|Matthew Inman photo by Peter Mumford|
Matthew Inman is freakin' famous. Like, damn near as famous as Henri the Existential Cat. That's what happens when you create a comedy website that reaches the peaks of success that Inman's The Oatmealhas, and especially when you're the recent target of a ridiculous lawsuit that gains nationwide attention.
Inman is one of the king's of the Internet, in other words, which is why it's not terribly surprising to learn the Seattle resident has been chosen as a keynote speaker for the SXSW Interactive Festival in March.
One of the core missions of the SXSW Interactive Festival is to showcase those who use their creativity and artistic talent to make the world a better place. With this ideal in mind, we are ridiculously excited to announce our first keynote speaker for the March event:
Matthew Inman is the artist and best-selling author behind the comedy website known as The Oatmeal. Inman championed two successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2012, including "Operation BearLove Good. Cancer Bad" where he turned a lawsuit on its head by raising over $200,000 for charity instead of paying $20,000 in damages to a rival website. In addition, he generated over $1M in 9 days to try to buy the laboratory formerly owned by Nikola Tesla, a turn-of-the-century engineer who many consider a geek hero. Matthew lives in Seattle and really, really likes Sriracha rooster sauce.
Back in September, 2010, long before Charles Carreon made the fateful decision to sue him, Seattle Weekly profiled Inman and his creation, The Oatmeal, with writer Abe Aboraya noting:
With a few clicks and drags of the wireless mouse next to his MacBook Pro, a circle forms on his screen. Two more clicks, and two smaller orbs appear, creating the signature blank, vacant stare of his characters. Then a flurry of clicks, and a jagged mouth forms as the subject of the comic is jarred awake by an alarm clock emitting the following wake-up call: "BEEP BEEP SHRIEK fuckyou BEEP wakeupshithead BEEP BEEP BEEP HAHAHA BEEP fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou BEEP BEEP!" The time reads: "Ass O'Clock."
On the keyboard, Inman is like Neo or The One. He knows all the Adobe shortcuts by heart and never touches a menu, his fingers flying across the board and commanding the program as easily as an artist dragging a pen across a pad.
This is Inman's job. He isn't a waiter/cartoonist or a barista/cartoonist or a housepainter/cartoonist. He's not even a freelance computer geek/cartoonist. He stopped doing that work a year ago. Now, at 28, he draws comics, posts them to his website, sells merch, and turns a serious profit. He often works from home, or occasionally stations himself here or at Caff?Ladro across the street.
In March Inman will be taking his talents to Austin.