Who knew stick figures could be so funny? Actually, we did and for quite some time now. Cyanide and Happiness, one of the most successful web comics in the history of the internet has accumulated its brilliance into a physical book! Punching Zoo features 200 pages of C&H strips, featuring 30 brand new comics and even an interactive story where you decide the hilarious fate. Is it good?
Cyanide and Happiness: Punching Zoo (BOOM! Box)
Nowadays, when someone mentions comics your mind immediately goes to superheroes and storyline comic books. There’s no longer any love for actual comic strips. The only comic strips that are even in the public sphere are recycled Garfield comics (yeah, they still print those) that are featured in your local newspaper (yeah, they still print those as well). I personally grew up with Calvin and Hobbes because I could relate to it when I was young. I then became a teenager and I moved on to Zits when it came out, again because I related to it. And now I’m older, even less mature, and laugh at sex and other people’s pain, thus making Cyanide and Happiness the most appropriate comic to read at this stage in my life.
This slice-of-life comedy strip relies on irony and vulgarity to bring life’s everyday activities, as well the taboo, to life. It’s one of those comics that are powerful enough to make you laugh out loud despite reading it home alone. The book’s Foreword mentions that this humor isn’t for everyone, which I agree with. Not everyone laughs at parents openly being disappointed in/not loving their children. Not everyone is tickled by the concept of alcoholism or penises (Especially when those concepts are combined). However, as the better half of society, we need to recognize this kind of humor will simply be wasted on those knuckle-dragging philistines and buy as many copies of this book to share with those who will truly appreciate it.
Is It Good?
C&H already has an illustrious history digitally and it’s nice to see it make its way into a hard copy. Punching Zoo is a 21st version of The Far Side that exploits everything we find funny, despite not being politically correct. This book is truly the best excuse for killing trees humanity has ever come up with.