Monday, June 30, 2014

What should you read instead of The Oatmeal?

So maybe you're like me and you really enjoy webcomics. You find a unique appeal in the culture of creativity and humor and the accessibility of the artists to their fans through social media. Maybe you (unlike me, who has avoided this guy like the plague) are a reader of The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman. Maybe you were willing to accept his apology for his misogynistic comic in 2012 about women who play video games.

But maybe today was the last straw for you. Maybe you just can't support this man anymore, after he posted something this manipulative on his Facebook page:

Maybe it was initially difficult for you to extract the intent from image -- it seemed kind of misogynistic, or at least weird. But then you read the comments and Inman's replies to them:

Maybe you progressively begin to realize the point of it all: that Inman created and posted the image for the sole purpose of playing with women's feelings for his own fun and profit. Perhaps you just couldn't believe that this man would stoop so low as to purposely play dumb of his readers' practice of interpretive context (well, mostly the female ones) just so he could spring a loaded trap and confuse them or make them feel bad. Maybe the realization that this profoundly baffling degree of disrespect of his readers should be considered an economic decision of Inman's in that he makes money off of his pageviews and comics, just makes you want to, I don't know.. avoid Matthew Inman and his work like the plague?

Maybe you're extra upset at his male readers who understand what he did, but still view it as positive and your feelings as evidence of "prejudice":

Well, there's good news: there are lots of comics out there that are not actually created by sociopath creeps. Let's start with some awesome women:
  • Ashley Cope's Unsounded - a highly-recommended fantasy adventure, very funny and creative
  • Li Chen's Extra Ordinary - hilarious slice-of-life weirdness
  • Jen Sorensen - witty and award-winning political cartoons
  • Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya's Johnny Wander - biographical, funny slice-of-life (currently on a fictional story arc)
  • Momga - a Japanese mother's comic about learning English/slice of life
  • Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant - historically fictional funnies, highly recommended
  • Saga, illustrated by Fiona Staples and written by Brian K. Vaughan -  not actually a webcomic, but you should go to your local comics shop and pick this up if you haven't. While you're there, check out Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge

And some webcomics by men who don't seem like they'd pull the kind of garbage we've seen today:


I dedicate this work (“What should you read instead of The Oatmeal?”) to the public domain using the Creative Commons 0 declaration.

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A young man