Comic Strip / Comics

What Happened to the Comic Strip Heart of the City?

If you’re a fan of comic strips, then you’ve probably heard of Heart of the City, a beloved strip that has been running since 1998. Created by Mark Tatulli, the comic follows the adventures of Heart, a spunky young girl growing up in Philadelphia. But if you’ve been following the strip recently, you may have noticed that it’s no longer appearing in your local newspaper or online.

What happened to Heart of the City? Unfortunately, it seems that the strip has come to an end. Tatulli announced on his social media accounts in early 2021 that he had decided to retire the strip after 23 years.

Why Did Tatulli Decide to End Heart of the City?

According to Tatulli, there were several factors that went into his decision to retire Heart of the City. One major factor was simply burnout; after more than two decades of drawing and writing the strip on a daily basis, he was ready for a change.

Another factor was financial. As print newspapers continue to decline in popularity and revenue, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for cartoonists like Tatulli to make a living solely through syndication. While Heart of the City had a dedicated fanbase, it simply wasn’t generating enough income to justify continuing.

Tatulli also cited creative reasons for ending the strip. He felt that he had taken Heart’s story as far as he could and was ready to move on to new projects.

What Was Heart of the City Known For?

Heart of the City was beloved by fans for its relatable characters and witty humor. The strip tackled issues like friendship, family relationships, and growing up with both heart and humor.

One unique aspect of Heart of the City was its setting; unlike many other comic strips which take place in small towns or suburbs, Heart took place in Philadelphia. The city served as both a backdrop and a character in the strip, with Tatulli often incorporating local landmarks and events into the storylines.

What’s Next for Mark Tatulli?

While Heart of the City may be over, Tatulli is still keeping busy. He’s currently working on a new graphic novel called Short & Skinny, which is based on his own childhood experiences growing up as an Italian-American in New Jersey. The book is set to be released in September 2021.

Tatulli has also been keeping fans entertained on social media with his daily doodles and sketches. He’s been sharing everything from cute animals to political commentary, showing off his versatility as an artist and humorist.


While it’s always sad to say goodbye to a beloved comic strip, it’s important to remember that artists like Mark Tatulli are constantly evolving and creating new work. While Heart of the City may be over, we can look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. And in the meantime, we can always revisit our favorite Heart strips for a good laugh or a dose of nostalgia.