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What is Cyanide and Happiness?
Cyanide and Happiness is a daily webcomic which also included several animated shorts that can be found on Explosm.net. Currently, four cartoonists contribute there: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin and Dave McElfatrick, as well as several guests. One day in 2005, sixteen-year-old Kris Wilson had strep throat. To pass his time, he started to make comics by hand, and eventually edited and posted them onto the internet. Kris sent a forum to the Sticksuicides' webmasters: Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin and Dave McElfatrick, and they saw the potential in Kris' comics. So the three discontinued Sticksuicides to work with Kris on Explosm.net.
After many years, they have produced a daily webcomic, titled Cyanide & Happiness, which has became very sucsessful to this day. Each cartoonist has their own unique style and type of content to their comics. Cyanide and Happiness is described as dark, cynical and often offensive, is sometimes interpreted as irreverent. Frequent topics of humor include disabilities, terrorism, rape, cancer, murder, necrophilia, pedophilia, sexual deviancy, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, eating disorders, abortion and vehicular manslaughter. These topics are usually introduced in an unexpected or shocking way that is jarringly different from the natural "obvious" reading on the strip thus far. To paraphrase a common saying, the style could be described as "Practice random violence and senseless acts of pooping." However, this is not always the case, and some family-friendly jokes do exist buried among the offensive material. The comic does not always have a definite punchline in each strip, or may have several panels of "awkward silence" after the punchline, with characters simply staring at each other.
Cyanide and Happiness has several gags and recurring characters, such as Tall Justin, LOL Fag Man, Charles and his Girlfriend, The Purple-Shirted Eye-Stabber, Doctor Baby, Trelaf the Wise, Obese Maurice, The Personal Space Invader, Seizure Man, Super Jerk, Dan the Downer and the Time Traveler. Characters often act irrationally or nonsensically. The lack of characterization is supported by the primitive drawing style, of which the writers often make jokes about. Characters rarely have names and are usually only distinguishable by the colors of their shirts. This naturally precludes most character-driven humor. The male characters almost always have no hair, which became a joke in itself. Female characters are distinguishable by their long hair and chest size, often used to comedic effect.
Cyanide and Happiness has a record of 32 flash animated films, depicting the original Cyanide and Happiness' style and content, mostly done by the Explosm's administrators, Rob, Dave, Matt and Kris. As well as Chase Suddarth helping produce them. Recurring characters, such as Sad Larry and Ted Bear make appearances. On occasions, Explosm will have a special type of event "week" for their daily webcomic, such as "Guest Week", where guests make their own comics for a whole week. There is also "Depressing Comic Weeks", which during that week, instead of any kind of humor, the authors write depressing and/or upsetting comics, sort of the opposite of the usual comedy. Once, Chase Suddarth had his own week, where he created seven comics, all containing some kind of butt informal sex.
The site, Explosm, has claimed over a million daily visitors (as of November 20, 2006) and is ranked 2,777th among the most viewed websites and 1,338th in the US alone, according to Alexa.com. The creators also have made comics and television advertisements for Orange Mobile's Orange Wednesdays, which have appeared in The Sun newspaper.
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