January 11, 2022  •  By Christine Pasalo Norland

Allowed with Steenz:

5 Favorite Moments

Award-winning cartoonist Steenz joined us on Allowed in April 2022 to discuss Heart Takes the Stage, the first book collecting their work on the syndicated comic strip Heart of the City. Steenz shares what they've brought to Heart of the City since taking over the strip in April 2020 from original creator Mark Tatulli, and discusses how working on the daily strip gives them many chances to evolve their storytelling and illustration style. Below are five favorite moments from our conversation.


Heart Takes the Stage is filled with a trove of pop culture references, a quality any person who fans films, TV, and the lot can appreciate. Steenz tells us why including fandoms in Heart of the City is an important element of the comic strip.


In Andrews McMeel we trust: Steenz explains the savvy logic behind the book dimensions of Heart Takes the Stage.


One way Steenz has made their mark on Heart of the City is in how the characters—Heart, Dean, Kat, and Charlotte—work as a unit, have one-on-one friendships, and have their own individual stories. Steenz shares why they're mindful to develop each member of the Heart of the City cast.


As much as Heart of the City is anchored in the reality of friendships and growing up, Steenz explains why COVID won't make an appearance in the story.


Steenz discusses what it was like to review their first months of Heart of the City strips to prepare Heart Takes the Stage, and the opportunity provided in drawing a comic strip series as compared to stand-alone graphic novels like Archival Quality, their book created with Ivy Noelle Weir.

• • •

Heart Takes the Stage is out now! Lost and Found, the second collection of Heart of the City comic strips created by Steenz, comes out on April 4, 2023 and is available for pre-order via your favorite online seller or local shop. To read Steenz' latest Heart of the City strips, visit GoComics.com/HeartOfTheCity

Follow Steenz on Instagram, Twitter, and Hive at @oheysteenz. Watch our full conversation from Hello Barkada's Instagram or with corrected captions on the Hello Barkada YouTube Channel.

Do these conversations matter to you? Become a program sponsor for Allowed or a Barkada Backer today and support independent arts journalism and programming. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about arts & culture, help support our comics series, livestream programs, and much more. To become a program sponsor for Allowed, email contact[at]hellobarkada.org. To become a one-time or monthly Barkada Backer, visit our Ko-Fi crowdfunding page.


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