Ep. 778: Where we've stepped in the Oatmeal (podcast) Video
Ep. 778: Where we've stepped in the Oatmeal (podcast) Video Transcript
What's going on it's Wednesday march 16. 2011. You're listening to the -- podcast on cnet.com. Thanks for tuning in I'm Jeff Bakalar I'm Wilson tang and I'm Justin yu and this is the show where we've stepped in the oatmeal. Ladies and gentlemen. From the oatmeal comic the Internet sensation. Creator Matthew in minutes on the -- -- going on that our show. Good so glad that you're able to come by and spent some time with us. Prompt you you you seem like a very busy men these days lots going on with your with your -- I am booked or so -- that -- now what's that like a book tour it's is -- artwork and then. At our coal. That going for withdrawing all by myself all day to suddenly avenue shake hands -- -- conversation with via an equally bright. This change them on the wheel this electricity is brand new. -- -- in front of a computer running water toilet. I'm out of -- and the fruits of modern living. -- Anything unusual so far happened in your book -- like me crazy fans or anything like that not a bad thing isn't -- and one girl who wanted to kiss means -- of Colorado that you -- the camera wasn't working and so she just stuck to deciding she used. -- -- -- -- -- Not something you enjoy don't know how -- first and second hand delivered -- next minute or two out like this again and we don't know complete release section from Meehan. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- believe that Apple Malaysia Vietnam -- them. We actually have a copy of your -- in -- you brought three of them in which will have these signs for giveaways -- on but the book is called. Five very good reasons to punch a -- -- and I couldn't agree more. And just from the title icu and -- are gonna get along here real excellent. So so now you know the oatmeal has has only been around since -- nine -- isn't yet as it's -- less than two years old so that's amazing in terms of you know you know at the time period and success that -- sort of been able to achieve its rather Kuwait I mean this thing blew -- the -- -- sort of just. Analysts. -- the first few months were a little slow I was really making a living from it branding Klein worked in design -- and then like around fall 2000 nine's public sector wants it. I went from having like have a copy today at an outlook. Elephant like -- -- among two -- three week I like day and night making comics when that happened within eight weeks they jumped at the couple millimeters console -- X. So is there any way you know I don't want I don't you get too technical of those but is there we do were you able to sort of track the success but was there 1% remember it being on Digg every day for awhile was that sort of the point where that was the tipping point -- -- right. So I could see -- -- and now. Yeah -- yet -- -- normally when someone gets on -- a lot yeah. The Digg community served backlash against them so -- clearly a marketer spammers something right but I got this great stride with them or -- I was one guy. -- was just on there. Like chatting submitting a mules and a member of the -- -- -- -- people really seem to resonate with them like. You -- the thing that deal -- sort of and what -- -- ever I didn't see oatmeal comics for years. And it suddenly dawned upon me it's one of the most consistent -- viral things like there's a lot of the pictures and funny comics that people do on on the net. But it's like a one hit wonder and in my -- and I never hear from the guy or the group began. But you managed sort of like. Do it consistently which I think is like the biggest surprise -- -- I guess your whole story. But let's back up a little bit. How did you get started doing this like that has been here a little bit about your search as you from what we know that you started a little bit in marketing design your. Insert typical 95 day job. And then now you've got this Internet comic books and stations so like -- of like walk us through your history. Yeah I yet so I -- -- web designer web developer and eventually it started doing more along more stuff along the lines of blogging. Like viral blogging for people wide variety -- -- basically. Hire me to make -- for the website it would it would get attention and traffic and -- and people. So I was doing that for company out kind of natural. So I was unhappy Darren I just like having a -- is it like it lets me toilet paper spirals yeah it's -- pretty much like how I thought yeah. -- thought it was that her client but it one point it was like big game fishing contest. There's also claim that your and a -- hate -- so I started my own site. I wanted to build a site it was autonomous site -- it was my own thing and work for anybody actually started an online dating site or. Didn't know that. It's a yeah it's a big deal in retail sales stuff -- meal basically you know the key to successful -- science has nothing to do it. You really coral on flakes are yet and serial. A serial harmony got. You know -- I knew that I need it locks -- site for work asserting quizzes mostly -- how many five year old could be taken up by a how I have somebody they like what are your chances are writing a zombie