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A comic strip about the funny people who make software for a living.
A comic strip about the funny people who make software for a living.
496 backers pledged $18,443 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$18,443

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Behind each great piece of software is a talented, concientious team of hardworking individuals dedicated to producing the highest quality product using internationally accepted best practices and industry standards. And then there are these guys.

Not Invented Here is a comic strip that documents life at a software company. It is written by creator Bill Barnes (Unshelved) and drawn by Jeff Zugale (frequent John Scalzi collaborator here, here, and here). In 2011 we published Runtime Error, a collection of our first 18 months of strips. Now, with your help, we're hoping to publish its sequel Upgrade Path, with a foreword by gregarious Internet personality StepTo.

Here's the deal. If we make our baseline funding goal we will publish a 168 page full color book in digital, paperback, and hardcover editions, containing strips from April 2011 through October 2012. Every copy will be signed by Bill and Jeff. But if we can do even better we'll make the book longer, adding more strips with every milestone level, up to a maximum of two years of strips. You'll get more book, at the same price. We'll also commission guest strips from some of our fellow webcartoonists, each exploring a different NIH character.

We will announce other stretch goals as warranted, including a plan to guarantee a year's worth of on-time strips, so wrangle your friends and coworkers to join in on the fun!

Plus, because you asked for it, we are going to bring back two NIH t-shirt designs from the past AND our famous IT Barrier Tape. You can add these to any pledge level $20 or above:

Thank you for supporting two independent cartoonists as we attempt to feed our families through our art.

Risks and challenges

Bill has published eleven collections of comic strips, and at this point he doesn't think there's anything that can surprise him. We have allowed for unexpected increases in the costs of printing and shipping, so only a major international incident should be able to delay this book.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One DRM-free digital copy of Upgrade Path

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Don't want a book of any kind? Your donation is much appreciated, and will go directly towards paying our beloved artist Jeff Zugale a living wage.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    One DRM-free digital copy each of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path (includes DRM-free digital copy)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path (includes DRM-free digital copy) plus a DRM-free digital copy of Runtime Error

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One signed hardcover copy of Upgrade Path (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    31 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One signed paperback copy each of Runtime Error and Upgrade Path (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error). Add $20 for an Artist edition or $35 for a Two Artist edition of Upgrade Path.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Artist Edition! One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path with a five-minute custom drawing by Jeff Zugale. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Artist Edition! One signed hardcover copy of Upgrade Path with a 5 minute custom drawing by Jeff Zugale. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Two-Artist Edition! One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path with one five-minute custom drawing by Jeff Zugale and another one by Bill Barnes. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    One signed hardcover copy each of Runtime Error and Upgrade Path (includes DRM-free digital copies). Add $20 for an Artist edition or $35 for a Two Artist edition of Upgrade Path.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Two-Artist Edition! One signed hardcover copy of Upgrade Path with one five-minute custom drawing by Jeff and another one by Bill. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Five signed paperback copies of Upgrade Path. Perfect for team rewards & holiday gifts!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Bill Fan Pack! One signed paperback copy each of Runtime Error and Upgrade Path, plus nine signed collections of Unshelved (also signed by Gene Ambaum)

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path PLUS an 8.5" x 11" custom black and white ink drawing (you pick the subject) by Jeff. Please add $15 for hardcover. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Ten signed paperback copies of Upgrade Path. Perfect for team rewards & holiday gifts!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Five signed paperback copies each of Runtime Error and Upgrade Path. Perfect for team rewards & holiday gifts!

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    1 backer
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    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    One signed paperback copy of Upgrade Path PLUS an 8.5" x 11" custom color ink drawing (you pick the subject) by Jeff. Please add $15 for hardcover. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Ten signed paperback copies each of Runtime Error and Upgrade Path.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    One signed hardcover copy of Upgrade Path PLUS we will feature a character based on you (with your name and likeness) in an upcoming Not Invented Here strip. Certain restrictions apply, please contact us for more details before selecting this option. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    One signed hardcover copy of Upgrade Path PLUS a custom acryllic painting (you pick the subject) by Jeff. Please contact us with your request before selecting this option. (includes DRM-free digital copies of Upgrade Path and Runtime Error)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Product placement! Bill will visit your software company (at your expense if outside the greater Seattle area), spending the day handing out NIH books & IT barrier tape and getting to know the business and people, and then make fun of it (by name!) in a future Not Invented Here sequence. Certain restrictions apply, please contact us for more details before selecting this option.

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Funding period

- (24 days)