Scott Adams Interviewed
Many of you might recall our interview with the very talented, always funny Zach Kanin, one of the wildest cartoonists ever to grace the pages of The New Yorker. Well, not long after his collaboration with the _floss, he started blogging over at The New Yorker's site, The Cartoon Lounge. To help promote their annual cartoon issue, Zach recently interviewed Dilbert creator Scott Adams (and, very kindly, linked to our great Chris Higgins' post describing the time Adams lost his voice due to Spasmodic Dysphonia). Below is a short excerpt from that very entertaining (especially if you're a Dilbert nut, like many of us) exchange. For the full interview, be sure to head over to The New Yorker's blog.
Scott Adams is the genius behind the comic strip "Dilbert," and behind every genius is a stalker, lurking in a crawl space. I like to think that each of our readers is like that stalker: hungry, semi-naked, and scratching at an itch that doesn't exist. I'm almost choked up now.
And now, the man, the legend, Scott Adams:
Cartoon Lounge: Scott, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I've already buried your fee of fifty gold doubloons in your back yard, as per your instructions. You have a very beautiful garden.
Scott Adams: (Nods, lips sealed tightly.)
C.L.: How does it make you feel that "Office Space," "The Office," the American version of "The Office," the German version of "The Office," and the animated television show "Dilbert" all stole your idea?
S.A.: I would feel bad if I hadn't stolen the idea of a loser with a talking dog from Charles Schulz. My contribution to the creative process was realizing Dilbert would starve if he didn't have a job.
C.L.: When you first started drawing "Dilbert," were people in your office mad? Was your boss like, "Wait a second"¦I have pointy hair"¦"?
S.A.: I had several different bosses during the early years of "Dilbert." They were all pretty sure I was mocking someone else.
C.L.: Do you own a dogbert?
S.A.: I recently got a toy Australian Shepherd. I'm teaching her to walk on two legs (really) because I think it's funny. Not all the time, but at least when company comes over. If I can get her to wear glasses, that's pure comedy gold.
C.L.: A rat?
S.A.: I'm sure there is a rat around here someplace.
S.A.: Hard to say. They are notoriously good at hiding.
C.L.: How did you first get published, and when did you become syndicated?
S.A.: For the full story, see my new twentieth anniversary book, "Dilbert 2.0." (Smooth, eh?) The short version is that I bought a book on how to become a cartoonist and followed the directions on submitting work to the big comic-syndication outfits. I was rejected by all of them but United Media. Before that, my only attempt at commercial cartooning had been some submissions to magazines such as The New Yorker and Playboy, all rejected. (Actually, the comics rejected by the The New Yorker and Playboy are in "Dilbert 2.0.")