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Heart Of The City is a comic strip that has been running in newspapers since 1998. Created by Mark Tatulli, who also writes and draws the macabre Lio, it focuses on Heart Lamarr, a high energy elementary schoolgirl in Philadelphia; her proudly geeky best friend Dean, and her frequently overwhelmed single mother.
The comic, complete with archives since 1999, can be found at GoComics. (Beware of blocker-bypassing popups.)
- Aborted Arc / Left Hanging: Several story arcs often end suddenly with no actual conclusion.
- All Just a Dream: Several arcs end this way.
- Bland-Name Product: Heart is often seen playing with Karlie and Ben dolls.
- The City: Center City Philadelphia, to be exact.
- Comic Book Time: The characters don't age, but the pop-culture references remain current.
- Dead TV Remote Gag: At least it landed on something she wanted to watch.
- Deadpan Snarker: Heart to Dean; Heart's mom to Heart.
- Disappeared Dad: Heart's father left right after she was born to pursue a career in acting.
- Epunymous Title: a girl named Heart who lives in The City.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: One arc had Dean becoming a popular jerk; another had him becoming "mature." In both cases, he nearly lost Heart's friendship.
- Fur and Loathing: One of the comic's recurring themes.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Dean's comment about the less-than-courageous gang he's formed.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Heart may complain about Dean's nerdy interests, but as the examples from Flowers for Algernon Syndrome above shows, she wouldn't want him any other way.
- Halfway Plot Switch: Subverted for the most part: While the longer arcs do tend to drift a little, they almost always come back around by the end.
- Little Miss Snarker: Heart.
- Mood Whiplash: The Kristallnacht arc.
- Not a Morning Person: Heart.
- Parental Abandonment: Heart's father is absent from her life, pursuing a career as an actor. This accounts for her showbiz fixation and provides some Tear Jerker moments.
- The Ghost: Dean's father is referred to several times, but is never seen.
- Shout-Out: To Salad Fingers, of all things.
- The Un-Smile: Heart's "innocent smile".