Oh My

Irony Shows Signs of Life as Viral Behemoths Buzzfeed and the Oatmeal Duke it Out

U mad?

It seems just yesterday that Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman was one of the most beloved men on the Internet, having converted a generation of readers into fans of the turn-of-the-century scientist Nikola Tesla and spearheaded an Indiegogo campaign to get the man an American museum.

Nowadays, between the rape joke and the angry screeds, he’s starting to look like a guy who just can’t quite learn when to keep his mouth shut. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

The Oatmeal Is Being Sued Again

(Photo: Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal)

Deja vu? Matthew Inman, creator of the popular comic series The Oatmeal, is being sued again, this time for trademark infringement.

A greeting card company called Oatmeal Studios didn’t take kindly to Mr. Inman’s decision to collaborate with Recycled Greetings to turn his web comics into greeting cards, available for purchase in his online store. Ars Technica reports that the Massachusetts-based company has sued Mr. Inman for trademark infringement, arguing that his crossover into the ever-competitive greeting card market will confuse potential customers, who might not know The Oatmeal and Oatmeal Studios are different properties. Read More

NYCC 2012

Betabeat Takes Its First Trip to New York ComicCon

Homestuck cosplayers converge on NYCC.

“What is… going on here?” asked Betabeat’s confused cab driver, as we bore left onto W. 37th street and the entire block began to fill up with people in costumes.

Since we had never been to ComicCon before, we found ourselves at a loss to explain to him the scene that was unfolding before us. Halal carts and hotdog stands swathed Lolita cosplayers and superheroes in heavy meat smoke. Girls in thigh-high boots stumbled out of an event hall decorated with Pokemon characters. Homestuck fans, cosplaying as trolls with orange horns protruding from their heads, scurried across 10th Avenue towards the Javits Center.

“It’s… a convention for people who like comics?” we offered by way of explanation. Our cab driver shook his head with a mixture of bemusement and disgust.

“Enjoy?” he called after us, as we stumbled out of the cab and into the street, immediately sucked into the hoards of costumed convention goers. Read More


Tesla Fanatics Crash Indiegogo Trying to Build a Shrine to Their Idol

The property, in more glamorous days.

For decades, Nicola Tesla was the quintessential forgotten hero, largely neglected as everyone sung the praises of Thomas Edison. But we seem to have reached some sort of nostalgic tipping point, because suddenly the internet is falling all over itself to build a monument to the man.

Why? Betabeat talked to the instigator behind the movement, The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman, and he explained it pretty simply:  “I thought, It’s a travesty. There should be a Tesla museum.”

A longtime Tesla fanboy, Mr. Inman has previously expressed his devotion with a comic titled, “Why Nikola Tesla Was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived” (and could have been subtitled, “And Why Thomas Edison Was the Devil in Human Form”). Many of Tesla’s newfound admirers, he says, were brought into the fold by that very comic, to the point that, “I sort of felt like I was this unofficial leader of Tesla fandom,” he told Betabeat. Read More


Booting Up: A Museum for Tesla Edition

Hey girl. (Photo: Tumblr)

Google Maps updated its transit layer and now has scheduling info for more than a million public transportation stops, but that still won’t make the F train come any faster. [Google]

Speaking of Google, its Mountain View campus has a 3D pasta printer for its employees. We’re not jealous or anything… [TechPP]

What’s the deal with Obvious Corporation’s new publishing platform, Medium? Nieman Lab breaks it down for you. [Nieman Journalism Lab]

Fresh off the heels of his amusing lawsuit debacle with Charles Carreon, The Oatmeal is putting his efforts into building a museum for Nikola Tesla. [The Oatmeal]

People pirate because it takes three years for Avatar to come out on 3D Blu-ray, apparently. [Gizmodo]


Booting Up: Independence Edition

(Photo: Game Informer)

The Oatmeal is finally free of Charles Carreon’s bizarre legal machinations. Mr. Carreon decided to drop his case against Matthew Inman, who apparently was represented by the EFF. Everything about this was weird. [EFF]

Porn producers are all about Project Glass. We’re sure you can guess why. [PC Mag]

Apple is reportedly planning to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad–terrible news for the Nexus 7. [Bloomberg]

Kim Dotcom has a grudge against vice president Joe Biden. [TorrentFreak]

Airport security apparently stole the Nexus Q used at Google I/O. [Dan Ellis]

When Lawyers Send Letters

The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman Tells FunnyJunk Lawyer to Please Just Chill Already

Discourse. (Photo: The Oatmeal)

We’re not going to lie: We’ve enjoyed following every single development of the FunnyJunk/Charles Carreon-versus-Oatmeal/Matthew Inman fustercluck. But at this point, with a lawsuit targeting the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, it’s getting a little ridiculous. And if Mr. Carreon digs himself any deeper, he’s going to pop out in Beijing. That’s probably why Mr. Inman just addressed Mr. Carreon’s eyeroll-inducing legal antics with a blog post informing him as gently as possible (well, for the “ptero-you-a-new-asshole” Oatmeal) that he is making matters worse.

“You’re upset, I get it,” grants Mr. Inman, before doling out a little real talk: “My advice: take a few weeks off, stop saying crazy shit to journalists, and come back when you’ve calmed down. Write an apology to whomever you feel is appropriate, or just don’t write anything ever again.” (This is actually pretty solid counsel for anyone who ever incurs the wrath of the Internet.) Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Indiegogo Fires Back at FunnyJunk Lawyer’s ‘Internet Jihad’ Lawsuit, Calls It ‘Frivolous’

(Photo: The Oatmeal)

Late Friday afternoon, the legal dustup between popular Oatmeal webcomic creator Matthew Inman and FunnyJunk lawyer Charles Carreon careened full-speed into OMGWTF territory. Mr. Inman initially launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise money for the National Wildlife Foundation and the American Cancer Society in response to a trademark complaint filed by FunnyJunk. On Friday, Mr. Carreon, who is representing FunnyJunk in the case against The Oatmeal, filed his own lawsuit against Mr. Inman, alleging that he incited “cybervandalism” and initiated an “Internet jihad.”

In the suit, Mr. Carreon alleges that Mr. Inman’s campaign unleashed a swath of cybervigilantes who have fraudulently impersonated him and harassed him. But the thing is–Mr. Carreon is also suing the charities that were unwittingly dragged into this mess, as well as Indiegogo. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Nice Try, FunnyJunk: Indiegogo Says the Oatmeal’s Fundraiser is A-Okay

There were some other parts to Mr. Inman's response. (theoatmeal.com)

Round three of The Oatmeal versus FunnyJunk isn’t looking so great for the latter.

For those just tuning in: Earlier this week, accused of defamation and faced with a demand he immediately fork over $20,000 in damages, Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money. However, he proposed to split it between the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. FunnyJunk’s lawyer then alleged that the campaign was a violation of Indiegogo’s terms of service and that he would be petitioning the crowdfunding site to remove it.

Well,  it turns out that Indiegogo does not agree with that assessment. The company just sent us the following statement: Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

FunnyJunk Responds to The Oatmeal by Trying to Get Charity Fundraiser Yanked from Indiegogo

The image at issue. (Photo: The Oatmeal)

Earlier this week, Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal webcomic, responded to a lawsuit threat by FunnyJunk with an Indiegogo campaign to raise $20,000 for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. The campaign hit its $20,000 goal in an hour, and has accrued over $144,000 to date, with 14 days still left to go.

But–not content to settle for just one asshole move–FunnyJunk lawyer Charles Carreon has responded to Mr. Inman’s campaign by trying to get it pulled from Indiegogo. Because egos are more important than cancer research, obviously. Read More