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Patrick McDonnell talks about the origins of Mutts

The Cincinnati Enquirer has published a small interview with Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell about the origin of his feature.

Q: Was (Mutts) difficult to create?

A: The names were the tough part. For a long time, Earl was named Zero. I mentioned it to Charles Schulz, and he told me to name him after my dog Earl, a Jack Russell terrier. I figured he just might know what he was talking about and took his advice.

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:46 am

Interesting article. But I’m confused over the part where McDonnell says he has a cat named Mooch, who is 10.

I thought his cat’s name was Meemow.

#2 markt
@ 9:55 am

I think Meemow went to the little sandbox in the sky.

#3 josh s.
@ 11:06 am

Mutts is one of the most innovative comics out there. McDonnell proves that comics can still be well-drawn and meaningful. Thanks for pointing out the article.

#4 Anne Hambrock
@ 12:08 pm

As I mentioned on another thread, I not only enjoy the humor of Mutts, but I find it beautiful to look at. His simplicity is stunningly effective and I adore his color.

#5 Mike Cope
@ 2:55 pm

Has anyone read the book “Billions & Billions” by Carl Sagan? I bought a copy when it was first published (late 90’s), but I wasn’t familiar with Mutts at the time. I happened to be flipping through it a few years ago and immediately recognized Patrick as the cartoonist who drew all of the single panel inserts … His style is pretty unique!

#6 Chris H.
@ 10:14 pm

This was a very interesting interview for me to read, since I am a “Mutts” fan (and fellow New Jerseyan of Patrick).

“Mutts” is surely one of the best comic strips currently being published, thanks to his beautifully done art, gentle but often very funny humor, and powerful messages. His characters, even at their most overwhelmingly cute, never come across as too saccharine. I also enjoy his first-panel homages to comic strips and comic books of the days of yore, and of course his throwbacks to old comic strip styles (and his “Krazy Kat” influence).

I don’t own a pet, so it’s not as if I identify with any of the situations he presents. But “Mutts” is a pleasure to read and look at; McDonnell is one of the best cartoonists currently publishing his work. It’s as simple as that.

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