Did you know? Millions of people around the world have read MUTTS — either in their newspaper or online — since the strip’s debut in 1994! We often receive questions asking about Patrick about his beloved characters and inspirations. We are appreciative of your interest and, as a treat, we’ve decided to share a few MUTTS fun facts. Time to dive into the world of MUTTS!
Patrick’s first dog — a Jack Russell terrier named Earl, who lived to be almost 19 — was the inspiration for the Earl in the MUTTS comic strip.
According to Patrick, the strips featuring just Ozzie and Earl are often biographical.
When Patrick was seven, he wrote to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz suggesting he add a cat pal for Snoopy. Schulz didn’t add a cat, but he did send Patrick an autographed picture of the Peanuts cast. Later, as a cartoonist himself, Patrick drew the character Mooch as a friend for Earl.
Patrick didn’t intend for Mooch to stay in the MUTTS strip “forever,” but like so many real-life cats Patrick has known in real life, Mooch just kind of … stuck around. Over the years Mooch has displayed many personalities, and you will find him in the strip not only as himself, but also as the Shphinx, the Little Cat King, the Pink Sock, and the Dude.
Every summer Mooch and Earl go on vacation “down the shore,” which is based loosely on the Jersey Shore, where Patrick spent many summers growing up.
Shtinky Puddin’s real name is Jules.
In New Jersey (where still Patrick lives), there is a specialty license plate which features MUTTS and benefits the New Jersey State Department of Health’s Animal Population Control Program.
Mooch has a pet snail whom he calls “Little Earl,” but whose real name is Speed-o. Mooch loves taking him on walks.
Patrick’s drawing desk is situated in front of a large window, where he watches small wildlife like squirrels and birds. These backyard animals often provide Patrick with ideas for the animals in the strip.
Sunday title panels are also called “throwaway” panels because a newspaper may choose not to run it if they need the extra space for content. Most comic strips use a template for these type of panels, but Patrick aims to make each of them unique, usually doing an homage to an artist, a piece of classic art, or something in pop culture.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Patrick and his lovable MUTTS characters! If you’ve been with MUTTS for a long time, you may already know some these, but we’d love to hear which were new to you. (And, what other types of fun facts would you like to know?)