New Jersey. There’s got to be more to it than being a commuter state to New York City. How else can you explain this level of talent erupting from its loins?
Patrick McDonnell, cartoonist extraordinare. Creator of the transcendental comic strip Mutts. On the Board of Directors of the Humane Society. Writer of several children’s books (unlike many celebrities who write kids’ books, McDonnell’s do not suck). Unconfirmed reincarnation of the Japanese poet Basho Matsuo.
Bruce Springsteen. Player of rock music. All-time classic albums: Born to Run, Nebraska, The Rising. Best member of the E Street Band, by a longshot. Has written no children’s books that I know of, but if he did you can bet every kid in town would be itching to get on the open road and ride, ride, ride. Direct descendant of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (though not by blood).
What is it about the Garden State that creates huge mega-stars? They’ve got talent and ambition, and nobody’s gonna stand in their way. Maybe it’s growing up near (but not in) one of the biggest cities in the world. Maybe Jersey girls (as sung by Tom Waits) inspire these guys to go that extra mile. Maybe there really is something in the water.