apocalypse like lots of funny viral he needs a quiz thing. And eventually and a number Allen quizzes and -- I was doing well I started branching out and drawing little comics like dating related comics and eventually -- site got wired asked about six months after it launched and well and it's it's thick black. Yet at anywhere from I'd actually built the site in 66 hours using a rapid development framework called it peace. And I X in his take -- from 66 hours acquisition -- six months choosing sort of viral stuff those -- was an overnight success but fortunately. After -- sold it again I was working for somebody new boss did ultimately comics -- creativity. Had become just a marketing vehicles and an advertisement. If you like someone who plays violin doing songs per -- no Wonder Bread or twinkies because I don't opt out there died after after about a year that -- like you know what I just wanna make comments going this is well at the apartment is just under that. -- -- -- -- -- So is that what you went to school for and studied orders something you've always been doing on the side. I never went to college I -- it you know this is the woman. Throughout ice causing coding done and design so when I left as I moved to Seattle dot com boom -- just worked -- lot of startups. The ninety's that is focused on web design -- coding for most records -- to three years ago -- it switched comics. Yet from the onset that have been reading on the Internet -- -- is really cool what you came up with the name the oatmeal because that was your handle when you played like -- yet a couple years ago that's great because all of us hired. -- gamers except for just in the US ethanol because he -- I -- played a lot of quake in the reaction what. Well who else where you really -- you because now we have a whole new. I think yeah I was definitely a first person shooter again. -- it plagues our practice among -- -- first person Hughes wrote I think an assurance that -- I counterstrike half life we have the original team fortress for capture -- -- aliens do. Most of the stuff even in real tournament some of those were pretty cool doesn't -- legendary on some of them like -- They can't protect you -- in my 1998 I was ranked best players low Quaker oatmeal as the dark lord of a rocket jumping on -- So I know I I'm like I'm. I'm in our view is like you buy a 20528. Now -- you have the -- of them would -- -- successful comics you've sold the company. And you're legendary apparently India first person you know huge world and I like this is -- don't charge you regardless of war -- -- But conversely if you actually asked me to change your car tire I. I walked away from a computer I am worthless what you need any dongle is to help people IB -- -- -- no better and I'm sure. I couldn't do it either or at least you could drive and keep your doesn't end user and keep yourself busy to draw on the -- I have played video games with from the halo. Trees in monkeys it -- homework are so let's give with a bunch of food and -- cook a meal I couldn't do that -- have a number. You know -- -- the cannot stand yeah what is all predator and I definitely do that so I want to show everyone what the old -- looks like you have very defined art style. And I did a little reading up on you and you see your very influenced by Gary Larson's the far side I have I'm a huge Gary Larson -- side effect. What about it sort of resonated with you and and where do you think that it's you know translated into your work. Specifically what I like about. Apartheid's comics that we -- them is. Every character is sort of draw on this -- series overweight Noble's very fast very fat lot of people in -- he noticed and parsed character almost never -- pupils -- no or it's just the line if you're either an outline of it got glasses on right and what happens when you -- this is it just generally makes them look on here but also it. When you drop people with the sort of blank infants -- blank slates of people does it protect their own humor -- written on your bread when you start adding things like. For pupils. Complex clothing complex air cheekbones giving a detail. People though who buys epic character when and where -- not an accident like this much so from him I like to actually -- the bullet and and another comic which nailed this on the -- was hope -- Bible fellowship in and it's not a religious comics that weird name -- but back item he draws everybody like little -- -- -- he's definitely one via one -- aspirations for sure you had an opportunity to meet your dealers and a couple weeks ago those two months -- ultimately that's outlets DeLeon was down I was there should be terrified that. In Alex it's one thing you need celebrity someone it's -- to meet yours your children you know so I I figured -- -- is -- -- -- it myself -- an -- this. I love you don't have -- -- Who -- Rendell will then go. The -- and I was really calling was really really nice soft spoken and smart is now with the familiar with the -- the -- -- he he wasn't up until a week before he meant that I met someone who was president and he showed humans showed -- my stuff like itself isn't and they give him I had one copy of look at the pre release copy and only -- -- and and