Comic collection review:Runtime Error by Bill Barnes & Paul Southworth


Finally a comic strip for all the techy coders out there.  “Not Invented Here,” came as a recommendation from amazon and for $5.99 I figured why not try it out and see what it’s like.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Runtime error is the first in the series with a second volume out now.

The comic centers around the lives of Owen and Desmond and the office politics of code writers and tech support people in the work place.  I expected something like a Dilbert knock off, but this strip is actually much better than Dilbert in my opinion.  It is not quite as cynical and there is a real chemistry between the characters which come off as full blown characters, not just stereotypical nerds.  From Desmond’s love of Weird Al to Owen’s attempt to make management understand the complexities of working on a product that isn’t even invented yet.

The collection is in full color and well thought out, the gags fit in line with the story and characters and are not forced, there is a real development here.

Bill Barnes is also the author of the “Shelved” comic series which has 8 volumes out now  So he is an old master at making great comics.  He brings his experience to “Not Invented Here” and with the collaboration of Paul Southworth on the art, the comic is quite a great accomplishment.  You really won’t go wrong picking up this series, even those of us who are not computer programmers can enjoy this series.  It is a welcome addition to the Root Beer Party archives.  So if your in the mood to check out a new series, give this one a look.

You can check it out for yourself here on the web at their website:  It looks like they are on a break right now, but with more support, they may bring it back, let’s hope so.  This strip is too good to let go.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.



*** Correction:  Bill Barnes is the co=creator of Unshelved along with Gene Ambaum and it also has 11 collections out not 8 as previously mentioned.  (Root Beer Party Chief Editor)


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