The year was 1989. Somewhere in some nook and corner of the world one Scott Adams was working up a storm in his own small collection, whichwhen he unleashed onto the world became the comic strip sensation, Dilbert
. Since it's debut it has become one of the most runaway success storiesamong the comic strips. In fact, it is one of the most syndicated comicstrip till date.
Seven Years Of Highly Defective People
After 7 hard years of working on the corporate psyche and coming up with gems regarding the cubicle dwelling morons who comprise 80% of today's white collar jobs, Scott Adams decides to get lazy and make a book with a set of his choicest collection from the gems he had already created. The book as the footnote goes is a guided tour of the evolution of Dilbert
In this book, Scott identifies some of the Dilbert regulars and traces how the character originated and how it evolved. The theory of origin and evolution is stated via handwritten notes below each strip. Thecharacters traced in this book are: Dilbert, Dogbert, Ratbert, Garbageman, Liz, Mom and Dad, Bob the Dinosaur, Catbert, Phil, Asok,Tina the Tech Writer, Elbonians, The Boss, Alice, Wally, Carol,Critters, Dogbert in Hats, Ted the Generic Guy, Slapstick.
Scott Adams traces the characters in the way that best suits his style i.e. through his cartoon strips. So he regroups the strips of each character from the start and tries to trace the history of the character as it evolved. The book not only seeks the evolution of these various characters, but also goes and gives a hint of what Scott thinks about these characters. Of course, as far as the strips are concerned, they represent the best of each character and so from the first page till the last page you just keep laughing and crying that this is what is happening to you and you can't do a damn thing about it.
The book also reveals some of the trivia of Dilbert comics like:
1) Why is Dilbert's tie always pointing up?
2) How did Dogbert, Ratbert and dinosaurs make their way into Dilbert house hold?
3) How does Dilbert's ego manage to survive in his body?etc.
On the flip side, I felt that too many pages were given to less humourous strips featuring Phil, Bob the Dinosaur and Tina the TechWriter and these could have been used to give more from the likes of Alice, Wally and The Boss!!Summary
Although the book was written in 1997 i.e. nearly a decade back, the strips represent today's truth and the way we have reconciled to be treated as trapped zombies in our respective cubicles. If you know any such character, this book would represent a nice Christmas gift, one that would not only entertain the person, but also will provide enlightenment (at the end of the tunnel).
I give Seven Years of Highly Defective People
a high 5 star rating for making me laugh and cry so much.