updated 12/30/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/30/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, 39, says he conceived his powerless, potato-shaped character because "I have a grudge against idiots. Unfortunately the world is full of them, and a disproportionate number are promoted to management." Quiet and wry, Adams knows his subject. A frustrated cartoonist since boyhood, he earned an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and eventually became an applications engineer for Pacific Bell. After Dilbert—inspired partly by suggestions from fellow cubiclites—took off, Adams resigned to draw full-time. Busier than ever, he recently moved into a new Danville, Calif., home with his girlfriend, Pam Okasaki, 41, an executive at a PacBell subsidiary. Success means being besieged by businesses that want to use Dilbert as a managerial teaching tool. "I would never call myself a business guru," says the modest Adams. "The only business I'm in is making people laugh.