Dilbert Gets Re-Accomodated is the 45th collection of cartoonist Scott Adams’ never-ending strip of workplace funnies, and the first to be published in a supposed ‘new era’ when its creator has received unprecedented attention for his work elsewhere. In such trying circumstances you’d think such a pulling of the strings might result in a watered-down product; see Seth MacFarlane who parlayed his own comic talent into a multifaceted career, with diminishing results the further the star flew from the mothership.
I’m happy to report this hasn’t been the case for Adams’ Dilbert. Not yet, anyway. Mercifully, the title of collection 45 is much shorter than its predecessor, I’m No Scientist, But I Think Feng Shui Is Part of the Answer, packing in a bigly array of Dilbert daily and Sunday strips (all colorized, of course) that ran in both newspaper and digital outlets between July 24th, 2016 right through June 10th, 2017. Perhaps you’ve read them elsewhere, or maybe Dilbert.com is your designated homepage. Whatever the case, for those who collect such things – and many of you still do – here’s another paper square-shaped book for your lonely bookshelf.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s strictly by-the-numbers for this collection as Dilbert and his many cohorts aren’t interested in breaking the mold. Wally accidentally invents the company’s best-selling product ever (an overheated phone charger that also doubles as a coffee warmer), which fast-tracks him to management. Alice once again dates the office robot, yet learns a valuable lesson that the best way to a man’s heart is through his programming code. Poor office intern Ashok is conned into murdering Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis, or possibly Jim Davis’ body-double, while Dilbert invents an artificial drone that easily fits into a drone.
But even routine Dilbert is still Dilbert, which usually means it delivers the funny on a consistent basis, and isn’t afraid to knock a few sacred cows while doing so. Look for well-time zingers against Climate Change cranks and orange-haired Tweeting candidates alike, much-needed takedowns of Silicon Valley’s obsession with VR and AI, and the usual punchbacks at mindless bureaucracy and politics that’ve made Adams’ daily drip of sanity lifesavers for millions of office drones across the planet.
A word about that cover, though. Recent Dilbert collections have vacillated between stock paper (which I’m fine with) and more durable hardcover (which I’m also fine with). This one does an interesting trick by having a soft foldover flap on both front and back, giving the illusion you’re reading something much fancier and, thusly, more expensive. The tradeoff is there’s no personal greeting or colorful intro from Scott Adams begging you to join Dogbert’s New Ruling Class. But hey…those flaps! Adams, a trained hypnotist and emerging voice in the field of persuasion, no doubt anticipated this supposed ‘value add’ when approving said flaps.
Dilbert Gets Re-Accomodated delivers what you think it’ll deliver – (fairly) new daily and Sunday Dilbert funnies encased in that familiar square paper format you’ve been collecting for decades. When you really think about it, not even vinyl LPs had such a good run, despite attempts by audio hipsters to bring them back. Anyway, the point is this: after 45 collections of Scott Adams’ popular comic strip (and plenty of merchandising!) there’s no sign of him, or his creation, slowing down anytime soon. Incredibly, Dilbert may actually be more popular and relevant than ever before – a staggering accomplishment when you really think about it. Almost as bigly an accomplishment as that fancy new cover with the flaps. Now that’s added value!