The Manchester (Conn) Journal Inquirer introduced a new comic strip today.
For 20 years Somers resident Bob Raina had been sitting on the idea of doing a comic strip. With Mark Mancini, he fulfilled a longtime dream with his strip, “Nutz,” premiering today in the Journal Inquirer. The strip will be a weekly feature.
He has also done illustrations for the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and released one illustrated children’s book, “There’s a Monster in my Tummy.”
“I found myself stuck in a place where I couldn’t get a part-time job,” he said. “My wife is a teacher. It was a struggle, but we made it through. It gave me the extra time to revisit art I hadn’t done in years.”
Inspired by the comic strips of his youth when he was a paperboy, he said, like “Peanuts,” “Garfield,” and “Mother Goose and Grimm,” he created Squirrel.
“People assume his name is Nutz,” Raina said. “It’s Squirrel. There is no name.”
Squirrel’s sidekick, though, does have a name.
“Acorn Cornelius, ‘Corny’ for short,” Raina said. “It’s a funny name.
“Bob called me one day and asked if I wanted to take part,” co-writer Mancini, a part-time JI sports staffer, said. “He’s very talented. I pitch in here and there. He’s so generous making it sound 50/50, but he’s the man behind it. I try to inject as much humor into it as I can.”
For now, “Nutz” is intended to run as a weekly comic, but Raina said he hopes one day he’ll have enough time and ideas to make it a daily and eventually, if readership picks up, become a syndicated strip.
by Bob Raina (creator/cartoonist)
and Mark Mancini (co-writer)
September 10, 2021 –
(Manchester, Conn) Journal Inquirer