I'm new to the web design and web comic fields.
I'm a huge fan of The Oatmeal, and thought his tile layout was a good way to share the most amount of comics for given real estate.
So, following the "Power Grid" pattern from this site (the last option), http://designshack.net/articles/layouts/10-rock-solid-website-layout-examples/, and drawing from elements of my favorite comics, TheOatmeal.com, XKCD, etc... I created my comics site: Hitting Trees with Sticks.com
I recently received a complaint from an avid The Oatmeal fan claiming I've "totally ripped off and imitated The Oatmeal"... I asked the author, Matthew Inman, what he thought... and he said my site design and subject matter were quite similar...
While I'll agree the tile layout I currently have is like his... I think it's also a standard/generic enough template...
That being said, here are my questions:
1) Are the designs too similar?
2) If so, what are some of the guidelines/rules of thumb on designing a website based on templates that are used by other comic artists? Do you think I should change mine? I mean, it seems like so many comics use the same "click-to-get-next-comic style... and I like The Power Grid/The Oatmeal's style... I feel there aren't many other ways for me to display the latest comics and most popular comics for the user to see... is that wrong?