Hello Reddit! We’ve done quite a lot of stuff since our paths last crossed.

We crowdfunded Season 1 of the Cyanide & Happiness Show, and got picked up by Seeso for Season 2 (available as direct downloads instead if you’re outside the US). We’ve released a short every week for almost two and a half years on YouTube and Vessel (pro tip: they release a week early on Vessel), and in the process went through the whirlwind adventure of building an animation studio from scratch in Dallas, TX.

We also made a thing called the Random Comic Generator that will eventually put us out of a job. Free iPhone app here.

Ask us anything about comics, conventions, creating animation, the business side of things, our innermost feelings, and any deeply disturbing questions you think we’re too afraid to answer. Let’s get real, reddit. Let’s get deep in the trenches here. Fire away. Metaphors.

And here’s a list of our shameless promotions, because let’s be honest, this is an AMA:

Season Too!

Our official iPhone app!

Our YouTube channel!

The Random Comic Generator!

Daily comics!

Our social media! Twitter: @explosm @RobDenBleyker @TheKrisWilson @daveexplosm Instagram: explosmofficial Facebook: explosm

EDIT: Thanks for another fun IAMA!! We've had a blast and are going to continue answering questions casually here and there, but we may not get to everything obviously! Thanks everyone!

Comments: 3029 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

C22Haru1561 karma

I love your work and have always found myself laughing at C&H while scrolling through various social media news feeds. I have two questions:

1) When did you first discover your passion for making comics?

2) How much of the work is done on pen/pencil and paper, and how much is done using a computer?

robdenbleyker3264 karma

1) I've been drawing comics since I was 11 or 12. My parents would bring home large format legal-size paper, which I'd fold in half and staple, and then draw comic books inside of them. Then I'd show them to people at school. I wasn't very popular.

2) Mine are entirely done on a computer. The only physical C&H comic I've made is this one back in 2007. I am saving it for when I crash and burn and need the eBay money.

reed456781060 karma

How did you guys think of the name?

Also just wanted to say you guys bring me hours of joy all the time so thank you for that

KrisWilson1927 karma

The name came from one of my early 2004 comics, where it mentions that Cyanide & Happiness is the ingredients to back-alley cotton candy. I thought it fit well with making light of dark settings and vice versa.

robdenbleyker2201 karma

Also we sell back-alley cotton candy from our warehouse so it has two meanings.

KrisWilson2571 karma

Also my real name is Cyanide, Rob's real name is Happiness, and Dave's real name is &.

DaveMcElfatrick2270 karma

I'm the glue that holds everything together.

robdenbleyker3017 karma

You're a birth certificate typo.

gerogtiddly956 karma

Do you often receive abuse (threats, etc) because of your dark humour?

robdenbleyker1058 karma

Someone below mentioned our hate mail poster, but apart from that we honestly don't get that much hate mail these days. I think the people that used to send hate mail have realized their wrath didn't actually change anything, and started putting their efforts into living their own lives. That's what I hope at least.

delhibuoy1103 karma

U WOT M8? u are 1 fucking cheeky kunt mate i swear i am goin 2 wreck u i swear on my mums life and i no u are scared lil bitch gettin your mates to send me messages saying dont meet up coz u r sum big bastard with muscles lol fuckin sad mate really sad jus shows what a scared lil gay boy u are and whats all this crap ur mates sendin me about sum bodybuildin website that 1 of your faverite places to look at men u lil fuckin gay boy fone me if u got da balls cheeky prick see if u can step up lil boy

robdenbleyker1425 karma

I just rubbed this comment on my cheek and smiled warmly. Thanks for bringing me back to a simpler time.

unassigned_username910 karma

How do i shot web?

robdenbleyker1578 karma

press butan

hackerkitty878 karma

Can I put it in your butt?

robdenbleyker1030 karma

Can you put it in my what?

