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Steenz Interviewed After a Year in The City

Heart of the City is a sweet slice-of-life strip starring Heart Lamarr, an endlessly energetic middle schooler with Hollywood dreams in her eyes. “I just think she’s living in her own little world,” Steenz laughs, “and reality comes a-knockin’.” The strip centers around Heart’s everyday misadventures with her similarly pop-culture-obsessed friends and her harried but loving single mom. The strip is syndicated nationwide, including in the hometown paper of record, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Arts STL interviews Christina Stewart after a year as Heart of the City cartoonist.

The first couple of months were hardest because I would constantly get, like, hate mail. [laughs] Which is so stupid! “You really want to take time out of your day to send somebody hate mail over a fucking free comic? Okay.” But it was all the time, from all different places.

You’re a year into the daily grind. Can you imagine doing a daily comic strip 21 years from now?

You know, I think I can. And I think the reason why I can visualize that is because…


© Andrews McMeel Syndication

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#1 Jim Garrett
April/29/2021
@ 11:16 am

Nice language on her part.
Her sentiment also betrays her true regard towards the art form. To her, it is nothing more than “a ____ing free comic”.
She has no idea what she is doing and whom she is creating for.
That’s why people hate it and that’s why people stopped reading it when she was handed the strip. I haven’t even clicked on the title out of curiosity since. I’ve seen more than enough here.
Good luck to her, though.

#2 Stacy Curtis
April/29/2021
@ 2:01 pm

Jim Garrett,
If you haven’t clicked on the title, how do you know Steenz doesn’t know what she’s doing? How do you know people hate it and stopped reading it?
I don’t think you do know. I think you might have taken time out of your day to send her hate mail.

Also, I’d say she knows exactly who she is creating the comic for by the way she described it as a “fucking free comic.”
I’d say she knows most of the readers of “Heart of the City” read it for free online.

#3 Ignatz
April/30/2021
@ 5:44 am

I’m not sure what people have against her. I stopped reading it because it wasn’t my cup of tea and I wasn’t following it, but I didn’t find it obnoxious or anything.

My real problem is with Andrews McMeel. If they wanted Steenz to do her own comic, they should have just had her do her own comic, not take over an existing comic and change to something entirely different. The art is good, give her a chance to strut her OWN stuff.

#4 Mary Ella
April/30/2021
@ 6:33 am

What she was expressing was bemusement about people who would take time out of their day to write hate mail over a single comic strip that, the majority of the time, they are reading for free, usually in the ten seconds it takes to get from Dilbert to Ziggy.

And yes, the fact that she is getting hate mail over a free strip is ridiculous. Running nothing but 75-year-old iterations of “Hi and Lois” are the reason nobody but retirees read newspaper comics anymore.

Incidentally, f-bombs don’t have the weight among the younger crowd these days that they did when George Carlin came up with his seven words. It’s a thing that happens with language, much like a “darn” would’ve gotten your mouth washed out with soap a hundred years ago. Getting huffy about language is just an excuse to tune out what someone actually had to say (while giving yourself some self-righteous brownie points in the process.)

#5 Jim Garrett
April/30/2021
@ 9:14 am

Stacy Curtis,
“I think you might have taken time out of your day to send her hate mail.”
Is THAT what you think? lol, OK.
But, admittedly, I am taking time to respond to you.
No, I have not clicked on the new version of the strip. As I said, I have seen enough on this site to know I don’t like it. I enjoyed the original creator’s art and style and this is not it.
And I know people hate it and stopped reading it. She admits that people hate it by describing the hate mail she received, did you not get that part?
And it is not free. Newspapers cost money and so does internet access. I pay quite a bit for my home ISP, what about you?

Mary Ella,
As I said above, it isn’t free. Just because I don’t pay Steenz or Jim Davis or whomever directly does not mean it is free. How did you score free internet and newspaper delivery?
As for your comments about language, they speak for themself. I guess I should thank my psycho neighbor for loudly dropping F-bombs and the N-word in his back yard every day.

#6 PJ Terryberry
April/30/2021
@ 9:15 am

@ignatz do you really not understand or are you just being playful?

#7 PJ Terryberry
April/30/2021
@ 9:20 am

@Jim Garrett. That is about the stupidest argument I have ever read. Thank you for that.

#8 Jim Garrett
April/30/2021
@ 9:29 am

@PJ Terryberry Hey, Steenz. Nice to see you here.

#9 P.J. Terryberry
April/30/2021
@ 12:54 pm

@JimGarrett I stand corrected. First place!

#10 Mike Peterson
May/1/2021
@ 3:21 am

Hey, folks, let’s stick to criticism of comics and artists, not of each other, okay?

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