The Oatmeal was conceived in 2009 and has since attracted 173,000+ Twitter followers and 288,000+ “likes” on Facebook. The compilation book, 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, contains several comics from the site as well as twenty-seven unreleased articles. We caught up with the man behind The Oatmeal, creator Matthew Inman, to find out more about the popular webcomic.
Q: Was it difficult when you were working on your book to transition your work from a nontraditional medium to a more traditional one?
A: Yeah, the hardest part was that my comics are seven hundred pixels wide by five thousand pixels tall. So, if those were made into a book it’d be as tall as a book case. Re-sizing those were kind of a pain because they’re vector art [pieces] and I had to re-draw a lot of it. I spent more time re-sizing my comics to fit them to the dimensions of a book than I did working on new material for it.
Q: Have you ever gotten protested by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)?
A: Yeah, here’s what happened. This was a few years ago before The Oatmeal was even around. PETA started this campaign called ‘Save the Seakittens.’ They drew the ocean with these little kittens swimming; they were kind of fish-like. They were trying to brand fish as sea kittens…That way people wouldn’t eat fish because they associate it with a kitten. So, I saw that and within hours of them launching this campaign, I launched my own called ‘Eat Some Sea Bacon‘ and it had little bacon-y fish moving around in the ocean. PETA was obviously unhappy and my campaign overshot theirs in terms of traffic. I got like ten thousand times as many people as they did.