LinkinPlayground791 karma

Do you love me? I love your comics so I think it's only fair

robdenbleyker1143 karma

I'll have to think about it, I love a lot of things already. Do you have a resume?

nickmariostories750 karma

What was your craziest idea for a comic which never was published?

KrisWilson2121 karma

We once came up with the idea of Bread Week, and even wrote out several bread related comics. We brought up the idea as a joke, and then started getting serious about it the more we talked about it. One comic was planned to be physically drawn on bread. It's stupid, but deep down inside my bellows, I still want it to happen.

robdenbleyker1514 karma

Holy shit I'd forgotten about that!!

I think there was even a racially charged comic about wheat bread and white bread.

bolomon7292 karma

You all HAVE to go through with this. Helps build a resume of "stupid random shit that actually made its way to production"

robdenbleyker33 karma

I audibly say "Wow I can't believe this got produced" to myself for every C&H short that comes out.

MedievalBatman672 karma

Thoughts on XKCD?

robdenbleyker760 karma

I really like it, especially the What If? book he made. Randall's a great writer and is fun to hang out with when we happen to be in the same place.

City66525 karma

Where did the idea for depressing comic week come from?

robdenbleyker972 karma

In 2006 I made this comic and showed it to Dave. I told him I thought it was more quietly depressing than actually funny, and asked what he thought. He agreed and said we should do an entire week of upsetting comics, creating this one the next day. The rest is history.

It's my favorite week of the year, because writing sad stuff is such a different challenge than writing jokes.

avayalel390 karma

The last one you linked is the first Cyanide and Happiness I read, I honestly just want to thank you guys for enforcing the fact that you can have a fucked up sense of humour and still not shoot everyone you care about

robdenbleyker1009 karma

Um the trick is to shoot people you don't care about.

MyUserSucks419 karma

You guys have been part of my life for years, day in, day out, reading new comics. Thanks. My question; You all have very different art styles for drawing C + H. Would you say your personality or sense of humour is reflected in these styles (and how), or if not, why do you think they are how they are?

robdenbleyker1035 karma

I would say my style is very much influenced by Kris's style, in that I directly copied it in 2005 when I joined him on Cyanide & Happiness.

tbk6212383 karma

How long does it take to finish an average strip, concept to completion?

robdenbleyker1313 karma

Sometimes a simple idea will pop into my head, and not require any weird artwork. Those ones I can knock out in thirty minutes. Other times I'll have an idea that sits in my idea list for years and years until I rediscover it and decide how to finish it.

In fact, this one was almost completely created in 2009 and I talked myself out of it. Then last week I found the art file and said "Nah, that's actually funny to me" and finished it.

So to answer your question, anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 years.

DaveMcElfatrick1077 karma

I just steal my jokes from 'sassy mom' Facebook posts, so anywhere from 1 minute to 2 minutes.

VeryMagical144 karma

You're my favourite

robdenbleyker378 karma

Don't talk to him before his glass of wine though.

ditto346343 karma

So what exactly makes someone a huge dumb butt-ass?

robdenbleyker533 karma

Too much TV / not enough vegetables

buffitout334 karma

What is your favorite insult you use? My personal favorite is chucklefuck used on your fb page.

How did you get started with comics?

robdenbleyker785 karma

My favorite is "knob end" (if you're not getting it right away, it's the end of your dick that looks like a knob). It's a British insult I picked up in London, when someone squeezed onto the wrong train at the last second, and a girl turned around and said "You James Bonded onto the wrong train you fucking knob end." I'm still laughing about that to this day. Knob end is firmly planted in my vernacular.

I started drawing comics when I was a kid, on paper. I'd just show them to my classmates and friends. My mom has boxes full of them.

DaveMcElfatrick514 karma

My favourite right now is "fuckboi". It instantly degrades anything it's flung towards.

robdenbleyker484 karma

Yeah that's a great one. There's no possible response to being called a fuckboi, it immediately puts you at rock bottom. It's over.

