A Note From Patrick: May 2020 | MUTTS

A Note From Patrick: May 2020

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Dear friends,

Welcome to another surreal, and very real, month of home isolation. It’s nice to share time together online. I have been “catching up” on MUTTS and, for the first time in 25 years, have gotten ahead on my deadline. This is opening up time for starting other projects, perhaps a new children’s book or a graphic novel. I am also enjoying the fact that spring is here and nature seems to be truly benefiting from our staying in place. The world is so much quieter now. You can clearly hear birdsong all day. Yesterday I learned that 150,000 flamingos are flocking to Mumbai, India. It is a great desire of mine that we can all learn to appreciate, and take care of, the magical beauty around us.

Last month I had invited you to send me your experiences with fostering and adopting during these times. You can draw your own comic strip (templates and more information can be found here) or just write about your new best friend. You can include photos. I plan to adapt some of these in future MUTTS Shelter Stories comic strips. If you haven’t created your own adoption stories yet, please do! This is not a writing or drawing contest, but a chance for us all to have a shared experience documenting our love for animals. If you have any questions, write us at blog@mutts.com.

My good friend, author Glen David Gold, dreamed about MUTTS stories centered on the pandemic and sent them to me. He sent to me a week’s worth of MUTTS. I took the opportunity to draw two of them for him, and for you. Here are his writings, all of which give a great sense of what we are going through:

Monday: Starts tight on a deer standing on a narrow road, grazing. We pull out. It’s a wider road. Last panel, very wide shot: it’s an eight-lane highway. No cars.

Tuesday: Bird nest. Birds coming to feed their young. Last panel, pulled out: the nest is the eaves of a boarded-up bookstore.

Wednesday: Bip and Bop in their tree. Panel 1: “C’MON ‘BONK!'” Panel 2: acorn harmlessly hitting the empty street with a teeny “pink.” Panel 3, same. Panel 4: on Bip and Bop. “It’s hard to be an artist in these times.”

Thursday: Guy we’ve never seen is sitting by the curb, forlorn, tired. Mask and gloves. Cute, bouncy dog appears, nuzzling him. Guy holds onto the dog tightly, and thinks “Warm puppy.”

Friday: The guy is still holding the dog. Second: Owner’s voice, off-screen, “Wally, come!” as the dog bounds away, the guy happier, re-energized. Final panel; see a hospital he’s walking back into, and we realize he’s wearing scrubs.

Saturday one big panel: A line of people standing six feet apart and at the front of it, Fatty Snax Deli, with Butchie in mask and gloves, handing someone take-out. To the very right, Mooch and Earl. “Essential service!” “Yesh!”

Sunday: Jellyfish dancing in the water. Ever increasing complexity and design. One says “And now the big finish.” Another says “This is for our audience at home.” Small inset panel of Frank and Millie, masked, rapt with attention, watching the events on a webcam.

And here are two new, only-to-be-seen-here MUTTS strips, based on them:

 

As you are probably aware, Dr. Jane Goodall is spending her time sheltering in place at her childhood home in England. She surprised and delighted me by creating a video of her reading Me…Jane and posting it on her site:

Of course, no one could ever possibly read Me…Jane as wonderfully and personally as she, and I invite you to spend the short amount of time it takes to view it. If you have children, young or older, share the experience with them. Jane is an inspiration to everyone, and Me…Jane is a tribute to her and to her dream coming true. Her hope today of making the world better for all beings is more urgent than ever.

Thanks for being here.  Stay safe.

Patrick

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17 thoughts on “A Note From Patrick: May 2020

  1. Listening to Jane read the book and giving little side notes was such a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing this marvelous video..

  2. Hearing Jane Goodall reading was absolutely delightful and I cried happy tears. Thank you Jane for this video and thank you Patrick McDonnell for writing such a sweet book, you are both treasures.

  3. A must have book for my beloved granddaughter. I’ve followed Jane, as has my daughter who is now a high school biology teacher, and now it’s time for her little nugget Ava to learn and grow and enjoy the story of Jane, thank you!

  4. Love Mutts!

  5. Enjoyed that short video. What a world-wide treasure she is.

  6. The panel at the top of this page, with the sun sitting on top of the water while Earl and his master are sitting on the beach, is one of my favorite Mutts strips because I am a fan of The Prisoner by Patrick McGoohan. The sun sitting on the water reminds me of “Rover,” the balloon-like security guard of “The Village,” that sometimes arose out of the water to go after a prisoner. If No. 6 had had a pet, he might not even have been interested in escaping. I am a cat person, so I would choose Mooch. Thank you.

  7. Wonderful, thank you Patrick!

  8. This is amazing! I am so glad to be able to share this with my friends.

  9. Thank you for posting the wonderful video of Dr Jane Goodall reading “Me … Jane”, with her heartwarming commentary. It is a priceless and precious video.

  10. YOUR CARTOONS ARE SO TRUE TO LIFE. I MISS MY TWO DOGS FROM WHEN MY BOYS WERE GROWING UP. OF COURSE, i ENDED UP CARING FOR THEM…AND LOVING THEM. I FOLLOWED JANE GOODALL THROUGH THE YEARS. HER ADVENTURES ALWAYS THRILLED ME. STILL DO AND I’M 89 YEARS OLD!
    MY BIG DOG, SKIPPY, WOULD SHOW HIS LOVE FOR ME BY TAKING MY WRIST BETWEEN HIS MOUTH.

  11. Mr. Gold is a shoulmate, for shure.

  12. I love your quarantine strips! Especially the strip about the hospital worker cause I’m one of them and the best feeling in the world is coming home to my dog and cars! Stay safe!

  13. Wow, I was totally pulled into her story. In this time of confusion, listening to hear read that story filled me with peace! Thanks, Patrick & Jane.

  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE the video from Jane Goodall!

  15. Thank you for providing us Mutts. I am a big fan for several years and enjoy reading it every day to start my day. I have a cat named Max ( rescued Russian blue ) – seems alot like Mooch.

  16. Thank you for sharing the video of Dr. Jane reading your book and for the 2 extra strips. I cannot start my day without Mutts!

  17. My Mother introduced me to your comic many years ago and would send me ones she partularly enjoyed. I found them in a drawer recently and enjoyed them all over. Mom died in 2006 so they meant even more. Thank you!

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