open that even if -- lines after case -- that I 600. Its solar -- well even his cancer is deprecating okay. As a -- They entered the Larsen -- state. All that matters and I'm -- that was addressed and that's fine so. We have done a very good I also like you know will carry -- and uses recurring characters and -- at the -- like the old woman and -- -- -- -- -- But with the -- -- like that it has several different types of forms that -- access graphics questions quizzes. On all that types of things though. How do you come about I go about just. Deciding which -- -- right about. Of oftentimes I just pick something and I think that be funny thing I want to write about -- just go with it like for instance whether that's dinosaurs achieved premier -- Apple's bread and electro magnetism or whatever happens to be. And also all the way I work I find that if I'm not enjoying the -- processes -- like this -- sucks I don't wanna do this let's just get it done via the -- suffers so I -- to pick things -- enjoying having fun with. And -- also I tend to draw quickly because I find if I spent two weeks on a drawing. I hated and it's not fun anymore and adjusts the camera image you like -- think did or exactly this. Not as funny as you thought it yet I've noticed the comics -- -- that -- the want to take weeks to put together. Oftentimes of the least well received but the ones I just fire off than three hours of the want to just go crazy there's a little like a stand up comedian. Rehearsing his jokes -- is getting -- -- and running rolling with it that's. -- into the stream of consciousness is really would you know sort of hits -- and a -- -- I also find that you know a lot of your stuff you know some of it is completely just ridiculous and and totally you know out there. And a lot of -- to deals with you know the Internet community -- sort of tech stuff and like for instance your nearly as sort of it has been the like ability of Angry Birds. And this is sort of like -- flow chart. Of which Angry Birds in the game you know what what what about them and -- at the bottom is that stupid. Useless. A boomerang and -- bird who just looks harder to use as a -- and. -- them and I personally I thought I'd throw -- at the ground and yet. -- -- like I'm gonna use this -- it's worthless but there are the ground actually launch it back with his. -- -- Intelligently you -- -- -- -- -- yeah. I don't. The very funny I know. No one actually very recently that I saw that was it was very timely because there was a news a couple weeks ago where elect the president Barack Obama. Met with all these tech executives here. And conspicuously missing with Steve Ballmer in. I think it was like two hours later after us on the headlines all of the you've got a comic on the oatmeal and that went viral again. This is like two weeks. Prior to the to the -- delivered during -- -- thing in and he assist. I'm I'm just in law your consistent ability to create these kind. The yet when you're talking about the marks the one that's actually at a bar with a friend and I was after -- We went a little like 1139. Got home -- -- between about the meeting and a bursting at dollars' -- my. And what occurred -- is that no one was asking -- did I didn't come up with. Are not going to like by the state. So 1999. Who really be leading you know for Microsoft. What innovation could use -- ha ha ha ha. -- I started drawing it is the comically axial strain it. And I was like if that was a little drunk and I was feeling impatient and hated the way the characters were looking at cartoons nurse comic -- Salt Lake -- two models little photo things that is -- around and right images. The longer that way Austin. -- you -- anything on the the demise of the Zune. They need expected to -- a couple years ago before the oatmeal all the state of the web via it was one of the originals that I did a -- -- -- -- in there when the clock rolled over to 2000 something. Dell committed suicide -- and outside the car yeah like I hate. -- Wilson I really like this most recently you posted about Iraq and I'll meet you don't mind do you know it's Iraq there is a well my refrigerator color Cox that's different if Cox offers all I call it magic groups yourself okay -- -- -- and go line this is great to you talk about the U pick we be of -- Roger you can use it on pretty much anything like cold pizza. Chinese food at all that stuff you can put it I mean it's it's the fruit of that god has. If it's in itself and its rise to yet. At that but you must be careful as you outlined in your comment has an overdose can really. There are about to change your life a little bit ugly and you know YouTube you'll look twice and say -- its second year I gotta respect the sauce and a one of the things that I really like about the site and have been browsing on the last couple weeks. Is that there are no ads anywhere on the site and we've been talking about that archer recently how -- just hate online advertisements but we know of our yet doing well our Africa it's. Let me -- we don't lately in -- -- There there are ads on the site they're just very neatly in not. And underneath every comic in the lower left there's -- 300 by 250 need tucked away but actually I'm hoping to remove ads altogether in the next year. And so how do you think you're gonna do that like most people on line. Generating advertising. In order to support their work -- you've managed to not do that how second work. 80% of my revenue comes from merchandise not just before the book came almost certainly not -- it's not so I'd rather just complete drop. Editors on screen and it's the matter drop advertising. And also like I said -- and you notice the -- right now though there's always people who are clicking it. