Sketch Comedy

The Oatmeal: The Stories Behind the Funniest Comics (PHOTOS)

Matthew Inman from the famous The Oatmeal comics is releasing My Dog: The Paradox in bookstores today. He talks to Jean Trinh about the highlights from some of his funniest multi-panel comics, and shares the stories and ideas behind them. From the distractions of working at home to his gripes with spelling, see which other of his cartoons have become viral.

Matt Inman

Matt Inman

Matthew Inman from the famous The Oatmeal comics is releasing “My Dog: The Paradox” in bookstores today. He talks to Jean Trinh about the highlights from some of his funniest multipanel comics and shares the stories and ideas behind them. From the distractions of working at home to his gripes with spelling, see which of his cartoons have become viral.

Matt Inman

My Dog: The Paradox

In Matthew Inman’s book My Dog: the Paradox, based off the comic of the same name, he mentions that his dog eats bees. However, Inman points out that it’s not about his current dog, Rambo, but rather a dog he used to have growing up. “He would eat them and they would sting him and he would run off into the forest in pain and then an hour later he would run back into the yard and eat bees again,” said Inman.

Matt Inman

Cat vs. Internet

In “Cat vs. Internet,” a kitty desperately tries to get the attention of its inattentive owner, including catapulting itself in front of his laptop. Inman grew up with 17 cats, and he was in charge of cleaning the only litter box in the house.

Matt Inman

Why Working From Home Is Both Awesome and Horrible

In this multipanel comic strip, Inman describes the pros and cons of working from home, and one of the downsides being the numerous distractions he faces, including watching viral videos of goats with flatulence.

A regular workday for Inman starts in the morning with him doing things that “aren’t super creative,” which includes answering email or even drawing. “I’ll have a comic that calls for something complicated—like I had to draw a tractor—and to me stuff like that can be busy work,” said Inman.

Midday, he usually goes running—he’s training for an upcoming ultra-marathon—and in the evening, he writes jokes and comes up with ideas.

Matt Inman

What I Remember Most About Legos

Inman reminisces on playing with Legos as a child with this cartoon. “I was quiet in school, but at home I would never shut up,” he said. “I just never stopped talking and was always really grumpy. My mom said as a joke that I always had a dark rain cloud following me even when I was a baby. I just had this permanent sneer at all times. I don’t know why.”

Matt Inman

Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

The cartoonist doesn’t consider himself a grammar Nazi, despite having a number of comics hilariously instructing people on common grammar and spelling errors. “I wrote that particular comic because I felt like you could spell those words correctly without being a grammar Nazi because those are words we learned in the third grade,” said Inman. “I wrote that comic more as kind of a plea for people to stop misspelling these words that are easy to spell.”

Matt Inman

Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell to Make Us Miserable

In this comic, Inman muses about how printers are as bad now as they were in 1995. In that year, Inman would have been 13 years old, the time he started learning how to build websites. He was an assistant to the secretary at his school and one day found a one-page printout on her desk that gave an introduction to HTML. Inman went home to play around with it and ended up getting an afterschool job building a website on racecar cylinder heads for his neighbor’s company.

Matt Inman

Six Reasons Bacon is Better Than True Love

“Bacon, unicorns, and maybe zombies are the three most tired jokes used,” said Inman. He created this particular cartoon years ago, and shudders at this point whenever bacon jokes are used. “I’ve almost stopped eating pork entirely,” he said, as he has been trying to become a vegetarian over the last couple of years.