M. Patrick Duggan
Writer/Artist M. Patrick Duggan is a cartoonist, writer, and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Storytelling Festival. He has written and produced projects for animation, publishing, and feature films, working with companies such as Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Fox, Acclaim, and more. He gained some notoriety in the comic book world when his American-published Atomic Clown series was translated into French and suddenly sold better than it ever had in North America. It’s a lovely anecdote at dinner parties.
He has worked on many comic books, magazines, and novels–including Disney Adventures, The Tick, Foodang, The Dark, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Clown With A Gun, The Lemming, Bunny & Turtle, The Man Named Elinor, NUOS, Atomic Clown, Atomic Men, and LA: Heaven and Hell–and drawn storyboards for The Tick, DinoTrux, Doug, King of the Hill, Astrid Strudelman, and The Wild Thornberries. In addition, he has drawn many merchandising pieces — trading cards and toy cover artwork for major franchises like Harry Potter, DC Comics Heroes, and more. He is a proud nerd with profound opinions about Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and… yes… The West Wing.
When M. Patrick was only 14 years old, his father took him aside one day to ask an important question. “Dearest son,” he said (let’s pretend that the elder Mr. Duggan would do that, shall we?), “won’t you tell me? What is it that you wish to do with your life?”
Young M. Patrick needed only a moment to ponder the question before saying, “Dearest father, I would like to write novels—like J.R.R. Tolkien… or Kurt Vonnegut. I want to write amazing stories.”
The elder Duggan thought about that for a moment. Then he said, “Well, you know what those two fellas have in common, right?”
“Duh. They are both writers, pops!”
“Don’t take a tone with me, son. No—I was simply to going to mention that those guys both finished what they started.”
The younger Duggan, barely containing his irritation, thanked his father for the great advice.
Years later, at the age of about 25, M. Patrick was lucky enough to be at a book event thing in Brooklyn where the great Kurt Vonnegut was signing (or possibly he was merely attending—that part of the tale is a little hazy in hindsight). Screwing up his nerve, the younger Duggan approached his idol carefully and asked, “Mr. Vonnegut, do you have any advice for a young and aspiring writer like me… sir?”
The great one peered back and said, “Sure, kid. Be amusing.”
“Um. Okay. Thanks. Anything else, sir?”
“Yeah. Finish what you start.”