Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Freedom’s Just Another Word For People Finding Out You’re Useless (A Dilbert Book)
posted July 27, 2009


Creator: Scott Adams
Publishing Information: Andrews McMeel, softcover, 128 pages, 2009, $12.99
Ordering Numbers: 9780740778155 (ISBN13), 0740778153 (ISBN10)

There's an amusing cartoon about a third of the way through this latest of 32 similarly-formatted collections of Scott Adams' Dilbert where our guy is on a date and talks about a night when the television was out so he just stared at the wall until he went asleep. It's one of the few strips that takes place out of the confines of the cubicle-heavy office, and while it's not difficult to remember a time when more strips took place away from that place, it's hard to fault Adams for going with his strength.

As much as has been made about Scott Adams' deficiencies as an artist, very little is spoken in terms of his ability to place himself as the cartoonist of all that's evil and stupid about modern corporate culture. While many strips make do are mining one sort of business or one type of relationship, Adams gets to whale on the awful, wretched heart of our cultural dysfunction. He's still a very solid gag-writer, which you sort of have to be to make this many years of jokes switching back and forth between emphasizing the weirdness of workplace everything or suggesting how that day's balm against the weirdness won't last. But maybe alone among all his peers the thoughts one has about his work as the years grind on has nothing to do with his relative skill and more of a deepening appreciation for how very right he is in saying the things he says. Adams may not be the best cartoonist or have the strongest strip concept, but he's always had and will continue to have by far the best topic.