By Meghna Gulati:
We got in touch with the creator of Cyanide & Happiness, Kris Wilson, and he was very kind to have agreed to an interview! For those of you who haven’t yet had the honor of being introduced to C&H, well, today’s the day! If this interview doesn’t brighten your day, I don’t know what will. Oh, PS. We were nice enough to add a comic strip in the end, just for you!
How would you explain, what Cyanide and Happiness is all about, to someone who has never heard of it?
Cyanide & Happiness is dark humor and absurd nonsense. It has no storyline and takes place in a cruel universe inhabited by misleadingly cute characters.
What got you into sketching cartoons?
That’s hard to say. I’ve always drawn cartoons for as long as I can remember. I started drawing my first comic when I was seven. The artwork hasn’t improved much since then.
How did C&H come into existence? Tell us the story.
I was living in Fort Bridger, Wyoming, just working and going to school. I liked to animate and draw, and I was always working on stuff in my free time. When I was 14, I got strep throat and stayed home making silly comics to make myself laugh. I thought that I was just laughing at them because of my fever, and didn’t show them to anyone for a while, but eventually I started showing them off. I then made a website called Comicazi, but left when Rob and Matt asked me to start making the comic for their website, Explosm. Since then it has all been in God’s hands.
Why ‘Cyanide and Happiness’?
It’s a reference to one of the first comics we made in the series. It’s the recipe for back-alley cotton candy!
How would you solve the world’s problems in 15 words, or less?
Have me govern the world; have someone who knows what they’re doing, usurp my throne.
What would you do if there was a fire?
You mean there hasn’t ever been one yet?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because he was very sad and didn’t want to feel anymore. What a sad joke. I’m sad now.
Did you initially intend to have a great amount of shock factor in your comics when you started or did it come about as you went along?
I had no idea I was offensive! I was just making comics that were funny and silly to me, and next thing I know, people were reacting very emotionally. The comics were never intended to have “shock value” and we’re not trying to be “shocking” when we write them. We’re just being silly and making jokes that make us laugh.
Would you consider renaming ‘Cyanide and Happiness’ to ‘Chloroform and Sadness’?
You consider rephrasing that question in the form of a sandwich? Zoinks!
What do you like to do when you’re not drawing?
I write and record a lot of music. Some is for the animations that we do, and some isn’t. I play video games, film insects and work on various projects with my friends. I try to create something new every day.
Which of your comics has been most negatively received?
It’s funny, people often get offended at one uncomfortable subject and laugh at the next. The comic that got the most negative attention was for Depressing Comic Week when I mentioned that one day, C&H would end. Of all the comics we’ve done, that one made everyone go shit-ape crazy.