Monday, October 28, 2013


Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants is a 2013 collection of comics by Matthew Inman from his website, The Oatmeal ( It features a large number of comics from the site plus several new ones.

This is pretty standard Oatmeal fare, which is to say, it’s vulgar, over-the-top, snarky, by turns informative and relatable, frequently hilarious, and not for the easily offended. There are a lot of highlights here, including the title comic, “What It Means When You Say Literally,” and “The Crap We Put Up with Getting On and Off an Airplane.” And like the other Oatmeal collections, this is a high-quality book with glossy pages; the vast majority of the illustrations are in color.

Some of the old comics have been expanded or edited in subtle ways. An example is the removal of the “thankfully” from “the (thankfully) late Jerry Falwell” in “What It Means When You Say Literally.” This, in conjunction with the conspicuous but not unwelcome omission of the controversial “How to Suck at Your Religion” and the online appearance of some other recent Oatmeal comics not included here (e.g., “Christopher Columbus Was Awful”), shows us a new, more constructive, less cheap-shot-taking Oatmeal. Don’t worry, though, The Oatmeal hasn’t become any gentler or more restrained, and it’s still not for the uptight. But it’s a bit more mature, if anything that prominently features jokes about bear testicles can be called “mature.”

The bottom line, though, is that this is funny stuff. Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants is another great Oatmeal collection, and if you like Inman’s other work, you’ll like this one about as well.