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review 2016-09-29 15:42
Playtime: A Mutts Treasury
Playtime: A Mutts Treasury - Patrick McDonnell

4 Stars, buy it


Pretty typical mutts book. Some of the typical jokes are regurgitated. However I still love Mcdonnells love of nature and animals. I loved the superhero series, I hope that one continues. I also love when there are quotes with just a cute little drawing. And of course because I love to read, I love the mutts book club. And I always feel sad when I see guard dog chained up. Sniff. The Shakespere in the park strips are very cute and very punny too.  Overall a good Mutts book but some of it is getting repetitive.  Worth reading cause it’s so warm and fuzzy even if a bit repetitive at times.

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review 2015-09-01 23:05
Review: The Mutts Winter Diaries
The Mutts Winter Diaries - Patrick McDonnell

(I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review)


This is for die-hard Mutts fans, the readers that are already familiar with the recurring characters and absolutely must have every volume in their collection. I am a Mutts fan, but more for the heart than the jokes, and for that reason this one fell flat for me. This volume is targeted to children, so perhaps I’m simply not the target audience.


I really enjoyed the first Mutts Diaries, but this book is a less enjoyable winter-themed rehash that focuses more on repetitive jokes and less on the heartfelt moments that the comic generally excels at. Gags about to much snow, hibernating for the winter, how much dogs like walks, and nut –throwing squirrels are all stretched to the breaking point, making it feel like a collection of outtakes from better volumes. Perhaps the winter theme is just too limiting; jokes that would run in the paper seasonally are suddenly grouped together and the effect is overkill.


The artwork is as adorable as ever, and Mooch, Earl, and the gang are their usual goofy selves, but this collection was too repetitive and was missing the more heartwarming moments I’ve come to love from Mutts. There were a few vignettes that stood out for their superior quality, like one where Earl comes home without his sweater and a silent panel on the next page reveals he gave it to his bulldog friend who is always tied up outside, even in the snow. Or a discussion between Mooch and Earl about deer overpopulation that circles around to comment on human overpopulation. Moments like those are what have made me a Mutts fan. This book just had too few of them.

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review 2015-07-31 00:14
The Mutts Winter Diaries - Patrick McDonnell

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                A few years ago, I stopped playing my city’s local paper simply because it sucked.  It really did.  I heard that it has gotten better, but I don’t know.  The only thing that I have missed from that paper was McDonnell’s Mutts.  (Yes, I know, but reading it in a newspaper is different, okay?).


                Mutt is great because Earl and Mooch and their people and friends are anyone’s pets.  Your dog or cat may look different but they either act like Earl and Mooch all the time, or act like one of the supporting animals.  It’s not like Garfield or Heathcliff.  Furthermore, McDonnell does quite a bit about animal rescue and shelters.  It’s hard not to like this strip.


                The Winter Diaries are pretty much what the gang gets up to or doesn’t get up to, in winter.  They try hibernating.  They meet a penguin, who may, just may, be a stand in for people in general, and they hang with bears.  We see what the squirrels get up to and watch Mooch try to find two identical snowflakes.


                And then there is the evil weatherman.


                At the end of the book is a brief guide to what animals featured in the comic really, truly do during the winter and what you can do to make life a bit easier for them.


                And this is what makes Mutts wonderful because it is for cat and dog lovers, not one or either, and for those who like animals in general.  It’s funny because it is true. 


                I mean, what cat owner hasn’t been spooned by the furry beast and what dog doesn’t got boing when on a walk?

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review 2015-06-22 16:21
Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups & Chili Dogs- David Gordon Burke

    This is a very engaging mix of short doggy stories from one of dogs' very best friends, David Gordon Burke. Most of these short stories lean towards the sad and tragic with some nice yappy endings. However, Burke's raison d'être is exactly that dogs are being mistreated, in Mexico in these cases, and we humans need to do a lot about it. The problem may be acute in Mexico though hopefully improving, but that is certainly not the case in all corners of the world.
    Burke makes very good use of newspaper reports between his conventional short stories, which greatly add to the ambient feel of seriousness behind his reflections. All the stories are based on general truths from real incidents, though some have been lightly fictionalised to make them more engaging and rounded.
    The stories are well written, though the version I read had a few very inconsequential typos. There is always danger in not mentioning this, as grammar fiends seem to so enjoy destroying great writing, like this, on such thin pretences and especially if they feel 'conned' into buying.
    As one of those people that actually prefers the average dog to the average human, I am bound to empathise deeply with this book, however, I feel even strange folks such as cat lovers and rodent fanciers will find plenty here to grab their attentions, stories drawn from the street-life of Mexico.


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review 2014-09-10 02:24
Review: Mutts Diaries
The Mutts Diaries - Patrick McDonnell

(I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.)


Mutts geared for the younger set. Since it’s not a terribly sophisticated comic strip, this really isn’t hard to do, so it doesn’t lose much in being edited specifically to cater to a kiddie sensibility. The chapters are divided into separate “diaries,” with strips focusing on individual characters. Of course, there are the main cat and dog duo, Mooch and Earl (and their owners), but many others get little segments of their own as well. Mirroring the way the strip has evolved over time since 1994, the little vignettes in this collection are first just silly, innocuous little observations of animal behavior- cats are lazy, dogs like belly rubs- but then it gradually takes a turn into deeper, more meaningful territory. It never gets truly dark or loses all of its silly charm, but when McDonnell starts showing the dreams of shelter animals in the Shelter Stories shorts, or how lonely and sad it is to be a dog chained up every day of your life, it hits hard. Right. In. The. FEELS.


Mutts has been my favorite comic strip for a long time, and this collection, though brief, does capture the charm of the characters and McDonnell’s exquisitely simple art.


(How does this not break your heart? ADOPT, DON'T BUY, people)


Cross-posted at Goodreads: Mutts Diaries

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