It’s no great secret that the internet is a veritable smorgasbord of stimuli. From YouTube to Tumblr, social media is rapidly changing how we communicate ideas and fart jokes. Of all the new media born of the internet, however, one of the most entertaining and visually stimulating is the web comic. I chatted up Matt Melvin from Cyanide and Happiness, an online strip done by four very talented artists. It continues to be a personal favorite of mine. Its humor is often adult in nature and from time to time, a little crass; not knowing whether you’ll get another drug joke or a lengthy anecdote about society’s coddling of people who fall second place kind of adds to the hilarity.
I asked Melvin what he thought about being internet-famous.
“I do not consider us famous. We did a panel once about making stuff on the internet, but we’re introduced with a powerpoint presentation on fame equating us to the likes of Angelina Jolie. It was bulls**t.” A very humble response from a man whose art is seen by millions.
When I contacted him, they had just wrapped up the Cyanide and Happiness Show Kickstarter. Having decided that television wasn’t going to work out, they called upon their fans, raising enough money for an entire year of weekly shorts, in addition to the show itself. Pretty badass, turning down TV deals to maintain artistic integrity. But more to the point, the creators of Cyanide and Happiness strive mainly to convey their humor the best way they know how, for the sake of the reader’s enjoyment.
Melvin said it best. “We were all just dudes making dumb crap on the internet. Became friends, starting doing stuff together, years later it became our jobs. We didn’t initially approach it from the standpoint of trying to make a living off it; we generally just loved doing what we were doing. That’s definitely partially the reason why it’s been so successful.”
After nine long years, four booklets, and a TV show that’s too cool for TV, Cyanide and Happiness has many more shiny, new endeavors in its future, which we fans eagerly await.