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Just gets a toilet paper and -- assets like. Yes I want as the Telecom -- As Arctic I would yeah I do like flipping through countless odds and adding you know like Gatorade -- -- -- comics I -- his theory that god is from the -- yeah. You gotta pay the Bill Owens blamed Yang and you know it it makes it worth it but eventually -- with other books out. Hopefully -- supplement programs and -- pricing -- -- -- we gotta take a break more with met in in creator the only -- come back is it true you can and maybe draw something. That while we're gonna the lines. Drawing from from the creator of the oatmeal I'm excited with the navy to turn Wilson -- -- -- or maybe they'll have a lot of work to get. I'm more with net and the 44 after the break stick around we'll be back this is the floor mobile phone or an adapters to show where we policy. Back here and -- -- floor. -- in -- creator of the oatmeal. Internet sensation comic that's -- -- calling -- the night but that's okay with -- sooner it can be -- and upon liberty -- so what went well and yeah. I can't do that -- like this guy we don't include the fact. So is -- -- you gonna do it alive drawing Dresser -- -- is gonna -- for our audio only. Participants but if you're watching the video of this is rare stuff we've never done anything like this. So so what do you think in a Hulu can we just a standard overweight -- 80%. Okay oatmeal overweight 80%. I'm a fan. I saw actually -- you know while you're drawing it it's not too much some people asking what program -- tools he used to to get your stuff. Yes -- this is Adobe fireworks this is intended for web design -- and I use it for comics mostly because that's what I'm good with. Okay I would not recommend using for comics -- -- illustrator. I'm really slow with illustrator and using -- for instance I would like. Thirteen or fourteen. And 28 so it's it's gotten to the point -- area. Bring your family in S vision right now though -- fireworks vector based also yes -- and you know it and you can't. Via readers are -- and but basically I never use it ebony -- -- -- points like a good point. But another point and -- -- the -- to create you know whatever -- need to me this is so cool. And it works -- for well for some things like the fact that I can scale my art user I have an entire library full of things like. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So cold that up -- well -- that library is the business reasons and yet there's some pretty weird stuff in there. A lot of I've done a couple comments about hookers -- -- and hookers booze lake -- that anything yeah I have pretty -- That means you're moving fast I mean I know it's all sort of you know -- click and -- leaders. You're you're -- right along you can mean in some ways -- stats like drunk people have gotten pretty good obviously but. With things like scenery and you know forests and patterns in that stuff starts early button on the open -- start using a tablet. With the next year contracts. Only you know you'd studied in something -- patterns and to -- your artwork or just like to have around I had an iPad and tried to draw then instantly work when trying to. -- -- -- Com your fingers are so small I saw a lot of but I wanna get -- and it's called and lost something this -- tablet. That you can actually right on the screen on an a lot of people use them inherently equals. Yes is pretty standard jolly -- I mean it's just so amazing how fast you're you're just pop in that. -- lot of practice. I'm mad and feel like watching like a hacking scene and I thought. This is and -- So like. You used for. Fireworks rate like they do web design he's been playing around with it in your spare time just started doing comics with is that how it started. You have pretty much singing and I was -- -- that doing you know I started with quizzes and things like that -- little viral blog so. When I started doing comics this to seem natural and the nice part is that up until the book I've worked primarily in the web. And it's -- this -- sufferers made to the web so slicing exporting turning them in April into a web -- uses a lot easier. So so like a lot all this like technical skill that a lot of people sort of write off is boring and the -- it actually they managed to turn into something. Fun and creative and in -- of a living for you. Regalia. And are really lucky -- -- even if -- cartoonists and reliving the -- that I got a I would say less like he just would probably be most talented person that the fifth for sure in this room at the very extension -- our retirement. That's fine though you can call of AAA. And on -- -- -- -- -- it's very close to ask you edited the yeah. That's the