Why does Heart Of The City look weird now? Who’s drawing Heart Of The City?


OK, it doesn’t look weird, yet. But for once I’m ahead of the search queries to my blog and I’m enjoying that.

As per D D Degg’s article in The Daily Cartoonist, the comic strip Heart of the City has a new cartoonist. Christina Stewart takes over the strip starting the 27th of April. She’s the creator of a fantasy graphic novel, Archival Quality, which I haven’t read but do see good things about. Her art blog, on tumblr, also looks quite good. She doesn’t intend to draw the strip the way its originator, Mark Tatulli, has.

Tatulli, meanwhile, intends to keep on drawing Lio, and to focus on his own graphic novels. But, also, if you wondered why this week Heart has been looking over photo albums, we have an explanation.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

13 thoughts on “Why does Heart Of The City look weird now? Who’s drawing Heart Of The City?”

  1. Sorry, no offense but I don’t like the new format at all and don’t read it anymore after years of doing so. It just looks like a completely different comic strip now. At least when Dagwood changed artists he stayed the same. Who could imagine a different Blondie?

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    1. Oh, absolutely no offense to me; outside extremely broad guidelines I won’t dispute someone’s preference for one art style over another. And if Steenz is reading stray blogs for comments about her work, she’s braved far worse than “I don’t like it”.

      I do think Steenz’s style is better suited to graphic novels (her previous gig) than daily comics, which you can see in how the colorized dailies on GoComics are so much easier to read than the black-and-white originals. But that’s a matter of practicing the difference between full-color and black-and-white comics and I imagine Steenz is working to better that. (And since I read it online anyway, that difference is not really something I have to worry about.).

      Comic strip art styles do change, of course. Usually this is a more gradual evolution, typically seeing characters get to be drawn more simply and more rounded off. Sometimes it is radical, though; a Peanuts or Beetle Bailey of 1951 just does not look like it’s from the same hand as their 1961 counterparts, and that without even a change in artist. The most dramatic recent changes were, I’d say, Olivia Jaimes taking over Nancy, and June Brigman taking over the drawing of Mary Worth. Both of those you can say were getting back to older art styles of the original comics, but they are also both striking sudden changes.

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  2. ya…i love this strip like i do all the others. i loved the original design for this. but like some of my fave 80s shows..they killed it. i hate it now. i mean they murdered the strip NANCY too. seen that? i wish they would fix this strip back to the way it was 😦

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    1. I’m sorry you aren’t enjoying it. I’m still adjusting to the new character designs — I don’t feel they read cleanly enough in black-and-white, though the color dailies are fine — but have enjoyed the expansion of the cast, particularly. But I do understand not caring for the new style in art or writing.

      Still, no cartoonist will be around forever, except Hy Eisman, and as long as Steenz (and Olivia Jaimes) keep their strips going, perhaps their successors will be ones you enjoy more.

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  3. I loved heart of the City, it was one of my favorites, and a big reason for that was the artwork. I have no feel for it now, it doesn’t seem like the same strip at all. I wish he had dumped Lio and kept “Heart” instead. As for “Nancy”, it was stuck in the 1940s forever and needed an update badly, but the thing is, it wasn’t funny before and isn’t funny now. I still miss a favorite strip from years ago–Nina Paley’s “Fluff.” I loved that strip! My current favorite is “Macanudo.”

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    1. It probably is fair to consider Heart of the City a new strip now, that happens to have the same (core) cast as the earlier one. I like Steenz’s take on the characters, but understand them not being to everyone’s taste, especially in black-and-white.

      Nancy I like — old and new — but would agree that it’s more often wry than hilarious.

      Macanudo, now, that’s an excellent choice for favorite strip. It’s got a wonderful loopy, expressive energy and is fantastic fun to look at. I should take a publication slot sometime and write up its praises here.

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    2. Macanudo escapes most days……I’m too old maybe to figure out what’s going on. I hated the new Heart…I couldn’t tell who was who, they all looked alike. No doubt being black & white was the reason. Now it’s back like it was…why did it change back? Did Mr. Tatulli take it over?

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      1. Steenz’s Heart of the City is certainly easier to read in color (I find the same true for Jules Rivera’s Mark Trail).

        This past week Heart of the City has been in repeats. All cartoonists deserve a break; I’m just surprised they wet to a Mark Tatulli sequence, when Steenz has had several years to build up back strips. It might be she didn’t have a one-week sequence that could be slotted in without messing up any ongoing stories, though. I don’t know.

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        1. i hate it i hate it hate it omg i just fking hate this new strip. it was so much happier an cuter..FUNNIER…before they let some chick take it over an make it look stupid, god this makes me soooo upset. looks like a bad sci fi trip or something. almost as bad as the atrocity an butchering of the old she ra show 😦 sorry

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        2. Ultimately there isn’t arguing with taste; if one doesn’t enjoy something one doesn’t enjoy it. I agree the comic strip isn’t as funny as it had been when Tatulli wrote and drew it; but Steenz has chosen to make the strip more nearly a story comic, and expanded the cast. The change is reasonable (and many comics, from Gasoline Alley through to Funky Winkerbean, made a similar change towards ongoing stories), and I don’t feel the cast is overloaded yet.

          Of course the original strip is untouched; GoComics has strips dating back to 1999 in its archive. Nearly all of the Tatulli run is well-represented and ready to be appreciated again. GoComics doesn’t seem interested anymore in doing “classic” reprints, running comic strip from its beginnings at a strip a day, it’s available. And, perhaps, when Steenz decides she has had enough of the work, she’ll turn the comic over to creators closer to your tastes.

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