Few things fascinate me more than seeing something work when it really shouldn't. For example, as you know, nothing is more boring than listening to another person talk about the dream he had last night. Therefore, you would assume, a comic that is nothing but an account of a stranger's dream should be the most uninteresting comic in the universe. And yet it isn't.
Artist Jesse Reklaw turns people's dreams into four-panel comics on the Internet. They have no coherent story line and no punch lines. If you read only one, you would probably scratch your head and wonder what he was smoking. But if you read several it feels like accessing the dream part of your brain while being awake. It's the strangest sensation. Check it out.
The hardest part about writing is capturing your own (or someone else's) inner thoughts. For example, if I ask you to tell me something funny or frustrating about your job, you'd give me tales of coworkers eating your food from the break room fridge, or tell me your boss is incompetent. But those aren't thoughts, just observations. We seem to store memories in terms of actions and some broad emotions, but not thoughts. And it is the thoughts you generally don't voice that make writing interesting.
Let's test this. In the comments section, tell me what you were DOING immediately before reading this blog, and also tell me what you were THINKING about while you did it. If you can do both of those things, you are halfway to being an interesting and humorous writer.
For example, "I was answering an e-mail from my coworker Karl while thinking he won't understand my answer because he has an unusually small head that probably can't hold much of a hat much less a brain."
I have an office cat, Sarah. She's a scrawny little tuxedo cat, about 18-years old. Sarah hates it when I try to work. I mean she really, really hates it. As soon as I enter the office she starts screaming at me. It's not a polite meow. It's more like a baby banshee being attacked by a porcupine. The noise penetrates my entire body. I'm almost certain it causes internal bleeding. This screaming lasts from the time I come to work until I leave.
Sometimes she punctuates the shrieking by puking on my carpet, destroying any documents she can reach with her arthritic leaping ability, and grunting out WMD in the cat box. Only one thing can stop this cycle. I must lift her up and pet her in just the way she likes. Any deviation from the recommended petting pattern means bloodshed.
You might wonder why I haven't thrown her through a double-paned window in all these years. That's because I haven't told you about the licking.
When I hold her in my arms, her pupils widen with love and she starts to lick my chin. I am not talking about a perfunctory little dry tongued "how ya doing?" here. Imagine a toothless, starving angel trying to lick a pork chop. It's like that, but less creepy.
I know I am special because she only licks the things she loves the most, including soft cat food, my chin, and her own ass, not always in that order. She doesn't have a favorite book or TV show, but if she did, I am sure she would lick them too.
Her tongue is surprisingly wet. I think she drinks water all night long to get ready for the morning. She's 4 pounds of cat and 2 pounds of pre-slobber. I've gotten used to the moisture, but the sandpaper texture has made it impossible for me to grow a beard. I live in fear that my town will have some sort of old-timey festival where all the men are expected to grow facial hair. People will just look at me, put an arm on my shoulder and whisper "Must be a great cat."
And they will be right. My cat is great.
I'm trying to come up with a catch phrase for a Catbert t-shirt. Here are some rough sketches. Which one do you like best?
Welcome to the almost-too-incredible-to-believe BETA version of the new Dilbert web site! We spent most of the past year, and a small fortune, to unwrap all the pent up Dilbert goodness and provide it to you for free, embracing the new realities of intellectual property on the web.
The site is still in BETA. You're getting a preview of future wonders. Please be patient. This is a generation beyond any comic web site, and it gets bumpy when you pass beyond the rim. Take a sneak peek at these new features:
PUNCH LINES: Write your own punch lines for Dilbert strips - just type them right into the panel - and e-mail them to friends!
Soon you will be able to write the entire strip, collaborating with others, in what we call Group Mash! (One person writes the first panel, another writes the second, and so on.) Readers can vote the best ones to the top of the heap. That way you get the attention and credit you need to make life worth living.
Starting today, mocking the idiots in your workplace is a competitive sport! This is going to be fun. I'll participate in the Punch Lines and Group Mashes too. Look for my contributions under username ScottAdams.
ANIMATION: We've animated Dilbert online. Several strips are already done and we plan to add one per day. You have to hear the new voice for Dogbert.
FAVORITE LISTS: Create lists of your favorite Dilbert comics and share with others.
ARCHIVE EXPANDED: Now the free Dilbert archive extends back to 2001. We're working on putting the entire archive online.
COLOR: All online strips are in living color. They look sensational.
SEARCH: Filter the archive by favorite characters. For example, find all the comics in the archive featuring Dogbert or Catbert or Asok, etc., plus any combination of characters.
DILBERT BLOG: My personal blog is moving to this page. And you'll be able to vote on comments, so the wisest and funniest float to the top.
The site has so many features and options it will take you a while to discover them. Send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.