argument why is Q how old you. This is not so this is an angry fat you guys travel he's gotten upset make -- more on -- specifically angry at -- it via -- okay and now he's old. -- -- making them work. And so so you so I'm not sure we covered this but. Is there any sort of art background in your in your life I mean. I took art in high school -- but it obviously didn't cover vector it was mostly via. Oil chaining and a lot like that an and as a kid I drew a lot but it was mostly -- patient yeah so. What I would like what we like to draw the most was was warts seen in my mind -- -- huge literal white paper version if my brother I would get like a black editor at and it spent hours -- -- -- type. Hasn't gluten -- -- but creative ways people killing each other -- I know people can do that would -- -- -- right now murals of death exactly together red and just a smear blood. I find I so. They also read online that you had a big infatuation with Gillian Anderson on the other house -- you find that out. -- -- -- the other thing. Internet archives. Well it's about an -- first you gotta find that where you found that I did a lot of Reading on -- everybody here yeah my first web site lists it it was a two part web site first app was. Like it is targeted for all the -- -- -- like if you can. The current lingerie and oh yeah spots and battery and also thirteen and as you super hot -- -- the X-Files. You must analyse and then the other half of the website with attributes on comic all of that on here so I like the largest killing -- photo archive and now that. Second largest Bonner at that I was basically that's and they simulate the temperature of this and this is what happens an enemy Julian now. I wouldn't mind it but I'm sure you -- mind. A theory that -- will move hopefully someone -- -- -- -- -- my reasons. So an innocent -- -- Leo Leo. I like that I don't dig -- there you -- I'm not. Next thing you know you're like a movie with error -- -- yeah and remote files that. -- so these see you did these drawings super quick. And it's amazing the that everything is angry old man Ian -- I think Greg that's it. But getting artists in our group things and actually use them right and yet it up with vector unit using stuff over to redraw wheelbarrow or -- sure yet. The cranky old guy looks a lot like yet I'll -- -- -- over the old fart put everything on exit the old -- That's amazing. He's that the squeeze it down from the side to turn into Justin just. People is the online -- General existing. It's what other sort of media. What other media does he created man and that makes sense. I like what other tools that -- the -- yeah I guess -- on the Mac guy in and I use. Text mate and I run everything. -- -- based -- run on Webster to web servers and obedience the -- Baghdad you know that the -- the -- track picture about -- ago quarter of a billion page views they wonder like how can one little -- server run that -- -- and she IE I do this thing with -- where. You know its run on it. Coding framework that -- Mickey HP open everything actually -- static html file that -- internally re right so having served ecstatically. -- -- -- -- -- That's amazing but that it is a done often landlords who do just -- -- -- -- time it's done it's some thing is though is the oatmeal is is basically on in the -- you know eat whatever interactive a digital -- -- -- Sure so every page -- sadly it doesn't need people that -- any change can rent a log in senior per minute than lowering it to be. Run on Verizon generated yes silicon iPad community he'll know like forums and things like that the sense yeah this system would entirely great mountain so I -- -- -- to add -- and rewrite or. Is it just like an old Dell PC's and in a closet is that if you send this spring but it does all three -- EST -- at forever. And then. Belt static stuff -- S three images every time which works really well right now. People -- to know what else you're into what are your other hobbies. -- what do you geek now yeah I guess. Amended distance running really -- like they're on track pad as just a Sony computer obviously feel like it feel like it keeps -- -- -- is the just look at that you don't really fit the the stereotype of the patent you know overweight sort of gardeners you've probably seen the photo on the back of the -- -- -- look like it and it's like bloated little fat man. That yeah I think AMBER Alert the itself. Of them that I'm really -- snowboarding is well done and I've been learning Japanese for a couple years -- study that. Those -- all -- proactive on their -- right that would be things like left for dead. Left for dead movies you know the usual stuff of just left for dead or or you don't really branch actually -- -- -- -- -- -- the only thing that it's really hard how hard I gather like old male like -- upper level and I keep getting killed every the first ten seconds in the first party game. Killed over and over and over again. And we never happen -- -- on the and one of the other shows you do that -- pretty intense yet. As -- -- wonder why it played this -- is stressful day and you sit edit for the CD screen -- and I'm gonna get -- I'm having fun -- screening and -- in and tell -- exactly I never understood the -- in -- before going to bed and trying to go to bed with my heart racing. Doesn't really sound production guys and you like on an indication now and just -- -- -- -- -- for -- Now pretty good site rating on the beaches. So there's a -- there. Though. So yeah with the success of -- -- -- has. Nine that you have a book has any other -- major media approach you -- -- like a movie or cartoon of the I just gonna sound weird because. This almost doesn't happen anymore -- taking Neil Neil putting it into a newspaper. Things like that need any sort of. I'm sure something is not yet has been some interest is union indicated but actually I don't wanna do that just that'll -- I find if I'm required produced comic every game with certain constraints that humor its offer -- and also I don't. I've never had written newspaper comics salon and ads and still do those. On the there has an interest in terms of an animated series -- and that might happen but you know I'm I'm sort of very careful with EO -- interfere with things like -- it seems simply -- comment use the same art you just add voice and motion but. The narration and voice the -- you know everything can change the humor -- so delicate Ottawa. Eggs you're exactly right -- what you're talking about earlier denied throwing in the pupils and when I'd like people or adding their own little bit of humor into your comic -- radiant and sort of like giving everyone has distinctive voice sort of already takes away part of that -- And I get also get the sense that view. Wanna be your own -- -- like the idea of working for someone else. Probably not amenable to your lifestyle. Yeah I yet I just I would prefer to work with an animator who speak it. You know either let me sort of -- humor and marriage is due to technical part of it. Rather than just giving them and hoping they'll get the camera so it's idiot idiot your specific situation and work -- but that's an interest in -- seems. It seems like -- -- -- Aren't possible the best of luck and you know congratulations or you don't keeping your own and more parity -- of the book is out right now check it -- go -- it. Five very good reasons to punch -- in the mouth. Another useful guys I agree with all five reasons and and maybe have six or seven or how. I thought why we need to start hurting these defenses animals that goes ahead of it does -- -- you're gonna be like five reasons but again Michael. -- -- out of date and this is -- -- guessing Aziz to do Gary Larsen of that sort of getting in on the scene and also to check it out available now we're gonna have three to give away signed by that. Can do that for us and will tell you how you can win that group think in some sort of draw your own. You know oatmeal inspired 404 sort of thing you want more details tomorrow and if -- in the New York area you can find that at. At the -- -- people's club tonight at 7 o'clock in -- books and yet it's in Brooklyn across the word bookstore tool. So where's the developers. -- -- alcohol really -- but it's for the Apple iBooks or whatever you but the rest -- still trying to figure out a way of an app that'll be coming news -- couldn't read write -- -- comics were no thank you thank you for making that everything. And what else were we going to adults who we have the deal the day -- will get through the second. The book this is is pretty popular -- it's it's making lists -- -- -- New York Times near Arizona this thing what's the feel like. At tilt. You gotta be held on one hand it's cool -- -- up there but on the other hand everybody. Every July -- it people think Apple will yes -- he was on there to. How as a -- of mind right now I'm happy don't you didn't have -- the damn thing in -- and -- -- every morning. Absolutely and give it a little -- on your for sure -- little little -- that's actually good for you -- we really really love your stuff. Checking out the website is the -- dot com you can follow Matt on Twitter it's just oatmeal right. Make sure you do that the -- deal -- today. And restrictions or oatmeal cream and open the Kodak deal of the day guys -- -- the head on over the -- port that cnet.com. And you can get a link to a Lenovo Z 560 core I five. Dual processor two point 66 gigahertz to sixteen inch LED laptop. Or 600. Dollars. That's pretty cheap right not too bad it's unbelievable is again very -- How they aren't they yeah. We're announcing the winners of this contest soon we have a new -- is going on you to -- us. Walked else is expensive in life just like -- Very -- expense of wales' expense -- not -- -- a book that's pretty cheap. Make sure you at the forum for replies and put Kodak for a four hash tag in your tweet for a chance to win. Right that's gonna do my forgetting anything else I think that's it then that's it let us know -- -- the show 186644. CNET is the number to call. -- can email us the 44 at CNET. Dot com thanks again to -- in in the Asian -- -- Issue that you back when the next book comes out which definitely will or the Apple or the Apple in your area all of that he'd been a lot of fun. I'll see you guys tomorrow I'm Jeff Bakalar I'm Wilson I'm Wilson tang and Justin yu -- -- pundits and dolphins in the face tonight. --
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