. For those who may wonder, here it goes:
I love cartoons. I grew up with Mafalda, Peanuts! and The New Yorker. I love the pitch-perfect, intelligent wording; the deceptively simple drawings that capture with a few strokes every action and emotion; the out-of-this-world creativity and imagination; the unexpected twist in punch lines; the often irreverent, thought-provoking or funny-in-a-strange-sort-of-way funniness; the references that need to be recognized for the cartoon to actually work. I even love "head-scratching cartoons"*, those that are just too sophisticated, or too unusual or unexpected, and challenge us to think and rethink things before we go "Oh, I get it, that's good!".
Against this cartoon-loving background, sometime ago I stumbled upon an advertisement on a translation-related LinkedIn thread. It was so impossibly absurd I started laughing, until I realized it wasn't a translation joke some fellow linguist had posted for our enjoyment, but a real-life, dead-serious advertisement. The next second, the idea and characters for the first Tina and Mouse comic strip were born**. Being decidedly ungifted for drawing, all I could manage was the very limited artwork you see in this blog ("minimalist", a friend of mine* called it, which sounds so much better). I thought that would be that, but I kept having new ideas for additional strips and having fun writing them. I showed them to a few translator and PM friends, and they laughed. "You should start a blog", one of them suggested.
So this is it. Cartoon lover. Absurd advertisement. Tina and Mouse. The blog. I hope you're enjoying it. Thanks for visiting!
* I discovered Gary Larson through my friend Jaime, comic addict and Tina and Mouse fan (thank you, Jaime). In his introduction to The Complete Far Side, Larson's editor Jake Morrissey writes about "head-scratchers, those readers who didn't quite understand The Far Side every day". I've borrowed the concept from him.
** No, the first Tina and Mouse strip I wrote hasn't been published yet.