MyUserSucks266 karma

I wanted to come see you in London this past year, but I unfortunately couldn't. I have no shame, what's it going to take to get a signed comic sent?

robdenbleyker294 karma

We sell autographed prints of some of our comics from our store. Shipping to London is really expensive though, just to warn you.

Hope we make it back to London again soon!

skellysd266 karma

What drugs, if any, help inspire you the most to make comics?

robdenbleyker713 karma

ALCOHOL! I can't recommend it enough. So many comic and short ideas have come from us sitting around and drinking, or just one of us drinking with friends. Losing inhibitions is very good for creativity.

The trick is to go back and edit your ideas afterward, because you were shitty drunk and a lot of it probably isn't funny.

Also I'm not suggesting prospective cartoonists develop drinking problems. I'm just saying it worked for me.

ConsiderablyMediocre160 karma

Is that applesauce?

robdenbleyker320 karma

I don't get it, is that like a reference to a Cyanide & Happiness comic

ConsiderablyMediocre129 karma

Like yeah it is

DaveMcElfatrick241 karma

wich 1

ConsiderablyMediocre109 karma

It's number 15 on your site

robdenbleyker434 karma

i don't read websites.

ZergTos157 karma

On a scale from nickleback to slayer, how metal are you?

robdenbleyker276 karma

Prob. nickelback and a half?

SerPownce136 karma

Hey guys. Your comedy has been an absolutely integral part of my life for the last 4 years when I discovered you guys. I've wanted my life to revolve around comedy since I was 16, whether that be as a comedian, or simply being funny at whatever beat ass job I end up doing. Regardless of what I do, comedy will always be the most important thing.

That being said, of late I have been experiencing what we'll call for the sake of argument, an existential crisis. Being alive is pretty fucking weird, and it freaks me out sometimes. Every now and then I'll start thinking about how weird it is that I have teeth in my mouth and won't stop thinking about my stupid mouth for like an hour. Death takes up a huge amount of what I think about, and it can be a real fucking drag. To put it simply, I find life to be absolutely absurd, and I'm amazed at how many people strut around in their decaying meat suits and have the nerve to think they're so damn important. The only thing that consistently puts me at ease, is silliness. I adore people who are unafraid to live their lives as if existence is as absurd as it truly is. I thank you all for using your talents to help people forget.

My question is this: How has a career in comedy effected your overall mentality? Does getting to spend your life making people laugh help you come to grips with your own mortality? I can't imagine anyone ever becomes completely comfortable with the concept of death, but does knowing that your work brings joy to others make life a little easier? Also, can you answer this question as inappropriately as humanly possible? Maybe make a poop joke or something? Thanks.

KrisWilson166 karma

I fight every day to not get sick of comedy or hate it like many of my heroes have. That tends to happen when you truly care about something like comedy. Also, a sense of humor differs like a sense of taste, and sometimes you have to make a choice whether you're going to choose to make a joke to make only make yourself laugh, or act more selfless with your humor.

robdenbleyker156 karma

Kris nailed it. I often experience this thing where I'll be watching something funny, and instead of just laughing at it, part of me is dissecting it as well.

It hasn't made me enjoy comedy any less, just differently.

jona139130 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA guys!

My question is, what is your favorite tv show?

DaveMcElfatrick395 karma

Of all time? Or now? Right NOW, my favourite is Rick & Morty. I've been on a huge kick of watching it over and over. Growing up I watched a lot of British panel shows like Have I Got News For You? The wit from Paul Merton in that show always had me in fits.

As far as traditional shows, I grew up watching stuff like The Day Today, Brasseye, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Peep Show, Man To Man With Dean Learner and more relatively recently Charlie Brooker's stuff. I love Charlie Brooker, and if you haven't heard of him I recommend starting with Charlie Brooker's Newswipe on Youtube, then maybe checking out his Yearly Wipe. Definitely check out Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe! I first knew him from his work for a magazine called PC Zone back in the late 90s, so it's absurd and kinda awesome for me to see him become such a comedy megalith.

He's also written a lot of fantastic shows that you may be a fan of, like Black Mirror and Dead Set.

