The Oatmeal is an acclaimed online comic site, home for the most part to likeable whimsy (the latest addition is typical: “The pros and cons of living with your significant other”). It’s funny, very funny, and the comics get circulated with some frequency around the internet.
About a year ago, the Oatmeal’s author, Matthew Inman, inked an irate blog post aimed at a website called FunnyJunk, which, he said, had hosted hundreds of comics, without attribution.
FunnyJunk took umbrage, and a few weeks ago its lawyer fired off a letter claiming defamation and demanding the post be deleted. Oh, and a “remedial” payment of $20,000.
This just made Inman crosser.
He posted the letter online, complete with annotated rebuttals – in words and images.
“This is a joke, right?” he scrawled, alongside an arrow pointing to the demand for damages. “You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years?”
No, I’ve got a better idea.
1. I’m going to try and raise $20,000 in donations.
2. I’m going to take a photo of the raised money.
3. I’m going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom seducing a Kodiak bear [and he does].
4. I’m going to take the money and donate one half to the National Wildlife Federation and the other half to the American Cancer Society.
“I’m hoping,” Inman added over on the online donation site, “that philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed.”
Did he raise the money?
He did. In an hour and four minutes.
With eight days to go, donations amount to $177,650, from more than 12,000 funders.
(P.S. An interesting take here about the FunnyJunk lawyer.)