Why Newspapers Should Replace "Dilbert" with "PvP"

I know it's been a hot minute since I posted anything on this blog, but few things make me want to write about comics like the cancellation of one of the biggest syndication newspaper comic strips of all time. The comic strip in question is "Dilbert" by Scott Adams, which is being canceled after the author made some (in my humble opinion) extremely racist and troubling comments on a video last week. What's more, some of the author's views have been popping up in the comic strip itself, so while the comic has yet to make any racist statements (to my knowledge), seeing that the author's personal political opinions are finding their way into the strip, I can understand editors rightful fear that retaining the comic may actually give the creator a platform to share more of his troubling views.

For that reason, I understand why the newspapers are tossing the strip. Now, I want to make something clear before we continue: I LOVE "Dilbert!" I have been an avid reader of the comic for YEARS! I loved the UPN animated show, I own many of the comic collections, and Scott Adams was one of the first people I bought non-fiction books from. So, to lose "Dilbert" in the comics (and possibly even the website) is not exactly something I am happy about. I also won't be throwing away those old comics and swearing never to read the series again. I can easily separate the art from the artist, and while the cancellation is completely understandable and Scott Adams has proven to have a more than troubling view on certain things, I will personally always enjoy "Dilbert" (and even some of his controversial recent strips still get a chuckle out of me).

That said, he has done major damage to himself and his brand, and after the comments he made newspapers are fully within their right never to work with him again.

So, the question becomes what do newspapers do with the empty space now vacated by "Dilbert?" It can't just be anything after all. One of the reasons "Dilbert" survived in the newspapers for so many years is because it revolved around a very relatable topic: the Hell of working in corporate America. Ignoring the corporate aspect, it could also be a funny strip for those who simply worked in an office. Office work culture is ripe for humor. "Dilbert" was able to view the mundane of this life and turn it into comedy gold. While most people would highlight "Calvin & Hobbes," "The Far Side," and "Peanuts" as their all-time favorite comics, if you asked the average person which comic they related to the most, chances are their response would be "Dilbert." 

Since no other comic follows the daily worker as much as "Dilbert" does, you might want to replace it with something that follows this formula. Something that finds humor in work culture, while also giving characters that readers can see themselves in. Thankfully, there is such a comic strip that newspapers can replace "Dilbert" with that is not only more modern but is also about the very audience that "Dilbert" catered so successfully to: "PvP" by Scott Kurtz!

"PvP" started as a comic strip that revolved around a bunch of gamers who worked for a gaming magazine. As the years went by it evolved to where the business become a digital publisher of blogs and apps. Not only is this the direction the "Dilbert" should have gone, but "PvP" has the added advantage by having the characters being well versed in pop culture. "PvP" not only captures the humor of the mundane aspects of working for online journalism, but it also captures the fun aspects of the workers lives. The moments where break time is an excuse to play a tabletop game. Or the personal debates characters have on whether or not Android is a better device than Apple. It's relatable, very funny, and would be a natural replacement for "Dilbert." 

If you need a professional to vouch for the comic, Jim Davis (creator of "Garfield") has highlighted what a great series it is, and it's not nothing when one of the most successful comic strip creators of all time highlights something as a gem. With over 20 year's worth of comics already completed, there is no shortage of content to be printed as well! Some comics may need minor editing, but once that's taken care of then you could have year's worth of comic strips to print right out of the gate! Also, at one point Kurtz was giving away "PvP" for free! Not sure if that offer is still on the table, but if it is...well, what do you have to lose? Of course, I'll still miss "Dilbert." I think I'm allowed to still love the comic despite everything that's happened. But Adams really blew it with his comments, and I understand why this is happening. But if it must happen, I fully believe "PvP" is a worthy and logical replacement. 

Just make sure you write to your local editor and let them know!

Your Comic Book Guy - Kevin

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