By Kris Wilson, Matt Melvin, Rob Denbleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Cyanide and Happiness is the first-ever selection of the number 1 comedian on the internet. With 30 never-before-seen comics and appearances from fan-favorite characters like Seizure guy, SuperJerk, Captain noticeable, Prostate guy, and overweight Maurice, Cyanide and Happiness is a must-own for enthusiasts of the irreverent, hilarious cult comedian from Explosm.net.
In the simplest, sickest culture of such cult favorites as The ebook of Bunny Suicides and Should You Be giggling at This?, the comic’s crudely drawn figures and the wildly beside the point issues they cover—including cannibalism, homicide, and incest—is such a lot akin to South Park, yet bargains a profane sensibility all its personal.
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Confusingly, “Melmoth” was the real Oscar Wilde’s pseudonym, and Sim’s Melmoth is a caricature of Wilde, as is Oscar from Jaka’s Story. Yet the two characters, while based on the same historical persona, are different. Melmoth dies at the end of Melmoth but Oscar is later shown to be alive and in prison in Mothers & Daughters, the next story arc. Melmoth even mentions Oscar’s work (disparagingly, of course). Melmoth’s death is, according to Sim, meant to be symbolic of Cerebus’ “death of ... spirit” (Spurgeon February 1996, 97).
Sim also discussed the dissolution of the “Gang of Twelve” (what he wanted to call the “Government of Associated Self-Publishers” or GASP). This coalition began when Frank Miller, weary of his battles with Marvel and DC over the content of his comics, requested a meeting with Sim, whom he considered one of the oldest and most successful self-publishers in the market. They held the ﬁrst meeting in Northampton, Massachusetts, the second in Northampton, England (attended by Moore and Gibbons) and the third in Los Angeles (attended by Miller).
According to Sim, “the creative community got a pretty good guideline as to the rights you inherently have once you create something” (66). The ramiﬁcations of this meeting were widespread, eventually leading to the exodus of several popular Marvel artists— including Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld — to form their own comics company, the wildly successful Image Comics. McFarlane later invited Sim, along with Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, to write and draw an issue of McFarlane’s Spawn, for which he was paid $100,000.