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Monday, March 14, 2011

'Oatmeal' in Book Form

Web cartoonist Matthew Inman to visit Boswell

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"Unique," "unusual" and "hilarious" only begin to describe TheOatmeal.com, where wry observations and innocent-looking drawings on the absurdities of life have garnered millions of laughs since the site's debut in 2009. Site creator Matthew Inman, a 28-year-old web designer turned web cartoonist, has seen The Oatmeal become so popular—the site received nearly a quarter of a billion page views in 2010 alone—that its quizzes, comics and humorous illustrations are now appearing in a book titled 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides). As evidenced by titles like "How to Suck at Facebook" and "7 Things You Really Don't Need to Take a Photo Of," The Oatmeal's comics can be crude, absurd and sometimes just plain disturbing; however, these quirky comic strips are filled with astute observations on modern life that can be surprisingly intelligent, creative and educational (for example, his hilarious advice on the proper use of the semicolon is enough to make any English teacher proud).

The book includes all of the comics from The Oatmeal's first year online, as well as 25 never-before-seen comics. Silly and sarcastic, ironic and honest, this new collection is filled with 160 pages of comics with titles like "How to Pet a Kitty" and "Six Reasons to Ride a Polar Bear to Work" (which, by the way, does provide quite a bit of knowledge about the behavior of these endangered bears).

Seattle-based author Matthew Inman will discuss his book March 18 at 7 p.m. at Boswell Book Co.

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