Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert

Like a lot of people, I’ve been a fan of Dilbert for many years. I buy the books, I get each day’s cartoon in my RSS reader, and generally enjoy it. While I buy the collections that come out a little more often than once a year[1], I’ve generally not bothered with the extra compilations that come out from time to time. As these generally include stuff I already have, they’re not really worth bothering with for me.

But the other day, I wandered into Waterstone’s and saw this. A huge slipcased hardback Dilbert collection. It was wrapped up so I couldn’t see the contents, but the label claimed it contained over 2,000 strips with lots of comments from Scott Adams and a disk with over 6,000 strips. The cover price was a rather hefty £50, so I didn’t buy it. But when I got back in front of a computer, I checked for more details on Amazon, where I found it at a rather more reasonable £24.99, which I couldn’t resist at all.

The next day, it was in my hands, and it’s everything you might wish for in a definitive Dilbert collection. There are some introductory notes from Scott – going into more detail on the origins of Dilbert than in previous books, early cartoons from before the strip was syndicated and lots of background notes and comments on selected strips. And nice little bonus items like the letter from some outraged square dancers. It’s all very nicely presented on heavy paper, with very clear reproductions of the strips.

The included CD (oddly described as a DVD in the packaging) quite simply contains image files of every Dilbert strip from the first published one up to May this year. No fancy viewers or awkward software, just the files to do with as you wish[2]. More recent strips can be found at the Dilbert website, of course.

I’d describe this as the ideal gift for any Dilbert fan. And for anyone who doesn’t have the full collection of books, it’s a very cost-effective way of getting a full set of Dilbert strips in a handy format.

[1] For reasons that might make sense in a parallel universe, rather than issuing a collection once a year with a whole year’s cartoons in it, they issue smaller books with about nine months cartoons. Except when they produce bigger ones with about twice as many. Most odd.
[2] Subject to copyright, etc, etc, etc