Patrick mcdonnell name
Patrick McDonnell
Born March 17, 1956 (on Saint Patrick's day) Edison, New Jersey, USA


Nationality American



Notable Works



Irish father

Italian-descendet mother


I’ve always wanted to be a cartoonist. I love comics. I love black and white, pen and ink, words and pictures. I love their code. I love the rhythm of a gag. I love their simplicity, immediacy, intimacy, and absurdity. I love their pie-eyed optimism. I love their potential.
~ Patrick McDonnell, Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell, page 8

Patrick McDonnell (born March 17, 1956) is an American cartoonist, who created the daily comic strip Mutts. He's a New York Times best-selling author because of his kids books that he has done besides of Mutts.

Early life

McDonnell was born in Edison, New Jersey, into a middle-class Irish-Italian family. His father is Irish and mother Italian-descendent. The name "Patrick" was a name passed down trough multiple generations of McDonnells, and McDonnell's mother (at the suggestion of his father) agreed that he should bear the family name if he will be born on March 17, St Patrick's Day.

After graduating from Edison High School in 1974, McDonnell attended the School of Visual Arts on scholarship, graduating in 1978. During college he took some illustration classes, and on a lark he brought his student portfolio to the Village Voice newspaper, which gave him a job.


McDonnell began a career as a magazine illustrator and would always find a way to incorporate the same little white dog somewhere in the background—a "generic cartoon dog," he says. When he decided to start a comic strip, he wanted to focus on that little dog. Someone told him that he was drawing a Jack Russell Terrier. McDonnell had no idea what a Jack Russell was, so he had to look it up. When he saw it, he said, 'That's my cartoon come to life![1]

Moving to Hoboken, New Jersey, he met a group of underground cartoonists such as Peter Bagge and Kazimieras G. Prapuolenis (Kaz), and had some of his earliest drawings appearing in The Village Voice, and as Jerseyana in New Jersey Monthly magazine. A book of his life and work, Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell, was published in 2003 by Abrams Publishing.

McDonnell is involved with many animal and environmental charities. His characters have been enlisted by the United States Marines (2006 Toys for Tots holiday poster), the American Library Association (2007 ‘Read!' poster), and by The HSUS (humane postage stamps). The Mutts characters appear on the New Jersey Animal Friendly license plates which fund state pet population programs. The 2007-2008 MAZDASPEED Team featured Mutts-themed vehicles promoting pet adoption and the work of The Humane Society of the United States.

In 2009 collaborated with author Eckhart Tolle to create Guardians of Being, a philosophical book about nature and the present moment. In 2011, McDonnell's children's book Me...Jane was published. It is a story about naturalist Jane Goodall growing up and her awakening curiosity about the lives of animals around her. Me, Jane won a Caldecott Honor in 2012.

Personal life

McDonnell has been a vegetarian for over 20 years. McDonnell is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals and The Charles M. Schulz Museum . McDonnell and his wife Karen reside in New Jersey, with their dog Amelie, and their cat, Not Ootie. Their Jack Russell, Earl, who was the inspiration and constant muse for the Mutts character of the same name, died in November 2007 after living with Patrick for over 18 years.


McDonnell has received numerous awards for this strip, including the National Cartoonists Society's highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year, five Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip, 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.

List of Awards

  • Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, 2011, given at the Eisner Awards
  • National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year 1999
  • National Cartoonists Society’s Award for Comic Strip of the Year 1996
  • National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award (nominee) 1997 and 1998
  • 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
  • Ark Trust Genesis Award 1997, 1999
  • PETA Humanitarian Award 2001
  • National Cartoonist Society Award for Greeting Cards 1991
  • National Cartoonist Society Award for Magazine and Book Illustration 1991


Patrick Mcdonnell's most notable work is Mutts, but he has written kids books too.

List of Mutts Books

  1. Mutts (1996)
  2. Cats & Dogs (1997)
  3. More Shtuff (1998)
  4. Yesh! (1999)
  5. Our Mutts Five (2000)
  6. A Little Look-See (2001)
  7. What Now (2002)
  8. I Want To Be The Kitty! (2003)
  9. Dog-Eared (2004)
  10. Who Let The Cat Out? (2005)
  11. Everyday Mutts: A Comic Strip Treasury (2006) (Sundays in color)
  12. Animal Friendly: A Mutts Treasury (2007) (Sundays in color)
  13. Call of The Wild: A Mutts Treasury (2008) (Sundays in color)
  14. Stop and Smell the Roses: A Mutts Treasury (2009) (Sundays in color)
  15. Earl & Mooch: A Mutts Treasury (2010) (Sundays in color)
  16. Our little Kat King: A Mutts Treasury (2011) (Sundays in color)
  17. Bonk!: A Mutts Treasury (2012) (Sundays in color)

Mutts Sunday Collections

  • Mutts Sundays (1999)
  • Sunday Mornings (2001)
  • Sunday Afternoons (2004)
  • Sunday Evenings (2005)

Children's Books

  • The Gift of Nothing (2005), New York Times Bestseller (original MUTTS book)
  • Art (2006) (original book)
  • Just Like Heaven (2006) (original MUTTS book)
  • Hug Time (2007), New York Times Bestseller (original MUTTS book)
  • South (2008)
  • Wag! (2009) (original MUTTS book)
  • Me...Jane (2011)
  • The Monsters’ Monster (2012)
  • The Skunk (2015) (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Tek: The Modern Cave Boy (2016)


  • Bad Baby (1988) (collection of Bad Baby strips from Parent Magazine)
  • Mutts Little Big Book (1998)
  • Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell (2003) (retrospective)
  • The Best of Mutts (2007) (retrospective)
  • Mutts: Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed. ([2008]) Collection of over 100 Shelter Stories strips accompanied by photos and vignettes of adopted pets
  • Guardians of Being (2009) (Words by Eckhart Tolle)