Not Invented Here comic strip for 9/21/2009
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Monday, September 21, 2009

I do something similar. When I sit down to write (either code or comic strips) I do a kind of jazz hands thing over the keyboard. Warms up the fingers, boots up the hand-eye coordination, and allows the genius to flow through. Also, I have coffee.


Desmond cracks his knuckles in front of his computer.

He wiggles his fingers like a concert pianist.

Owen: What's today's masterpiece?
Desmond (typing): I'm creating a subdirectory. But the ritual must be observed.

Not Invented Here

Welcome to our new comic strip, Not Invented Here.

I spent nearly two decades in the software industry. I wrote code, managed people, wrote specs, designed UI, wrote a column about technology, managed people who managed people, and even dabbled as an executive speechwriter. I’ve been an employee, a contractor, a consultant, and a founder. Eventually I realized that what I was best at was making fun of people, so I quit and became a cartoonist.

I love making Unshelved with Gene Ambaum, and will continue to do so, but there are stories I want to tell that don’t make sense in a library, and characters to introduce that can’t long survive outside the delicately balanced ecosystem that is software development. This time around I decided to focus on the writing, and so I’ve teamed up with the awesome Paul Southworth, formerly of Ugly Hill and currently of You Are Dead.

We hope you will enjoy meeting Owen, Desmond, and other characters to be named later. Not Invented Here comes to you Monday through Thursday every week. Add our feed to your favorite news reader, and follow the spectacularly banal musings of Paul and myself on Twitter.

P.S. The name was suggested by my old friend Matt Diamond, with whom I’ve collaborated on both comic strips and software over the years. It’s particularly appropriate, as Wikipedia explains, because even though there are several excellent off-the-shelf comic strip/blogging solutions I insisted on writing my own from scratch. Not Invented Here is also a great blog by Lisa Dusseault, with whom we are honored to share the name.