(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.