Assignment 4: Prewriting 1

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Assignment 4: Prewriting 1

Post  Atticus P on Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:42 am

My chosen web comic, “The Oatmeal,” makes use of a humor and satire through cartoonish comics, nonsensical quizzes, and the like to garner the attention of its audience. The background of the website is dull, but this is merely to gain focus on the individual comics, as is the point of the website in the first place. As for the comics themselves, their content is often a sarcastic reflection of the writer’s feelings and opinions of every day life. For example, in the comic “What We Should Have Been Taught In High School,” the writer shows that some of the things we were taught in high school should be somewhat… revised. In the Sex Ed section he wrote, he gives a scenario of a sex education teacher saying that preaching about abstinence is useless because “in all honesty, sex is pretty damn awesome.” Instead, the teacher goes on to list names of websites who host terabytes of porn, as well as giving each student an activation code to World of Warcraft, and concludes by saying that this should “keep you all virgins well into your twenties.” In this, if you dig deep enough into the meaning of the comic, you learn of the writer’s opinion of abstinence education, through which he gives in a hilarious manner.

I feel that the ideal audience for “The Oatmeal” would be high school graduates, college students, and those who recently graduated from college. Much of the content in these comics is sexual or offensive in nature, and isn’t meant for a younger audience. Certainly this statement is proven true from the example I gave in my previous paragraph. It is also focused upon an audience who spends a good deal of time on the Internet, and is exemplified through a few of the writer’s comics, such as “What It’s Like to Have No Internet,” and the several comics about cats. As anyone who has spent more than a day on the Internet would say, any website worth its salt should have a section devoted entirely to cats, which this website has.

There isn’t really much of a public fanbase for this website. In a comic that the writer published called “Some Thoughts and Musings About Making Things For the Web,” he explains that he does not like enabling comments on his works because he would feel great after reading a thousand positive feedback comments, but terrible if he read one negative comment among those thousand. For the sake of this point of the response, I’m going to assume that I am completely, unmistakably correct about my audience assumptions from the second paragraph, without a shred of doubt. Don’t question it. (I’m not attempting to avoid the question. I could not find anything that would be considered any type of forum concerning The Oatmeal.)

The comic works well with its audience, in that the writer seems to have a pretty good idea of what his target audience likes and appreciates. College students love humor. College students love sexual scenarios. The Internet loves cats. All of this is present on The Oatmeal, and the quality of each is, in my opinion, top-notch. I highly recommend it to those who have not yet seen it.

Atticus P
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