The Grim Reaper sits at his computer, shaking his fist in anger at the fatal system error that has occurred during some important work.

Having worked with PCs since the advent of Windows 3.1, I’ve had my share of blue screens over the years. They would always arrive at the most inopportune times. Many an hour would be spent not only looking for the cause and solution, but also redoing work that had been lost since the last save.

Commonly known as the STOP Error or Blue Screen of Death, they appear with almost tauntingly cryptic error codes and are usually accompanied by that sinking stomach feeling at the realisation of all the work that has been lost.

When I had the idea for this drawing, I was thinking about blue screen errors and thought it would be interesting to depict the stereotypical Death being annoyed by a common blue screen. I figured the error must be so annoying and prevalent that by now it must have gone beyond the average Windows user. It wasn’t until part way through drawing that I recalled the error being referred to as the Blue Screen of Death, so it must have been a subconscious thing that I should draw a cartoon featuring ‘Death’ for an error condition often associated with death.

I liked the idea of drawing some things in Death’s room / office that would be a bit unexpected, such as the desk photo and the motivational / inspirational ‘Hang in There’ poster.

This cartoon wasn’t intended to be dark or gloomy, so my apologies to anyone who got that vibe. I don’t often think about cloaked skeletons running around with scythes, let alone draw them. My inner Goth is weak. This is merely a light-hearted look at fatal computer errors and the extent of frustration they cause.