This Cartoonist Who Definitely Isn’t Scott Adams Drew the First Funny ‘Dilbert’ Comic in Years

Rich Powell penned the perfect strip on the death of ‘Dilbert’
This Cartoonist Who Definitely Isn’t Scott Adams Drew the First Funny ‘Dilbert’ Comic in Years

Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ downward spiral continues to be a master class in how to take a perfectly good cartooning career and flush it down the three-paneled toilet.

After years of drum-beating for increasingly strange alt-right ideologies, Adams has finally alienated himself from the lamestream liberal media outlets that chose to overlook his, uh, “eccentricities” in order to continue publishing his widely beloved satire strip on office politics and corporate culture. In the last few days, hundreds of newspapers including the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have dropped Dilbert after Adams called Black Americans “a hate group” and told white people to “get the hell away” from them on a YouTube livestream last week. 

Adams’ inflammatory comments proved to be the last straw in a multi-year controversy over his views on race that started to escalate in May 2022 with a Dilbert strip in which Adams introduced a rare Black character named Dave who “identifies as white.” Dave’s bizarre arc in the comic increased scrutiny of Adams’ history of puzzling racial comments, which reached a head when he added more craziness to the pile last week. Yesterday morning, award-winning cartoonist and former MAD Magazine illustrator Rich Powell penned the first funny Dilbert comic we’ve seen since Adams started his descent into delusion.

“That’s what (Adams) said — white people should get as far away from Black people as possible,” Powell tells me of the inspiration behind the comic. “I think that (Dave) would be perfectly happy to get away from those assholes.” A longtime cartoonist, Powell is disappointed to see one of the seminal minds of the medium tank his credibility with unhinged YouTube rants and a Twitter account that’s indistinguishable from a QAnon bot. “I don’t know why he does all that other stuff,” he says of Adams’ many sideshows. “I’d rather have my cartoons speak for my point-of-view.” (Thankfully, Powell’s point-of-view is more silly than Stormfront-y.)

As newspapers remove Dilbert from their funny pages and publishers steer clear of the controversial author, free speech champion and longtime Adams advocate Elon Musk has defended the cartoonist, proclaiming that we should “stop canceling comedy,” but at this point, Twitter might be the only major platform that supports Adams in this weirdo segregationist stage of his career.

Powell’s got the right idea — maybe Adams should stay away from Dave for both their sakes.

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