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Revision as of 10:49, 7 August 2013

Nina McMurray
Desc nina.jpg
First appearance in comic

First appearance with dialog


May 13, 1879
Place of Birth

Cork, Ireland
Age at start of comic

Family Rocky (nephew)
Children Freckle

Jeannine[1] "Nina" McMurray[2] is Freckle's mother and Rocky's aunt. She first appears in "Reciprocity" and is inadvertently responsible for Freckle's later involvement with Lackadaisy.

In the comic

Volume 1

In "Reciprocity", Rocky visits Nina and Freckle to drop off laundry with Nina. In exchange she asks Rocky to bring Freckle with him while he runs errands, explaining that Freckle has been depressed since an "incident" during his training to become a police officer.

That night, in "Dysphoria", Nina sympathizes with a restless Freckle, telling him that he will feel better once he has found a steady job. When his restlessness, manifested by a desire to fix things around the home, becomes irksome, Nina orders Freckle to bed. Freckle later takes his Lackadaisy pin and sneaks out of the house.

The next morning, in "Daybreak", Rocky visits, and Nina tells him that Freckle is in bed. After Nina tells him to wake Freckle up so that he can find work, Rocky states that he has found a job for Freckle.

Volume 2

Rocky encounters Nina after leaving Freckle's bedroom in "Somersault". Rocky claims that Freckle will be working as an "errand boy of sorts" at Little Daisy. His glib responses to her questions result in her pushing him down the stairs, after which she tells him that if he really loves Freckle he will keep Freckle out of trouble.

In "Homestead", Ivy horrifies Rocky and Freckle by asking whether she will get to meet Nina, as they are parked outside the McMurray House. Freckle enters his home in "Correspondence", and is questioned by Nina as to his activities during the day.

After Rocky is injured during the events in Defiance, Ivy suggests in "Breakdown" that she could drive Rocky to Nina's house. Rocky is unenthused by this idea, and discusses how he is barely tolerated by Nina, though he used to be welcome in her home. Rocky suggests that he was responsible for some problems that occurred while he lived there, and that there was another incident that he took responsibility for, resulting in his being kicked out for the good of Freckle.


Nina is witness to the aftermath of the incident that leads to Freckle receiving his nickname in "Baldface".

Nina once witnessed Rocky getting a sugar high off pancakes to the point that she moved him outside for the rest of the day and stated to Freckle that they would have oatmeal for breakfast in the future. She later found Rocky digging an extensive hole amongst her shrubs. This incident is depicted in "Pancakes".

When Rocky and Freckle were children, Nina spoke to them of the glories of St. Patrick's Day, as shown in "Shenanigans". She then promptly disabused them of such fanciful notions and brought them to church. If she is not currently religious, she is not above using religion to make Freckle feel guilty, as evidenced in "Correspondence".

Tracy depicted Nina for the first time in "Slipshod", in which she comes upon Rocky and Freckle burying Sammy Scruggs among her rhododendrons.


Nina is depicted in color in "Preview 0027".

Nina was born on May 13, 1879 in Cork, Ireland, making her 48 years old at the time of the comic. She is strongly Irish-Catholic.[1][2][3] According to Tracy, Nina's voice would be, "Overtly Irish, with that up-swinging lilt at the end of almost every sentence, making declarative statements sound more like questions…or in her case, righteous rhetorical interrogation. When speaking to Rocky, she would tend to sound exasperated".[4] Her family emigrated to the United States around 1895.[5]

She has a little bit of experience playing the piano and violin, though not recently. According to Tracy, Nina did not complete her primary education. Nina might have voted for Al Smith, the Democratic candidate during the 1928 presidential election, because he was Catholic, though she would have disagreed with some of his social policies.[1] She is a non-smoker.[6] Nina is active in the church and in local politics. She runs a small home business and has occasionally worked as a part-time florist or doing other work.[7]

Nina seems to have a very stern demeanor, and appears to regard Rocky as somewhat of a ne'er-do-well, often being suspicious of his motives.[8] Nina once spoke to Rocky and Freckle of the glories of St. Patrick's day...then promptly brought them to church.[9] She seems to be somewhat more kindly disposed towards Freckle, though that may be because he is her son while Rocky is her nephew.

Nina's husband was named Carroll. He died of mundane causes.[1] Nina's marriage was based more out of tradition and pragmatism than passion. Sophie, her sister (Rocky's mother), was less traditional, and Nina did not approve of her marriage. Nina and Ransom (Rocky's father) did not get along, which created some distance between Nina and Sophie.[4] Tracy elaborated on this further, stating that Sophie and Nina clung to each other a bit while adjusting to life in the United States. Additionally, Nina was the older sister, and it probably stung that she could not prevent Sophie from making the poor, in her opinion, decision to marry Ransom.[7]


Nina is depicted as a human in "Counterpart".



Nina is Freckle's mother. She is inadvertently responsible for Freckle's involvement with Lackadaisy, as she suggests that Rocky take Freckle with him when Rocky goes to "run errands", believing this might help Freckle with his depression over being kicked out of the police academy.[10]

Though Nina appears to care for Freckle's well-being, she is also willing to invoke religion to make him feel guilty when she believes he may be deceiving her.[11]

Tracy has noted that Nina has witnessed Freckle showing some instability, but has never seen it at its worst.[12]


Nina is Rocky's aunt. While she is willing to do his laundry, there appears to be little love lost between them. In "Somersault", Nina essentially informs Rocky that Freckle is the only person who cares for him; as far as she is concerned Rocky has "already squandered (his) second chances". Nina is the only person to refer to Rocky by his real first name, Roark, though this may be due to other characters not being aware of Rocky's real name.

Rocky has not been fully honest with Nina regarding his occupation; she believes he plays the violin for a living.[10] When Rocky decides to involve Freckle with Lackadaisy, he similarly lies to Nina, claiming he will be working as an errand boy for Little Daisy.[13]

In "Breakdown" Rocky explains his relationship with Nina to Ivy; when he was young the McMurray House often was more of a home for him than his own home, but over time Rocky was responsible for several minor incidents that had caused problems. Eventually there was a larger situation that Rocky took responsibility for, and he was subsequently kicked out, in part so that Freckle could focus on school without Rocky's distractions.


In regards to reader questions about how Nina and Freckle sustain themselves, Tracy has stated that Nina's husband left Nina and Freckle a small pension. Additionally Nina has held a number of part-time jobs since Mr. McMurray's death, and Nina also does some work as a seamstress. Nina and Freckle are essentially lower-middle class.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Forum post by Tracy - January 27, 2011
  2. ^ Character Profile Page
  3. ^ Forum FAQ
  4. ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - October 6, 2009
  5. ^ Forum post by Tracy - December 9, 2012
  6. ^ Forum post by Tracy - September 9, 2009
  7. ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - December 9, 2012
  8. ^ "Daybreak"
  9. ^ "Shenanigans"
  10. ^ a b "Reciprocity"
  11. ^ "Correspondence"
  12. ^ a b Forum post by Tracy - February 24, 2011
  13. ^ "Somersault"