Toothpaste -- It's What's for Dinner

Mike Shiflet/Columbus Alive

The cartoonist known only as Drew

Columbus Alive | November 3, 2005
Conventional wisdom holds that Scott Adams’ Dilbert is the alpha comic strip of office humor, presumably because it has so many jokes abut cubicles, meetings and memos, even though it’s not really that funny. It’s certainly no Toothpaste For Dinner, the online comic strip from Columbus artist Drew, which makes Dilbert seem like a pretender to the throne. (Drew, by the way, is married to Alive columnist Natalie Dee—it’s a talented family.)

Toothpaste For Dinner isn’t always about the office, though when it is it brings a real insight and anger to the material. It also helps that Drew’s cartoons always look like they were done when he was supposed to be working, with hastily scribbled figures standing in a field of white space and punchlines scrawled in his own handwriting.

If you haven’t wasted an entire afternoon at work reading the backlog on (another way in which Toothpaste is subversive—it eats away at office workers’ productivity), the best way to get caught up is the new Toothpaste For Dinner: Hipsters, Hamsters and Other Pressing Issues (How Books). The chunky little tome collects more than 200 of Drew’s best cartoons about office culture, dysfunctional parenting, nerdy science jokes I didn’t get and clever observational humor.

If the world had good taste, photocopies of these would be hung up in your office break room instead of the yellowing Dilbert strips. But then, if the world had truly good taste, cynical smart-asses like Drew wouldn’t have any cultural injustices to mock, so I guess it’s an even tradeoff.

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Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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