Happy October, everyone! We’ve recently ushered in not only a new month but a new season as well, and are already experiencing the mood-lifting effects of this most delicate and picturesque time of year.
Among the many things we’re excited about is the reintroduction of our MUTTS Monthly Newshletter — each of which contains a new Q&A feature with Patrick McDonnell, plus a recap of recent news and events. (Not yet on our email list? You can sign up on our homepage!)
To kick things off, I sat down with Patrick to chat about the changing of seasons, the newest MUTTS Manifesto, and what’s on his schedule this month.
He explains that fall, unsurprisingly, is his favorite season. “My family has to hear about it every time the weather changes!” he says with a chuckle. “I love the colors of the leaves and the coolness in the air. It’s just my favorite.”
I mention his upcoming tour to promote Tek: The Modern Cave Boy (hand-signed copies available for purchase in the MUTTS Store), and ask what he’s looking forward to most about traveling.
“What’s interesting about the tour is that, when you do a daily comic strip, it’s hard to get away from the drawing table. So I have to stay ahead of deadlines so that I can travel. One of the things I like, though, is being about to write a lot of MUTTS on the planes. I usually choose a window seat and just hunker down with a notebook. On a fairly long flight, I can write about three weeks’ worth of MUTTS stories and jokes! That’s the thing I look forward to the most when traveling — catching up on my writing.”
We also discuss October’s Manifesto (“To be mindful of the bigger picture”), and note that planning to spend the month meeting new people in new places certainly seems fitting. I ask if there are any past destinations or trips that stand out in his memory, or that have made a significant impact on him.
“I was honored to be invited to the Lucca Comics & Games Festival in Italy, and I loved going there,” he says. “I also like San Francisco, and Hawaii is incredibly special. But I think the most powerful experience was our trip to Africa in 2000. We visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia. That was very memorable.”
“It definitely felt like we were at the spot where the world began. Seeing elephants and giraffes in their natural habitat … boy, you realize just how big the world is. But then again you see how small and precious it is, too. Just magical. Something like that makes you feel like everything is sacred, and you’re a part of it all.”
I’m reminded of the various times I’ve spotted safari and jungle animals in Patrick’s illustrations. “So do those experiences influence your artwork?”
“Oh, yeah. Every once in awhile I’ll do a ‘Mooch Dreams of Africa’ series. It’s a good excuse to draw some different animals. And I, too, dream of Africa all the time.”
Want to learn more about Patrick McDonnell? Sign up on the MUTTS.com homepage to receive our Monthly Newshletter, plus updates about MUTTS news!
By Ali Datko, MUTTS.com Staff Writer