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« Andorran Showoffs | Main | Basic Instructions, Part 4 »



This story is very funny he guy is very handsome all the best.

Jason Allen

I'd argue that Bloom County had a current events theme. It delved into politics as part of the over all theme. Some of the most memorable Bloom County strips had nothing to do with politics. What fan could forget Breathed's strip of a frothy "Mary Kay" cosmetics queen screaming for her minions to kill Opus? Classic!


Most of the writing is pretty funny-- and in some ways funnier-- just read aloud--without the rather weakly supporting drawings. Like a radio script. Or a standup routine. Sometimes the visual is a lot funnier 'reconstructed' inside the listener's head. This guy comes across more like a skilled writer trying also to be a good cartoonist.

Like Scott Adams is a skilled cartoonist, trying to be a good writer.

Which path is the easier journey, I wonder?

Also makes me think of the issue of comic strip creative teams vs. the 'soloists'. Great example of how this works brilliantly is 'Zits', written by Jim Borgman and drawn by Jerry Scott.

Scott, have you ever pondered becoming part of a writer or artist collaborative? Not that I think you need it in your strip, your stuff is still near the top of the pack.

I'm just curious on your thoughts about 'playing with others'--within or outside the comic strip field.


The feeling I got from reading the Basic Instruction comics is that the author is commenting on the Human Condition, not male-female relationships or relationships of any sort - necessarily.

I think this is a wonderful choice, since most of us can relate to both sides of the issue of, for example, making noise in a theater: if you are trying to open the noisy package, you're embarrassed at the disturbance you're making (unless you're a real jerk), and if someone else is making noise, you get ticked off. The yawn is another good example. Who can't relate to that?

It seems to me the main challenge here is that you either have to cover new ground, since a lot of this subject material has been done before, or cover things in a different way. Mr. Meyer seems to be accomplishing both.

I enjoy reading his comics, and I bookmarked the page (and sent the link to a lot of my friends), but I don't know how to get an rss feed. :)


Is it my imagination, or do you really not like Pearls Before Swine?

[It's my favorite comic strip that isn't my own. -- Scott]

Noah Vaile

I would suggest that he avoid political references to "real" people in the "real" world. They both date the strip and annoy people who don't agree with the reference.

People as you say will see what they want and if they think it is a partisan political strip they may very well avoid it or be disappointed that it isn't and then avoid it.

My own opinion is that every one I have seen IS about relationships and I have read them all from July 2006 to the present.

I think you've got a winner here Scott and Scott. Tha's why you like it, isn't it Scott? Because it's done by some one else named Scott and you are trying to fill the comic pages with Scottish humor. A comics empire founded by Adams and Eventually....

rita mae

Scott Meyer getting advice from Scott Adams???? SM should take SA's advice. SA seems to have done well for himself. Don't completely blow off the readers, tho, SM. They're your bread and butter. (By the by, the majority of the readers seem to agree with SA, so looks like it's a no brainer.)

Doctor's office keeps calling, they want me to come in again. This is after my stay at The Cardiac Center. They say I need to be hooked up to a machine. I say no. Will go talk to the doctor, but no machines. As my friend Fr. Kelley, a Jesuit at Creighton University used to say, "Life is short. Eat dessert first."

Scott, still love you, but still too old to stalk you.

Rita Mae


Scott says - It’s much easier to sell a comic if you can describe what it’s about in a word or two.

OK, How about this...

Basic Instructions: Bad Advice


I think that he could take any one of his current strips and stretch it into 2 or 3 strips, then make it a week long theme of "how to do (whatever)" if he has many ideas he wants to use.

Love the strip by the way and have added it to my favorites!


Calvin and hobbes: Little boy??
not quite correct I think!!
I guess you know more about marketing than I would ever do but are you not sick of simplifying everything to one or two words just for the sake of making it marketing?
Its amazing if you can do that and nothinkg like it but simplifying for the sake of it to feed to brain dead consumer sounds a bit awful!!

Real Live Girl

You're probably right - you have hindsight and experience about this we don't. But I would prefer that Basic Instructions be broader than just couple's relationships. I think of it's theme as "How to" for interacting with people.


Scott have you seen "Monty" (formerly "Robot Man")? Not the most successful comic but I think extremely funny. Give that guy some advice about publishing some books.


Here are some other ideas for Basic Instructions...

How to eat someone else's food from the fridge at work

How to make an insult sound like a compliment

How to leave work early

How to sound like you know what you're talking about

How to avoid responsibility

How to dance like nobody's watching

How to get the last word


Your advice is banal and sloppy, therefore, coming from you, it can be nothing but right. What sloppy, banal advice do you have for writing a ‘must-know-more-about-this-one’ CV?

