The Oatmeal logo.
Type of site
|Created by||Matthew Inman|
|Launched||July 6, 2009|
|Revenue||Approx. $500,000 annually|
|3,115 (September 2014[update])|
The Oatmeal is a comics and articles website created in 2009 by cartoonist Matthew Inman (born September 24, 1982), who uses the comic's name as his nickname. The website features comics drawn by Inman, quizzes, and occasional articles. Inman lives in the Fremont area of Seattle, Washington, United States, and his second published collection is How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.
By 2010, the Oatmeal got more than four million unique visitors a month. In 2012, its annual revenue was around $500,000, 75% from merchandising and the rest from advertising.
The information found in the Oatmeal’s comics is researched by Inman. One comic typically takes Inman seven to eight working hours spread across three days. The comics cover an eclectic range of topics, including zombies, cats, horse care, and English grammar, with titles such as “What it's like to own an Apple product”, “What your email address says about your computer skills”, “How the male angler fish gets completely screwed”, “8 websites you need to stop building”, “How to name a volcano”, “15-ish things worth knowing about coffee” and “How a web design goes straight to hell.”
When thinking of a subject to write about for the website, he picks something that he is interested in and writes about it. He usually works at home. But as he finds it difficult to do in long periods, because of the lack of social contact, he often goes to a coffee shop to work. Inman finds that it is much easier to gain exposure for his work with the web than it would have been 20 years ago. He enjoys making people laugh at his work. And although he notes that he cannot actually see the reaction of others to his work, he still appreciates seeing the high number of page views that his website receives.
As of 2010, the website got an average of 4.6 million unique visitors and more than 20 million page views a month. Inman and his website were featured on an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly.
The Oatmeal’s first book, 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides), was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. The book was made available in the United States on March 1, 2011, in the UK on March 17, 2011, and worldwide in early May 2011. It features many of Inman's handwritten comics like “Party Gorilla”, plus 27 never before seen comics like “8 Very Good Reasons To Keep A Canadian As A Pet”. The book also features a large pull-out poster that is 6 by 4 ft (1.8 by 1.2 m).
His second book, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, launched on 9 October 2012 in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. My Dog: The Paradox: A Lovable Discourse about Man's Best Friend was published in hardcover on 7 May 2013. Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants was published on 1 October 2013, also through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.
In November 2013, Inman began a four-month sabbatical to write his fifth book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons I Run Long Distances, only creating four blog posts during this time. In March 2014, he announced the book’s September 30 release date and has organized a “Beat the Blerch” (a 10-kilometer, half, and full marathon), which was held in Carnation, Washington, on September 20 and 21, 2014. All 2,000 spots originally offered for the first race day were sold out in 20 minutes, prompting Inman to open a second day for more runners to enroll. He is currently planning to expand "Beat the Blerch" to other cities and states.
Additionally, the author is funded by sale of informational wall posters, greeting cards, calendars, clothing, coffee cups, signed prints, stickers, magnets, and badges.
In January 2015, Inman, in collaboration with Elan Lee and Shane Small, launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign for their project Exploding Kittens, a card based, Russian roulette style game. The campaign raised $1 million in its first seven hours, and $2 million in 24 hours, surpassing its original goal of $10,000. After 48 hours, it became the number one most-funded card game on Kickstarter, and the twenty-second most funded campaign overall. 
Tesla Museum fundraiser
In August 2012, the Oatmeal launched a fundraising campaign on the Indiegogo crowd funding website to raise $1.7 million for the nonprofit organization Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in order to purchase the Wardenclyffe Tower property in Shoreham on Long Island, New York – about 60 miles from Manhattan – due to concerns about an apparent offer to purchase the site and develop it for commercial use. The goal was to raise at least $850,000 to buy the property and restore the facility with the hope of eventually building a museum on the grounds in honor of the man who built Wardenclyffe, the Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla. The state of New York agreed to match donations up to half that amount if the fundraiser was able to raise $850,000. On August 21, a donation from Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors, raised the total to $792,000. Later, on the same day, the goal of $850,000 was reached – in just over six days.
A day later, the fundraising group exceeded its target after a $33,333 donation from the producers of the Tesla film Fragments From Olympus-The Vision of Nikola Tesla put the total amount raised at $873,169. Donors continued to contribute after the goal was reached, donating over $1 million over nine days. Including New York’s matching grant, the crowd funding campaign raised approximately $1.7 million in six days, with the campaign originally slated to run 45 days. Ultimately, the campaign (plus the New York grant) totaled over $2.1 million.
The additional funds will be used to fund the cleaning and restoration of the property, with the goal to build a museum on the grounds. Volunteers have begun work on the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, and recently unveiled a monument to Tesla.
On 13 May 2014, the Oatmeal authored a comic entitled “What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - A cartoonist's review of his magical space car - The Oatmeal” followed by a follow-up comic entitled "Part Two: Man Vs. Motor" in which he talked about Nikola Tesla, and Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors. After publishing the comic, he tweeted Elon, saying, “@elonmusk I wrote a review of my Model S, and then asked you for a little favor here http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla_model_s ...”, inviting Elon to donate to the Tesla Museum. At 2 A.M. the next morning, Elon responded by tweet: “I would be happy to help”.
According to a later blog post by Inman, Musk called him up and pledged two things — a Tesla supercharger would be built just outside of the museum, making the museum a part of his nationwide Tesla recharging network; and a million dollars for the development/construction of the museum.
