Porpoise Assault Leads to Second Version of ‘Dilbert’

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By: Dave Astor

United Media syndicated two versions of today’s “Dilbert” after deciding that the original comic — picturing a porpoise seemingly up a lawyer’s behind — might be too graphic for some clients.

In Tuesday’s strip, the pointy haired boss announces he has hired a porpoise because it’s a member of a smart species. He adds: “Porpoises have been known to save humans by attacking sharks with their snouts.” The porpoise apparently considers the company lawyer a shark, because it assaults the attorney in the rear end in the comic’s last panel.

“I sent it to United, and they said it wouldn’t fly everywhere,” said “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, when reached by E&P Online. So Adams did another version showing the company lawyer attacked in the back rather than in the rear end. The porpoise is not pictured, but the attorney’s back has an “ugly snout wound.”

Adams said he’s not sure how many of his 2,000-plus clients ran each version, but guessed that two-thirds might have published the original.

How does Adams feel about doing another version? “It doesn’t bother me,” he replied. The cartoonist said newspapers have the right to decide what they want to publish, and that creating “Dilbert” on the computer means it doesn’t take him long to make changes.

Adams added that, during most years, he only has to revise a “Dilbert” strip once or twice. In 2005, it has been three times. One instance was last month, when United was bothered by an image of bullets being shot from a gun. So Adams changed the drawing to show bullets being shot from a donut! The other instance was a comic showing the boss requiring owls to fuel an SUV. After realizing he needed to breed more of the birds, the boss was shown in a hot tub with an owl. Newspaper clients had the option of running a version that covered up the hot-tub scene and directed people to the Web if they wanted to see it.

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