I am NOT The Oatmeal

I-am-NOT-The-Oatmeal Recently, visitor Jacob Brown took it upon himself to ask the following question on The Left Fielder’s Facebook page:

hey so why are you ripping off “The Oatmeal” so much?

Mr Brown then went on to deliver his opinion of The Left Fielder.

You really aren’t interesting, funny, or talented. You’re just ripping off a hugely popular website. It’s a near carbon copy.

I’d now like to discuss these comments separately.

First up, I am not The Oatmeal.

He’s the one in the party hat.

The Oatmeal aka Matthew Inman CJ-Cusack-the-left-fielder

Okay, glad we got that cleared up.

What about the arts?

Yes, I draw comics about stuff that makes me mad.
Yes, I draw plain-looking characters who say and do dumb things.
And yes, this site uses a square-tile layout on the front page.

And I do these things for reasons:

  • I draw posts from experience. After years of doing story-driven comics, I like being able to cover any topic I want, without having to worry about breaking plot.
  • I draw characters quickly and without features because it’s an effective way to help you, the reader, put yourself in their shoes. Cartoonists have been doing it for decades.
  • The responsive layout on the front page is there because it’s the best way to show all my work at once, giving you a wide choice of what to read.

I do these things because I want to and because they work for me.

Now, Matthew Inman runs The Oatmeal, and is very successful at making the internet laugh. From what I can gather, he is a talented web designer and programmer who found that he enjoyed making the comics and quizzes used to drive traffic to various projects, and people seemed to like reading them as well. And now he is able to make a living doing what he enjoys.

Near as I can tell, that last part is all we have in common. I’m not trying to rip him off, copy his material or piggyback off his success. I’m trying to make a living doing what I enjoy. With that said, let’s move to the second part. We’ve covered most of it in the above, but let’s focus on this bit here:

You really aren’t interesting, funny, or talented.

After hours of preparation and research, I have the following to say to Mr Brown:

“Dear consumer: go read something else.”

And that’s about all I have to say on the matter.