Friday, November 13, 2009

Meeting Patrick McDonnell of "MUTTS" at GreenFest

Since young I've loved animals. Growing up, my family had pet mice, hamsters, parakeets, goldfish, and an orange tabby cat (not all at the same time of course). Now I have my darling guinea pigs and can't imagine life without the simple joy that my animal companions bring.

It is that joy that artist Patrick McDonnell captures so well in his daily comic strip "MUTTS". I fell in love with it the moment I saw it in the newspaper (come on, cute cartoon cats and dogs, how can you not love it?). The antics and innocent musings of Mooch the cat and Earl the dog never fail to make me smile, laugh, or reflect on the beauty of nature and life. I quickly amassed a collection of his books (it helped that some crazy person was selling a set of his earlier books on eBay...their loss, my happy gain!). When the figurines came out, I got Earl first and then was given Mooch as a Valentine's gift to make a perfect pair (my guy sure knows the way to my heart, eh?).

a small sampling of my MUTTS collection

Last week, I learned that he would have a book signing for his latest release "Guardians of Being" at GreenFest. "Eeeeek!!," my inner fangirl squealed. So I dashed over there after work, hoping I didn't miss him. I've never been to a book signing before so I didn't know what to expect. What I found was an unassuming man sitting on a foldable chair at the side of the booth with no crowd around him. Had I not recognized him from his pictures in the books, I would have guessed he was just another attendee, not the great comic genius royalty that he is. Where are the balloons, trumpets, and red carpet, people?! He at least deserved a table to write on! Instead, when I presented him with my copy of the book and gushed some gibberish in awe, he  proceeded to sign it with the book propped on his lap. This man flew all the way from New Jersey and he has to sign books on his lap. So humble is he!

Look, he drew a little Mooch for me! Squeeee!!

I sure wish there were other people around to chat him up just so I could stand around and absorb his awesomeness. (He's vegetarian and a member of the Board of Directors for both The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals.) But being the shy, awkward, bumbling girl that I am, I quickly thanked him and dashed off before I gave into the temptation to sit as his feet and ask him to read the book to me (aka kindergarten style). Wouldn't be fun to be escorted out by security, would it?

Before leaving, I stopped by Cinnaholic for some baked goodies (hi Kelly!) and VegNews to sign up for a subscription (hi Liz!). They had a great $5 off promotion and I also wanted to thank them for the free GreenFest tickets.

Now your mission, if you so choose, is to head on over to and sign up for the daily comic strip emails to get a blast of sunshine in your inbox everyday! Then head to GreenFest to meet Patrick at another book signing on Sunday at 11am!

I wonder if it'd be inappropriate to bring all of my books for him to sign? :-)


  1. Heya! Been enjoying your blog since LaLooFah told me about your site the other day. Love Mutts too, brilliant that he drew for you!!

    (he needs a couple of guinea pigs in the strip!!)

    Happy Day,

  2. And, sorry, looks like Blogger screwed up my contact info... you might like my blog? :)

  3. Hi Rift! Thanks for stopping by! It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow vegan guinea pig guardian (you're the only one I know, hehe). Boo is an absolute cutie pie! I agree that there should be guinea pigs in MUTTS too. ;-)

  4. Hey, VW, guess what? My friend Jo gave me Patrick McDonnell's "The Gift of Nothing" for my birthday! It's just adorable! Now I can join his fan club! :-)

  5. Laloofah, that's so cool! I gave that book to my hubby back when we were dating. :-) McDonnell's drawings are so simple yet so profound and cute. Love them! Welcome to the fan club! :-)