1. She yelled at the heart for getting too close. So it put on a mask, but is fuming about it.

  2. Lio has a huge unrequited crush on this girl (I think her name is Eva-Marie, but don’t quote me on that). It’s a long-running bit that he expresses his feelings to her through a cartoon heart (since the strip is 95% non-verbal), and she does something terrible to the heart as rejection. In this case she’s simply enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing.

  3. Boy was I confused there for a sec — I saw Arthur’s comment before I saw the actual strip, and his use of “heart” primed me to think “Heart of the City”, and I was so confused! Why is Tatulli still drawing “Heart of the City”? And didn’t they grow to be teenagers awhile back? So it wasn’t until like the second or third pass through that I finally was able to say, wait a minute, this Tatulli’s other strip, this is not “Heart”, now, what’s going on in the strip again…?

  4. Tatulli quit Heart of the City a while back. There is a new cartoonist at the helm, “Steenz”.

  5. Somewhere there was a little sidebar feature on how Steenz worked out the look for each character, including early sketches.

  6. Mitch: “And the new look for Heart is *utterly* different!”
    Which is why I was so confused until my brain caught up!

  7. I disagree with that. It takes right up from Tatulli’s age-leap, so a group of middle-school kids. Dean is still a big Star Wars fan, Heart a theater nerd. If Tatulli were drawing this with the exact same plot and dialog, almost no one would be complaining.

  8. If Tatulli had stayed, there would at least have been continuity. And presumably wouldn’t have radically changed both the drawing and writing style. Or the sudden addition of new characters.

    It goes back to the question: if you have Grandpa’s axe, but you replace the handle, and you later replace the blade, is it still Grandpa’s axe?

  9. @ B.A. – I remember reading(*) that in Japan, if a wooden temple burnt down, but was rebuilt exactly the same as before, then the building is still the same one, and counts as having the same age as the predecessor.
    P.S. (*) – Probably in “The Roads to Sata”, by Alan Booth – a wonderful book! I wish I still had the copy I borrowed from my dad.

  10. Wow — another person who read and enjoyed “Roads to Sata.” What an amazing little “place” this blog is.

  11. The ancient Greek version was the Ship of Theseus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

    Nice to see in this article a mention of other versions, which includes the one introduced by B.A. “The paradox had been discussed by other ancient philosophers such as Heraclitus and Plato prior to Plutarch’s writings,[8] and more recently by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Several variants are known, including the grandfather’s axe, which has had both head and handle replaced.”

  12. There’s a modern version hanging as a poster somewhere in my father’s office:
    An airplane is merely a large collection of replacement parts flying in very close formation.

  13. Adding a few new characters means a replacement of the whole thing? No. The stars are Heart, Kat, Dean, and Heart’s mother. All have appeared. Those are the focus. If you look back at Tatulli’s version after the age-jump, he introduced new characters.

    As far as the artwork, there’s two ways to go. You could do a BC or Blondie, and have new artists try to emulate, or let the new person find her own path. What does that matter?

  14. Kilby: I hadn’t heard about the Japanese temple getting burnt down, but it sounds similar to this temple, which is either 1000+ years old, or which has never lasted for more than 20 years, depending on your perspective.

  15. Kilby, don’t quote me on this, but I think Greek temples used the same “the new temple is still the old temple” convention.

  16. BTW, does this “Is it the same strip?” discussion have repercussions back to the [musically presented!] “Did he jump or was he pushed?” question?

  17. B.A.: “Kilby, don’t quote me on this, but I think Greek temples used the same ‘the new temple is still the old temple’ convention.”

    Sorry. . .

  18. CIDU Bill, I enjoyed the clip, and will take it as gospel that there is a musical subcategory of “astrobilly”. And I took it as asking the “Did he jump or was he pushed?” question as applied to whether Tatulli leaving “Heart of the City” was totally, genuinely, sincerely voluntary. Which fans did ask and fuss over.
    But that aspect didn’t seem to be getting debate here, despite the prompt of the song. Or … wait a minute! … maybe this excursion into “It’s really like a whole new comic strip” is a displaced form of arguing “.. and it shouldn’t have been taken from him”. And that’s what my question was — is this debate a displaced form of that other debate?

  19. Mitch, you might be crediting (blaming?) me for putting more thought into it than I actually did: somebody said he quit, and my mind simply went to “Did He Jump or Was He Pushed?”

    (“Pushed,” of course)

  20. He says that he just didn’t have time for two strips anymore, and had kind of run out of steam on HotC. He’s still doing Lio. You can read his Instagram post here:

    He also made a statement in a GoComics comment thread. It’s too long to quote and I haven’t figured a way to link to a specific comment, but it’s in reply to “ewyrm”.


    He has been very vocal in his defense of Steenz.

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