scott adams


we interviewed scott adams on september 21st, 2004


what is the best moment of the day?

I like the moment when I realize I have an idea for my comic.


what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?

I try to avoid music because I find that it interferes in my creative process; I have trouble getting songs out of my head.


what books do you have on your bedside table?

the last book I read was ‘imperial hubris’. and I’m rereading my own book, ‘the religion war’, because I have to remind myself what’s in it before I do interviews about it.


scott adams interview

left: dilbert: © scott adams / distributed by united feature syndicate, inc.published with permission.right: dilbert and dogbert© scott adams / distributed by united feature syndicate, inc.published with permission.


do you read cartoon magazines, comic strips?

I go through the comics at ever week or so just to see what’s new and who’s funny.


where do you get news from?



I get most of my news from online newspapers and a sampling of the cable news channels.


I assume you notice how women dress.


do you have any preferences?

jeans always work.


what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?

I avoid wearing anything that would make me stand out in a crowd. so no clown noses or belly shirts.


do you have any pets?

I have a tuxedo cat named sarah.


scott adams interview

dilbert: © scott adams / distributed by united feature syndicate, inc.published with permission.


when you were a child, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be a cartoonist, then I wanted to be a lawyer, then I wanted to be some sort of business tycoon. mostly I wanted to be rich.yes, I always want to be a cartoonistbut some years I wanted it more than others.


where do you work on your projects?

I have an office at home.


do you discuss your work with other cartoonists?

sometimes. but I’m not in regular contact with too many other cartoonists.


what is your favorite comic strip?

pearls before swine.


scott adams interview

left: the dilbert ultimate house project / areal viewright: the dilbert ultimate house project / home theatre


describe your style, like a good friend of yours would


describe it.

simple and clever.there is a fine line between brevity and humor. if you look at complicated business situations and describe them with the fewest words, it turns into humor.


how you became a syndicated cartoonist?

dilbert is a composite of my co-workers over the years. he emerged as the main character of my doodles. I started using him for business presentations and got great responses. a co-worker suggested I name the character dilbert. dogbert was created so dilbert would have someone to talk to. on the advice of a kind cartoonist I bought a book called ‘1988 artist markets’ and followed the instructions on how to get syndicated. I drew fifty sample strips and mailed copies to the major cartoon syndicates. united media called a few weeks later and offered a contract. I accepted.


who is dilbert (and dogbert)?

dilbert was launched in 1989 after several months of further developing the strip. that was my first cartooning for profit.dilbert is an engineer. he is about thirty, and works at an undisclosed high-tech company in northern california. he lives with his dog, dogbert, who bears a striking resemblance to dilbert (including glasses and the ability to speak). dilbert is very intelligent and kind-hearted, which makes him particularly ill-suited for life on this planet. dogbert is also intelligent, but with a cynical edge. dilbert loves technology for the sake of technology. in fact, dilbert loves technology more thanpeople. in contrast to his master, dogbert has such a simple, yet keen understanding of human nature thathis perceptions seem ridiculous to dilbert.


what’s next? who would you like to design something for?I had a great time designing the dilbert ultimate house with the help of 3,000 readers and a team of experts. that is goes public on on september 29th. I’m not sure what’s next. I like to finish one project before thinking too hard about the next.


scott adams interview

the dilbert ultimate house project


what project has given you the most satisfaction?

the dilbert ultimate house project has been incredibly satisfying on two levels. first, I learned a lot, and that’salways fun. second, it has the possibility of changing what people demand in their own homes in terms of energy, green building, and space use, so the upside potential is amazing.I think the best work I’ve ever done is my non-dilbert book, ‘god’s debris’, and the sequel ‘the religion war’that’s coming out on october 1st., 2004.


can you describe an evolution in your work from your


first graphic works to the present day?

when I started out cartooning I had no art talent whatsoever, and after 15 years, I’ve proven that talent is overrated.


is there any cartoonist you appreciate a lot?

bill watterson was the best comic artist ever. gary larson was in the same rare air, in his own way.


scott adams interview

left: dilbert’s ultimate cubicle (in collaboration with IDEO)an attempt to address the myriad issues connected with partition-based offices. more info book cover ‘the joy of work’right: book cover ‘the religion war’


and from today’s scene?

today you have to look at ‘get fuzzy’ and ‘pearls before swine’ to see the future of comics.


any advice for the young ?

when I turned 40 I stopped giving advice. I figured if no one ever took my advice for the first 40 years, I might as well save my breath.


what are you afraid of regarding the future?

well, I think we all ought to be afraid of the fact that our government makes policies based on superstition.


scott adams interview