(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