Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review - Shave the Whales by Scott Adams

Short review: Dilbert at home isn't as funny as Dilbert at work. But it is still funnier than most other comic strips.

Dilbert goes on dates
Dogbert makes fun of Dilbert
Some workplace humor

Full review: Shave the Whales is the fourth collection of Dilbert comic strips. Dilbert is now known as a vicious satire of the modern office environment, but the early years of the strip were more heavily focused on the personal problems of Dilbert as a nerdish engineer trying to meet women and navigate a social environment for which he was temperamentally unsuited.

This collection is drawn from that earlier era, so the biting office humor is not nearly as prevalent as it would become later. Most of the now-familiar denizen's of Diblert's workplace are noticeably absent, and as a result the Dilbert character must carry most of the comedic weight by himself with little more than an assist from Dogbert. To provide a little bit of help, Adams introduces the pathetic Ratbert to the mix, and in the handful of office oriented strips we get the first iteration of a Wally-like character, although the character isn't actually named and it isn't quite Wally.

This remains a very funny collection though, as flashes of the satire that would come to the forefront later show up, and the strips featuring Dilbert's attempts to get dates are viciously funny as well. Though not as exceptional as the strip would later become, this is a great collection nonetheless.

Previous book in the series: Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless
Subsequent book in the series: Bring Me the Head of Willy the Mailboy!

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  1. @Julia Rachel Barrett: I should have mentioned in my review that puns play a big role in the humor of the book.