By Todd Allen

The Oatmeal is a well known webcomic that crosses over into mainstream coverage with some regularity.  And that’s happened again.  The short version is: some time ago, The Oatmeal had a dust up with a website called “FunnyJunk” over a bunch of The Oatmeals comics having been appearing on that site without authorization.  Roughly a year later, FunnyJunk has sent a letter from a lawyer wanting $20K for defamation to avoid a lawsuit.  Suffice it to say, The Oatmeal is a bit incredulous.

The response (VERY worth your time to read the whole thing, replete with illustrated rebuttals), was ultimately to raise $20K.  Take a picture of the $20K.  Mail a picture of the $20K, along with an illustration of the mother of FunnyJunk’s owner trying to seduce a bear to the owner of FunnyJunk.  Then split the donations between the World Wildlife Fund and American Cancer Society.

He got $20K in 64 minutes, according to an update on the project.

What I was saying about The Oatmeal regularly getting mainstream coverage?  This story has already hit Mashable and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The actual crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, “BearLove Good.  Cancer Bad.” is now over $118K.

I’m not so sure this isn’t an instance of crowdfunding as an instance of performance art.

No word yet on how the lawyer has responded.


  1. Are there any lawyers in the audience? Can someone look at that letter the lawyer sent? I have absolutely no law background but that smells extremely fishy. Is that how legal negotiations are made? Send us a check for $20,000 and we won’t sue you for more? Geez! That sounds like extortion and, again, not a legal scholar, I thought extortion was illegal.

  2. Someone tell this guy that stick figure art doesn’t make him xkcd.

    Also, is no else struck by the irony of The Oatmeal blacking out for SOPA and then getting mad at another website for allowing copies of his work without paying him?

  3. Todd, you forgot to post the beefcake of FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon. (Rock On, Dude!)

    It gets better…

    “”I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails,” he says.”

    Although the owner of FunnyJunk did have their readers inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox with protests. (And, in the world of libel, Carreon accuses The Oatmeal of encouraging people to harass Carreon electronically. Which The Oatmeal did not do. I wonder if there are any lawyers out there who would like to take this case pro bono? Think of the publicity!)