(I think you're both great)


Honestly, so far your two ideas, Scott Adams, are the worst two things I could imagine for the strip. I though Basic Instructions was hilarious. Why? Because it featured entire (as in not a quick one liner which is all you can pull off in three panels) sarcastic conversations making fun of everyday events. These were conversation I could see myself having with my friends in real life. I thought the relationships comics were the worst - overdone, everyones already been there/done that humor.

Scott Meyer - when this doesn't work out, I hope you go back to your original premise. It was perfect.

PS - Dilbert is hilarious - not because of the work setting, but because of the often bizzaro humor.

Richard Gosling

I agree with the posters who say that there is already enough of a theme, no need to narrow it down further. Random is good, you never know what you are going to get next. There is a definite style, and that's theme enough.

The recurring characters could do with a bit more development, is the only area I can see needing work. You want to "get to know" them as you read more comics. There's some of that there already, but there could be more. Equally, for the uninitiated, there needs to be more clues on who the person is Scott is interacting with. It took several strips featuring the long-haired bloke before I realised he was Scott's boss.

I like the square layout, but I can't see it losing much by re-arranging the panels so they are 4 in a row instead to keep the papers happy - no problem. I'd prefer he kept the wordiness, I like it, and not every reader has a 3-second-max attention span - there's no need to cater exclusively for the lowest common denominator.


Thanks for recommending Real Life (Stuart?), I've started reading it and it's fantastic!!! :o)


i read through all of the comics and i thought they were really funny, reading many of them i actually laughed out loud. i think the theme is just 'how to' as i think some people have already said and i liked the broad coverage from mundane to bizzare.
the only ones i didn't really like at all were the four 'laws of relationships' ones. i thought they were quite dull and lacked the surreal surprises that made the rest so good.
(sadly) these are very similar to comics i see all the time in newspapers and so they'll probably go down well

Lex Chiltern

OK. It's a blog so nobody remembers last week even. Well it seems to be a bit like that. Anyone remember that other cartoonist that Scott tried to help? No? You know the body builder one. With the wife and the chicken. It was funny. I liked it. Then Scott Adams thought it was good and "helped" the guy out. Oh well that was the end of him.

So is another good cartoon about to bite the dust because some "big time expert" who happens to have done well for himself explains what he thinks works to the world?

Hey Adams admits he is just a moist robot. He says he has no way of being realy sure what is true. So he picks on a guy who is doing a good cartoon. Asks his (Adams') fans what they think then argues the point of their opinion. Broad (which I like as well) vs focused which Adams the moist robot with no free will thinks is better.

I refer to Adams by his surname because both cartooinsts in this, I dunno what to call it, have the given name of Scott.

Meyer would probably be well looked after if he just ran away. But he probably won't. If history tells us a tale then Meyers will be forgoten in a few months time.

Adams will blog on, I will read on and post if I feel like it. I will continue to have free will and God will still not exist.

Oh yeah, best prediction ever. Well on this blog anyway.



I thought "Basic Instructions" was about relationships - just not always man/woman relationships -


Not sure if this view has been posted, but the focus of a lot of Scott's strips do appear to me to be focused on relationships. Whether these relationships are with his partner, child, boss or friends, the strips still focus on how Scott deals with issues with these persons. There are some exceptions, but I would say he is still running at about 75% plus on the relationship theme.
Quite a few strips remind me of the fantasy daydreams that occur in Scrubs - resolving / discussing subject of the "how to...." if there were no social and/or ethical norms that had to be followed.
Is there a reason that the strip is drawn in a 2x2 frame rather than a 4x1? I would think a 4x1 would be more newspaper friendly.
Lastly, I love the single frame of the Scott with the piece of timber inscribed with the word "knowledge". How many times have I wanted to do that!


Scott: I'm curious why your list didn't include the prolific Joe Martin, if only for "Mister Boffo".

Gregor Wischnewsky

Hi Scott,
just an OT question regarding today's Dilbert strip (because I really can't make it out): Is Ratbert gnawing Dilbert's shoe or is he humping it?

Best regards,


man, that strongly reminds me of that film, "how to lose a guy in 10 days". the heroine is working for a newspaper and writing a stupid column full of make-up tips and women themes, and her boss says once this column has 10,000 readers, she could write anything she wants. well, the end is... "politics you certainly DON'T want!"
if you ask me, can it be the goal for any part-time cartoonist to get published only after doing what he never wanted? i don't know how material the change would be for scott. i personally wouldn't listen to you.


I haven't laughed out loud at any of the comics I would consider 'relationship' comics, but I've howled at many others and forwarded them to friends/family. Why not 'human interaction' for your two words instead of trying to force it into the overdone man/woman relationships (might as well do a toilet-seat-up joke)? I prefer the four panel comics to the shorter ones still, but I'll give it a few more chances.

Maybe you guys should get up a site where people can rank the comics Scott has on his site directly. That should give you an idea about what the audience (thinks it) wants. Of course, it may be skewed to a Dilbert direction given the users coming from this blog, but still...

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