Patrick McDonnell

I have spent the last ten years as the creator of the comic strip Mutts, which runs daily in 700 newspapers worldwide. Mutts is centered on the unlikely friendship of Earl, the dog, and Mooch the cat. It’s about the simple joy of being in the moment, and sharing our planet with all creatures. I’ve been living with these characters for a long time, and telling stories with words and pictures even longer.

The Gift of Nothing is my first picture book, and it (of course) features Earl and Mooch. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I wanted the book to feel just right, intimate in size and with a classic look, one of those books that you can cuddle up to with a kid or kitty - or both - on your lap. In the story, Mooch ponders the age old question, "What do you get someone who has everything?" It’s about giving, sharing, purring, and love.”

Patrick McDonnell has written four additional children’s books featuring the Mutts characters, Wag (October 2009), South (October 2008), Hug Time (November 2007), and Just Like Heaven (November 2006). He also wrote and illustrated an original picture book called, ART (April 2006), which featured a young boy named Art who loves to draw and paint. This Spring he brings us Me…Jane: the heartwarming tale of the young Jane Goodall and her dreams of working with animals.

He was born on March 17, 1956. A native of New Jersey, he attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City on scholarship, and graduated with a BFA in 1978.

After a very successful career as a freelance illustrator, in 1994 McDonnell created the comic strip Mutts, which Charles Schulz called “One of the best comics strips of all time.”

McDonnell’s awards include:

  • National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year 1999
  • National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year 1997
  • Germany’s Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip 1998
  • Swedish Academy of Comic Art’s Adamson Statuette 1997
  • Harvey Award for Best Comic Strip 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
  • Ark Trust Genesis Award 1997, 1999
  • HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award: Ongoing Commitment 2004
  • PETA Humanitarian Award 2001