Five reasons to read The Oatmeal

Under the name The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman has made a career out of making absurd, hilarious comics. Whether the subject matter is mundane (grammar, cats) or bizarre (the sex lives of angler fish, utilikilts), his particular genius lies in tapping into the Internet zeitgeist and delivering the kind of belly laughs that get shared, liked and posted all over Facebook. You can also get those comics in book form, with collections like his brand-new Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, which he'll talk about on Thursday, October 17 at the Tattered Cover LoDo. To bring people who aren't familiar with the peculiar genius of Inman up to speed, we've helpfully compiled this list of five reasons why you should read The Oatmeal.

See also: Nikola Tesla's career is re-energized by cartoonist Matthew Inman

You'll talk (and write) smarter When normal people lecture friends, family and strangers about grammar, spelling and proper word usage, they get dirty looks and sarcastic comments in return. But somehow when The Oatmeal does it, he gets millions of hits on his website and untold shares via Facebook. Apparently the rest of us -- teachers included -- need to add a few off-color jokes and some crude drawings to our lectures. Seriously, if your second-grade teacher was as funny as this Oatmeal comic about spelling, you never would have spelled anything wrong ever again. Also, she probably would have been fired. Where to start: Try this comic about what "literally" means. It will literally make you sound like less of a dumbass. You'll learn fascinating facts about science, nature and history The Oatmeal loves nature, and he's a pretty big fan of history and science, too. These things frequently get featured in his comics, and they're usually full of both chuckles and infotainment. Where else will you learn about the power of the mighty mantis shrimp expressed in such florid prose as "The mantis shrimp is the harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows." Nowhere else, that's where. Where to start: Try on this comic about the angler fish, which is simultaneously grotesque, hilarious and fascinating. The Oatmeal's comic about Tesla is also insanely popular.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato

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