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As regular readers know, I don't generally explain my comics. But I'm going to make two exceptions. I think they deserve it.

My comic on 4-21-09 featured an Elbonian pig that no longer needed to play fetch because of the economic downturn. Huh? That doesn't even make sense, does it?



The intended but failed joke was that in Elbonia their pets are pigs. Thus the pig was practicing his fetching. You see, fetching doesn't come naturally to pigs. They need to practice on their own. But that's not the joke. The joke was that in good times the pig is a pet and in bad times he's dinner.

This wasn't my best work, according to the comments online, and I am forced to agree. Some readers were confused. Others imagined a cleverer joke than I actually wrote, based on a strip years earlier where the pig was minister of finance for Elbonia. That theory held that his bad job performance was catching up with him.

My second failed strip of late involved Dogbert trying out the flash feature on the company's new cell phone. This one didn't work but it's only half my fault this time.



The problem this time is that the outside service that adds color to daily strips (mine and others) decided the dead guy should be Dilbert, and they colored his necktie to conform to that theory. The dead guy is supposed to be Ted. I never color anyone's tie with Dilbert's distinctive style for exactly this reason. (I only color the Sunday strips myself.) Correct coloring wouldn't have been enough to save this comic, but it didn't help either.

You might wonder why I go through patches where Dilbert comics mostly suck for a few weeks, such as this one, and patches where I seem to be on top of my game. Some of it is probably just a matter of diet, exercise and sleep. But the bigger part is that I try different ways to go at the comics for a few weeks at a time. Notice that both of the comics that failed are missing an action scene that is implied. In the pig strip you don't see the future dinner preparations, and in the camera flash scene you don't see the flash itself happening. In both cases someone expires, and in both cases the topic is more fantastical than the usual office happenings.

The comics I am drawing now, that will run in late June, are back to standard office material. If I did too much of either the fantastic or the mundane it would cause a sort of snow blindness for the material. And I've found that the best way to draw young males into reading the strip is to kill some characters now and then. So while the quality of the strip has been down for the past few weeks, young readership probably went up.

I might be crazy, but I'm crazy like a pig.

 
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May 13, 2009
Well I didn't get the pig joke (as intended). I don't think it matters what happens to the pig after. I didn't assume he was going to be eaten (why are people so evil anyway??). They could have just let him forage in the forest completely free and happy with all the sticks he needs to play fetch with :)

As for the flash. I didn't even notice it was Dilbert's tie because I was too busy falling off my chair laughing at Dogbert. I don't care how predictable Dogbert is because he my favorite character in the strip specifically for this type of thing he does.

I suppose not having to think about the pig would make a better execution but I don't see why Ted can't have the same tie (assuming you are the type of person that notices every minute detail..in that case please line up against the wall for the award ceremony group shot)
 
 
May 4, 2009
I think it's hillarious you pretended to cater to the cretins who didn't get the jokes. However, these comments are dispelling the notion that reading Dilbert makes you smarter.
 
 
May 1, 2009
Heh, I didn't even notice that the corpse was colored like Dilbert, so I got that it was supposed to be the CEO right away. Score one for not paying attention!
 
 
Apr 30, 2009
I not only got the pig joke as written, i thought it was great! Don't eschew the subtle from time to time. This one was brilliant.
 
 
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Apr 29, 2009
thanks for both those explanations scott. i thought it was me being thick. again.

turns out it was you.
 
 
Apr 29, 2009
I wouldn't beat yourself up too much. I agree that the LOL element has been missing from Dilbert for a long time. I can only recall actually laughing once in recent times. So I haven't been tempted to by your latest compolation books. But it must be hard churning out a new strip ever day. No small feat.
When I take an overall view of my daily visits to your site I still rate it highly. The comic strip may not make me laugh, but it's still worth a look. The blog has a bigger appeal to me now. Your blog introduced me to Basic Instruction which is a fantastic comic strip. Makes me laugh most times. So a big thanks for that, and keep up the hard work, it is appreciated.
 
 
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Apr 29, 2009
I think the Pig is having the last laugh. (swine flu)
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
Anyone who didn't get those shouldn't be reading your strip anyway. I got the pig one immediately. To the point I chuckled out loud. The 2nd one, I tend not to pay attention to color so much, just the words, so it was obvious what was meant, and what was coming.
 
 
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Apr 28, 2009
I both got and loved the pig strip. Just the right amount of not too obvious.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
What?
These comics were great. They maybe took a second to understand, but they were hilarious!
MZ
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
I both got and loved the pig strip. Just the right amount of not too obvious.
 
 
Apr 28, 2009
I don't know, I got both of them. I thought the pig was the funnier (although I admit that the idea of the poor Elbonians having a pig as a pet, even in good times, is a bit absurd). Dogbert is so bad that he's become a bit predictable.

I don't expect every strip to be laugh-out-loud funny. I do agree thet ones we can relate to most are the best (like today's about stealing electricity). I don't steal, but I do relate to Wally's frustration.

Although every one is not a big belly laugh, to me, the most consitently funny strips in our paper are Dilbert and Pickles. I guess that is because I am an over-the-hill nerd.
 
 
Apr 28, 2009
I have to say I was supprised to see you "kill" dilbert.. but i actually got the "pig" one, maybe im just weird. I read on your blog a long time ago now, that each strip only appealed to about 25% of your audience at any 1 time, in just over a week everyone should have had a laugh or 2. I assumed these were just the ones that i didnt wet myself reading. I have now taken to not drinking or eating whilst reading your site, Its bad for the keyboard, and im not convinced that my IT department would see the funny side... (it might not be their 25%)

Thankyou for trying the weird and the wonderful, though I personally thing that you should have just had Asok saying "cheese" for th flash one, the implication would have been enough there...
 
 
Apr 28, 2009
"I might be crazy, but I'm crazy like a pig."

I'm thinking Jamaican Jerk seasoning, a little pepper and salt, olive oil and grilled over hardwood....
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
I don't see the problem- the Pig strip was hilarious - anybody that didn't get it might want to stick to "The Family Circus". And dogs vaporizing engineers is ALWAYS funny, no matter what color their ties are.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
On the plus side, I think yesterday's comic (with Dilbert at the psychologist's) was one of the all-time best. You were at the top of your game that day.
 
 
Apr 28, 2009
This is actually a tautology: "So while the quality of the strip has been down for the past few weeks, young readership probably went up."
 
 
Apr 28, 2009
I did think through several possibilities for both, so the ambiguity made me think, but it did kind of detract from humuor value for me.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 28, 2009
I really enjoyed the pig one. I read it at one of those times when my IQ was peaking (a few precious minutes every week) and got it right away.

When you read a strip, you inevitably see the last strip from your peripheral vision before you read it. I thought the tie was for a shock effect before people actually read the last strip to find that it was not Dilbert but the ever expendable Ted who had met St Peter. So, for me, it made the strip funnier.
 
 
Apr 27, 2009
I got 'em. Not sure why there was a problem.
 
 
 
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