The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman on His Love of Nikola Tesla, His Fear of Hairless Cats, and His Upcoming Visit to Changing Hands
Speaking with Matthew Inman is a lot like reading his wildly popular webcomic The Oatmeal: It's a frequently funny experience, there's a smattering of humorous vulgarity involved, and the subject matter can be random. It's what we experienced during our recent conversation with Inman, and what the audience at Changing Hands in Tempe on Friday night will likely experience when the author and creator of The Oatmeal visits for a discussion and to sign copies of his latest book How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.
Matthew Inman, the man behind The Oatmeal.
Our chat with Inman covered his latest mission to create a museum dedicated to his hero Nikola Tesla, why he'd like someone to build a 100-foot statue of him, Daniel Day Lewis' acting style, bear defecation, and how hairless cats freak him out.
Confused? You won't be after hitting the jump and reading our interview.
So what's the status of the Nikola Tesla museum?
The land has been bought. It's done. It's in the hands of the non-profit. We can't disclose how much we bought it for, but it was a good amount and we've got some money left over. So, from here, the tentative plan is to clean up the property, which means mowing the lawn, I 'spose, kinda fixing the building up because its got a mold problem and its been broken into and trashed. And [we'll] try to have a one-day Nikola Tesla festival on July 10. That's on his birthday.
So will you play a role in the creation of the museum? After all, you helped make it happen.
My role, you know, will be the same its been all along: Just being the spokesman for Tesla's awesomeness and that kinda thing. I would love it if they built a huge bronze statue of me, Kim Jong-il style, like 100 feet tall. But really I did this for Tesla, although I'd be really flattered if they named it the "Goddamned Nikola Tesla Museum." It would be pretty awesome but I don't think that's going to happen.
Is that your official title, the "Official Spokesperson for Tesla's Awesomeness"?
That's kinda what I've been rolling with, yeah. I feel like that's my role. I don't know anything about building a museum, so I don't want to be like, "No, we need this exhibit" or "Let's put some dinosaur bones over here." I don't know what I'm doing, so I just sorta trust in them.