Matthew Inman is known for his lengthy, often wordy online comics called The Oatmeal. He's also a huge fan of Nikola Tesla, and helped gather $1.37 million via crowdfunding in 2012 to buy up Tesla's laboratory and set the stage for a Tesla museum, the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. It was such an Internet hit that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk even chipped in $2,500 and Tweeted that he "will do more in the future." Well, Inman is getting ready to call in that favor.
Yesterday, The Oatmeal published a glowing review of sorts on how great the all-electric Model S is (slightly NSFW). In it we learned that Inman is bonkers in love with his EV, calling it his "intergalactic spaceboat of light and wonder" and saying the acceleration is "freaky." He adores the door handles, the frunk, the advanced powertrain and pretty much everything else. In fact, part one is so positive it reads like an over-the-top Tesla advertorial. But then comes part two, where Inman gets down to business.
See, the $1.37 million was used to buy Nikola Tesla's property but was not enough to actually, you know, build the museum. To do that, the Science Center needs another $8 million. And guess who has those kinds of funds? How about a billionaire who is using the Tesla name and is already a fan of the museum idea? That's right, one Elon Musk. And part 2 of The Oatmeal's comic is an argument for why Musk should fork over the $8 million to help pay for the museum. Inman says it is, "A polite request from a humongous fan" and adds that, "You owe us nothing, and you've done nothing but good things in the name of Nikola Tesla. But the fact remains: Tesla Motors, a company now worth billions, is using Nikola Tesla's name, and they're using his technology, and all we want in return is a little bit of help."
Musk simply said, "I would be happy to help."
Inman says that $8 million is "the bare minimum to build, staff, and maintain a Nikola Tesla Museum," and that the number was reached after getting "countless estimates from site planners, architects, and museum curators from all around the world." Something like $6 million would be good, he writes, but, "any less than $8M would pretty much leave us in the same boat we're in now." Tesla hasn't offered up an official statement, but on Twitter, Musk simply said, "I would be happy to help." Not sure what that means, exactly, but it's probably not going to make Inman hate his car any time soon.