I'm also a longtime fan of many British/Irish comedians, including Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran, Jack Dee, Ross Noble, Dara O'Briain and Boris Johnson.

Goes without saying I also love shows by Graham Linehan. The trio of Father Ted/Black Books/IT Crowd is absolutely perfect.

For truly oddball British comedy, check out Shooting Stars. It's a long running quiz show designed to fuck with the contestants, and it's so damn weird and off the wall it rarely fails to get a laugh from me. I'm a big fan of Vic and Bob too.

EDIT: Fuck it, I'm making a list of more. May be added to over time.

Knowing Me, Knowing You

I'm Alan Partridge

The Armando Iannucci Show



Men Behaving Badly

Green Wing

Big Train (Simon Pegg's earliest TV work that I can think of)


30 Rock

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Inside Amy Schumer

robdenbleyker269 karma

Rick and Morty is my favorite show right now, and one of my favorite shows ever made.

xGUMBALL120 karma

How long does it roughly take to create 1 Episode from the C&H show, everything included?

robdenbleyker180 karma

Excellent question! From locked script to final product, a single episode takes about 9-10 months and 40+ people (I'm estimating because every episode has different needs, and we often rely on freelance animators, who come and go)

Yackemflaber114 karma

What's your favorite comic that isn't yours?

robdenbleyker520 karma

This one by Kris: http://explosm.net/comics/2131/

It made me laugh really hard reading it, and then laugh even more, just as hard, thinking back on it throughout the week. It changed me.

SkinOfOak97 karma

How did C&H first start?

robdenbleyker147 karma

Kris began the strip in 2004 and posted them on the forums of a website I ran with Dave and Matt. I really liked them and in January 2005 joined forces with Kris to make them daily. Dave and Matt joined in a couple months later, and Cyanide & Happiness became a thing.

Ghurtmet93 karma

What's the hardest part of being a content creator?

robdenbleyker447 karma

My dick while creating it!!!

edit: To give a real answer the hardest part is reinventing your writing process constantly. It's never one thing that works, it's always different and always changing. Writers block is a real, sinister thing.

gamesthatown88 karma

This is a question for Rob

I've been at Phoenix Comicon for the last 4 years, and every year I beg you for a sketch about robots.

I now have 4 sketches about dirty, dirty robots that are neatly organized awaiting frames.

I actually showed off one of them on a date and it helped me get laid, so you've literally helped me score.

I'm scared that next year will be the point of critical mass where you forget about me because of how many sketches you do and you'll draw a sketch about Abraham Lincoln sodomizing a dying horse or something.

I guess my question is, will you make me another robot sketch at Phoenix con 2016 if you happen to be there?

robdenbleyker90 karma


flyleafet978 karma

Who would win in a fist fight between the three of you?

robdenbleyker270 karma

I'd beat you up TBH, and get Kris and Dave to help me. 3 against 1 bitch.

akillathahun64 karma

Hey guys, just bought the book bundle (less than 30 minutes ago) after reading the stuff online for years!

My question: Do you all coordinate at all when it's time to release a new comic, or is it just a rotational basis?

BONUS QUESTION 2X POINTS: What's your guy's weirdest encounter with a fan? I expect some goofy shit like wanting you to sign their pet llama or something

DaveMcElfatrick76 karma

It's rotational but we often coordinate or discuss ideas together. We like to put them all in a big communal brain oven and see if anything tasty comes out.

robdenbleyker56 karma

Don't tell them about the communal brain!!! If the government finds out we have it......

rozsab3 karma

Hey guys!

Thanks for doing this AMA, love your work.

My questions are:

  • How depressing is for you guys to come up with Depressing Comic Week strips?
  • What is the worst comic you've ever made?

robdenbleyker4 karma

I LOVE coming up with depressing comic ideas. We sit around for a week and make each other sad. It's kind of a relief from writing comedy.

My worst comic as in my least funny comic? Probably the first one I ever posted.