His animal-and-earth friendly philosophy has made cartoonist Patrick McDonnell a favorite with comic strip readers. Beginning next week, his popular “Mutts” comic will appear daily.
The strip explores the special bond between animals and their guardians, and the endearing friendship of Earl, the dog, and Mooch, the cat.
“It’s just cute the way the dog and cat interact,” says Jan Davidson of Tipp City, who voted for “Mutts” in our recent readers’ poll, and says she finds the strip very funny.
“Animals contribute to our happiness and our well-being,” McDonnell says. “In my strip, I try to capture those small moments of happiness that celebrate the human/animal bond. All animals are intelligent and have awareness and feelings. They are fellow beings and deserve to share this beautiful planet with us in peace. I try to see the world through their eyes, and give them a voice, while still keeping ‘Mutts’ fun and entertaining.”
He seems to be succeeding : “Mutts” is now is tickling readers’ fancies in more than 700 newspapers and is read in 20 countries. McDonnell has won the National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year and five Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip.
On an international level, it has won Germany’s Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip and the Swedish Academy of Comic Art’s Adamson Statuette.
“Mutts” has also won awards for its environmental and animal advocacy: two Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust, The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment, the PETA Humanitarian Award, and a Sierra Club award.
A book author as well
McDonnell has published a number of books: In “Shelter Stories: Love,” McDonnell’s animal shelter–themed strips are accompanied by real-life pet adoption stories submitted by readers worldwide. In 2009, he collaborated with “The Power of Now” author Eckhart Tolle to create “Guardians of Being.”
The “Mutts” cartoons have been published in 22 compilation books in the United States and in numerous collections throughout the world. In 2003, fine art publisher Harry N. Abrams published “MUTTS: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell,” a monograph on McDonnell’s career.
In addition to his comics, McDonnell also writes children’s books. Among them are “The Gift of Nothing,” a New York Times Best Seller, “Art ,” about a boy named Art who makes art, and “Just Like Heaven,” about the joys of simple blessings. “Hug Time” is about a kitten named Jules who goes around the world hugging endangered species.
He has also produced “South and Wag!” and the 2012 Caldecott Honor winner, “Me … Jane,” a biography about the young Jane Goodall, and The Monsters’ Monster. All of his books are printed on recycled paper.
You can check out McDonnell’s website, MUTTScomics.com, where you’ll learn more about his philosophy. He and his wife are vegetarian and live with Amelie, their rescue Jack Russell terrier, and Not Ootie, their formerly feral cat.
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