This September marks the beginning of MUTTS’ silver anniversary. Twenty-five years of Earl and Mooch! Nine thousand one hundred and twenty-five comic strips (plus a few “leap days”). Yow!
To commemorate, I have been working on a new MUTTS hardcover coffee table art book titled The Art of Nothing. I’m honored that it will be published by Abrams this fall. It will include a lot of my favorite MUTTS strips from the past twenty-five years, photographed from the original art, as well as never-before-seen sketchbook drawings, paintings, art from my children’s books, and some other surprises. I am so grateful for everyone who has done so much to make this book special.
Today we are sharing an early design for the cover (above). The final design, which we’re still working on, will be unveiled soon. The title is a play on my first picture book The Gift of Nothing. The cover art, to me, represents the unlimited possibilities of an empty panel, and how something comes from “nothing.” In the next few monthly newsletters, I will be sharing insights and highlights from the book with you.
I recently had the privilege to meet legendary artist Joe Sinnott, known since the 1960s for inking Marvel’s Fantastic Four series and many other beloved comics. During our visit I took him up on his unbelievable offer to ink a MUTTS Sunday page, and it inspired me to do an homage to two classic covers. The first, a tribute to Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four #51, was published on March 24 (below). The second, also an homage to the Fantastic Four, will be published later this month.
In February I participated in the Petco Foundation’s annual “Love Changes Everything” campaign. In addition to raising life-saving funds for animal welfare organizations across the country, the campaign also resulted in a Valentine mosaic for the Petco Foundation’s nearly 4,000 animal welfare partners. The valentine contained heartfelt thank you messages from supporters across the country who uploaded photos, videos, and messages to show love for shelter animals and the people who care for them.
As a reminder, a new MUTTS paperback — The MUTTS Summer Diaries — is on its way and will be released in just a few days. This book is filled with summer-themed comic strips, which always bring me back to my childhood spending long, happy days at the Jersey shore.
The Summer Diaries will officially be available on Thursday, April 9. If you’d like to pre-order a signed copy, please visit the MUTTS Shop. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed working on it. I recommend reading it at the beach!