FunnyJunk legal dispute
The Oatmeal has alleged that users on FunnyJunk, a content aggregator website, repeatedly infringed The Oatmeal’s original content. FunnyJunk alleged these accusations are defamation and demanded US $20,000 in damages. Inman responded by setting up a $20,000 Indiegogo fundraiser for a charity called “Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad”. Inman named National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society as beneficiaries  and had raised $220,024 at completion. He stated he intended to take a photo of himself with the cash, then send the photograph along with a satirical illustration of FunnyJunk’s mother “seducing a Kodiak bear” to FunnyJunk.
FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, attempted to shut the campaign down, alleging it violates Indiegogo's terms and conditions. Carreon also filed a pro se lawsuit Carreon v. Inman et al in United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Inman, Indiegogo, the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation in response. On July 3, 2012, Carreon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in his lawsuit against all parties without prejudice.
Oatmeal Studios trademark suit
Main Article: Exploding Kittens
In late January 2015, Matthew partnered with game designer Elan Lee and Shane Small to create a card game called Exploding Kittens on Kickstarter. It became the most backed Kickstarter project ever with over 217,000 backers, the 3rd most funded project on Kickstarter, and the most funded games project on Kickstarter, passing the OUYA in its final hours.
- "theoatmeal.com Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- "WA State Voter Registration Database". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- June 2013 Wired page 56
- Danny Bradbury (2012-06-21). "The Oatmeal beat Funnyjunk, but other cartoonists aren’t so lucky | Technology | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "The Oatmeal, he's a cereal killer". Brand X. The Los Angeles Times. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-06-22.[dead link]
- Carter, Matt (2010-01-19). "Guide to online entertainment". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- "Homepage". The Oatmeal. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- "Episode for March 31, 2010". Last Call with Carson Daly. Aired March 31, 2010.
- Inman, Matthew (2010-02-26). "The State of the Oatmeal". The Oatmeal. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- Inman, Matthew. "The Oatmeal Book - 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)". The Oatmeal. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Beat The Blerch 10k/half/full marathon". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- Mills, Heidi (June 10, 2014). "How to Beat the Blerch". Outside Online. Outside Magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Lee, Elan (January 20, 2015). "Exploding Kittens". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- Lee, Elan. "Exploding Kittens Updates". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Inman, Matthew. "Help me raise money to buy Nikola Tesla's old laboratory". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Voakes, Greg (August 15, 2012). "The Oatmeal's Latest Fundraiser To Save The Tesla Tower". Forbes. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- Solon, Olivia (16 August 2012). "Indiegogo project seeks crowdfunding for Tesla museum (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- Backers raise cash for Tesla museum honoring 'cult hero', CNN.com, 21 August 2012.
- Byford, Sam (21 August 2012). "'Oatmeal' Tesla museum campaign reaches funding goal after $33,333 pledge". The Verge. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- The Oatmeal. "We just passed one million dollars. Now what?". The Oatmeal.
We just passed one million dollars. Now what?
- "Tesla museum campaign exceeds fund-raising target". BBC News. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- "Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum". IndieGoGo.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Web Cartoonist Raises $1 Million For Tesla Museum". National Public Radio. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Monument unveiling at Wardenclyffe 9/23/2013". Telsa Science Center at Wardenclyffe. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- The Oatmeal. "What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - A cartoonist's review of his magical space car - The Oatmeal". The Oatmeal.
What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - A cartoonist's review of his magical space car - The Oatmeal
- The Oatmeal. "Man Vs. Motor". The Oatmeal.
Man Vs. Motor
- "Twitter - The Oatmeal". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- The Oatmeal. "So, I had a call with Elon Musk earlier this week ...". The Oatmeal.
So, I had a call with Elon Musk earlier this week ...
- Hutchinson, Lee (2011-06-02). "The Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk: webcomic copyright fight gets personal". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Hutchinson, Lee (2012-06-12). "Lawyer demands $20,000, so webcomic raises $100,000 from the Internet". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "FunnyJunk is threatening to file a federal lawsuit against me unless I pay $20,000 in damages". The Oatmeal. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Matthew Inman (2012-06-11). "BearLove Good. Cancer Bad.". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "Twitter / Oatmeal: Also, just to be clear I d". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "Website war earns big bucks for charity | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News". KOMO News. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Golijan, Rosa (June 2012). "Cartoonist turns lawsuit threat into $100K charity fundraiser". Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Can I Sue You People? Troll Lawyer Sues The Charities The Oatmeal Supports Accessed:June 18, 2012
- Thier, Dave (2012-04-18). "Lawyer Charles Carreon Suing The Oatmeal, American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Federation". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Carreon, Charles. "Charles Carreon v. Indiegogo, NWF, ACS". Archived from the original on 2012-08-13.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (July 3, 2012). Charles Carreon Drops Bogus Lawsuit Against The Oatmeal Creator.
- Lee, Timothy B. (2009-10-04). "Carreon claims victory, drops his lawsuit against The Oatmeal et al.". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- Ha, Anthony (2011-01-04). "FunnyJunk Attorney Charles Carreon Drops Lawsuit Against Oatmeal Creator". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- Clay, Kelly (2012-04-18). "Funny Junk Drops Frivolous Lawsuit Against The Oatmeal". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- Mullin, Joe (2012-05-17). "The Oatmeal sued over trademark by "Oatmeal Studios"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 (2012-11-21). "Oatmeal Studios Responds To The Oatmeal Lawsuit: "We Are Simply Trying To Protect Our Name"". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matthew Inman.|