A lawsuit against Matthew Inman, the Seattle-based creator of comic website The Oatmeal, has been dropped according to his lawyers — but not before Inman could squeeze as much comedy and charitable donations out of the ordeal as he could.
On June 2, a year after Inman publicly criticized comic website FunnyJunk for posting The Oatmeal’s comics without credit, FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, sent Inman a letter requesting $20,000 in defamation damages.
Instead of paying, Inman called upon an army of online fans to donate $20,000 to be split evenly between the National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society. His campaign, called Bear Love Good. Cancer Bad, wound up raising $211,223.04 — so much money that Inman said on his website he wanted to also donate to two other charities. (Inman also drew some rather unkind depictions of Carreon’s mother.)
But, because that wasn’t how Inman said he would initially spend the money, Carreon accused him of performing an “illicit fundraiser.” Inman said he agreed to donate only to two charities, but still could not deliver the money to the organizations because of a restraining order Carreon put on the transfer of funds.
“Once the money is moved, I still plan on withdrawing $211,000 in cash and taking a photo to send to Charles Carreon and FunnyJunk, along with the drawing of Funnyjunk’s mother,” Inman said in a poston his website.
That photo remains to be seen, if Inman chooses to make it public.
“Matthew Inman spoke out against Carreon’s threat of a frivolous lawsuit, in a very popular and very public way,” said Kurt Opsahl, one of Inman’s attorney’s in a statement. “This was nothing more than a meritless attempt to punish Inman for calling attention to his legal bullying. We called him out on this in our briefs, so it’s no surprise that Carreon was left with no choice but to dismiss.”
Citing an overflow of attacks from Inman and his fans, Carreon has made contact information for comment unavailable. Carreon told the San Jose Mercury that he had no problem with raising money for charity, but did have a problem with a fundraiser making fun of his mother, who died in drowning accident.