"I just want to write comics," wrote an exasperated Matthew Inman (aka creator of The Oatmeal) just over a fortnight ago. Now he's a wildly successful internet philanthropist and a defendant in one of the weirdest lawsuits the internet has ever seen.
The whole saga started when The Oatmeal writer found that his comics had been hosted without permission on a website called Funnyjunk and the two exchanged words before they were eventually taken down. Inman later said a few words about Funnyjunk which earned him a legal threat of his own just over a year later.
Funnyjunk and its lawyer, Charles Carreon, demanded a retraction and apology from Inman for the comments about Funnyjunk and also demanded that the cartoonist hand over $US20,000 in damages.
Needless to say, that got on Inman's nerves a bit.
You want ME to pay YOU $20,000 for hosting MY unlicensed comics on YOUR shitty website for the past three years? No. I’ve got a better idea. 1. I’m going to try and raise $20,000 in donations. 2. I’m going to take a photo of the raised money. 3. I’m going to mail you that photo, along with this drawing of your mom [sic] seducing a Kodiak bear 4. I’m going to take the money and donate one half to the National Wildlife Federation and the other half to the American Cancer Society.
64 minutes after putting up the philanthropic "f**k you" that was the Bearlove Good, Cancer Bad campaign, Inman hit his $US20,000 funding goal.
Holy shit $20,000 in 64 minutes! YOU PEOPLE ARE AMAZING.
What is almost as amazing as the speed of reply, is what happened next.
Carreon took it upon himself to sue Indiegogo, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation and Inman over the campaign. Over the last few days, Carreon has even gone as far as suing Ars Technica over the campaign while dragging the Californian Attorney-General into the case.
Bizarre lawsuits aside, though, the Indiegogo fundraising campaign closed minutes ago, raising over 10 times what it had initially set out to: $US220,014. Sticking it to the man online has never felt so warm and fuzzy inside.
As for the lawsuit, we wait and watch for what might happen next. At this point, I'd believe anything.