Patrick McDonnell, a 1979 graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, started his career as an illustrator for several magazines, from The New York Times to Sports Illustrated to Reader's Digest. He also created 'Bad Baby', a monthly comic strip for Parents Magazine, which ran for 10 years.
He launched the strip called 'Mutts' in 1994, a few months before Bill Watterson discontinued his 'Calvin and Hobbes' strip. 'Mutts' contained so much quality that it easily took over the vacancy left by Watterson's popular strip. With 'Mutts', McDonnell not only succeeded in doing a newspaper comic in the tradition of 'Krazy Kat' and 'Peanuts', but also is a genius in spoofing modern art and pop-culture. 'Mutts' earned its rank among true "classics", and has won its creator many awards. It is syndicated by King Features to more than 600 newspapers in 20 countries.
As a cartoon historian, he also co-authored the book 'Krazy Kat: The Art of George Herriman' (Abrams 1986). In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a career as a children's book author.