Archive: Dilbert

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Dilbert, 12/19/04

Some commentators, less charitable than I, would argue that, whatever Scott Adams’ obvious talents in writing and marketing are, his artwork isn’t particularly good. I choose to believe that he’s realized how to make his extremely simplistic style fairly funny. There’s something about the expressions on the face of Dilbert’s interviewer in this strip that I find hilarious, particularly in the second panel from the left in the bottom row. I can’t tell you what the crossed arms, the protruding lips, and the one closed eye are supposed to signify, but it’s funny, by God.

Also funny: the fact that Dogbert has, in the time it took Dilbert to screw up a job interview, been able to not only win the lottery, but transform his winnings into burlap sacks of cash (with dollar signs on the sides, natch).

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Well, no doubt like many of you, I got swept up in holiday madness last week, and am still playing catch-up in the non-gorging-on-turkey aspects of my life. What with the two Thanksgiving dinners, the Christmas gift exchange with the cousins, the rousing chorus of folk songs from the labor movement, the avant-garde play performed by elementary school children, and the specter of 24 straight hours of uncontrollable vomiting hanging over it all (what, your week wasn’t like that?) I haven’t had time to read the comics so you don’t have to. In both the spirit of the holiday and a desperate attempt to play catch-up, I offer you a week’s worth of comics and corresponding sentence-long things that I’m thankful for.

B.C., 11/23/04

I’m thankful that B.C., having already pissed off both Muslims and Jews, is now going after the Irish, ensuring its departure from the comics pages any day now.

Dilbert, 11/24/04

I’m thankful that public discourse has coarsened to the extent that the phrase “cow’s butt” can now be printed in the comics pages, because I think cow butts are funny.

Beetle Bailey, 11/25/04

I’m thankful that Beetle Bailey has discovered postmodernism, at long last.

Mary Worth, 11/26/04

I’m thankful for Boston, because they rock, man.

Family Circus, 11/27/04

I’m thankful that at least one member of this family is beginning to question the oppressive patriarchal suburban hell in which she lives.

Doodles by Mac and Sack, 11/28/04

I’m thankful that Mac and/or Sack were polite enough to add “please” to their request that I add horns and a bell to the grazing bovine in the bottom middle panel, though I admit that I could have done without the freakish hula-hooping cow above it.

Kudzu, 11/29/04

I’m thankful to Bill O’Reilly, who’s provided days and days of jokes to desperate comic strips everywhere.

B.C., 11/30/04

And now the handicapped. Yep, any day now…

Oh yeah, and one last thing I’m thankful for is this Jonathan Franzen essay about Peanuts from the New Yorker. It’s, like, good and stuff.

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Dilbert, 11/5/04

Ziggy, 11/5/04

One must assume that psychiatrist jokes popped into the pop culture ether about a week after Freud hung out his shingle in Vienna. There’s nothing like the experience of opening up your innermost thoughts and feelings to serve as a subject for uproarious humor and cruel mockery; the New Yorker cartoonist staff has been making hay from this for decades, and of course Lucy van Pelt is the Jungian archetype of the hostile therapist. But when you have a cartoon character whose whole purpose is to be a case study in haplessness, well, you get results like these, where cartoon characters as old school as Ziggy and as (relatively) new school as Dilbert are the butts of what is essentially the same joke. I do have to say that this Ziggy is all the crueler because he looks like he’s about to burst into tears (the dark circle under his eye is a nice touch). Dilbert at least can stick up for himself. Also, apparently the fact that Ziggy is lying on a couch and talking to a bearded man in a suit with a notepad doesn’t convey psychiatry clearly enough to the unwashed masses, because there’s a little sign to that effect hanging in the background.