Wither Cyanide & Happiness?
The precipitous drop of Cyanide & Happiness readership seems at first to be alarming. Its contemporaries have managed to hold on to its readership over the years. Cyanide & Happiness seems to be shedding them. Why? Is it because the webcomic, at its core, is really juvenile, and as readers grow up they stop reading stuff where the punchline is generally someone exposing their buttocks? It’s like Jim Henson’s rule that a Muppet Show segment must end one of two ways, only it’s butts.
I think that my theory may still be sound, since Cyanide & Happiness did the smart thing and followed their audience. In other words, they went to YouTube. As Dave McElfatrick mentioned in The Observer: “Right now, our comics are no longer our primary income stream. They used to be for many years, but since then our business has had to change and adapt to the shifting tides of the Internet—it’s been a difficult transition at times, but we’re still able to do what we love doing, which is the ultimate blessing, really.”
The strategy seems to be paying off. Their channel is approaching 7 million subscribers, and the cartoons are of generally high quality. This isn’t Blind Ferret’s CAD toons… or even (sigh) Blind Ferret’s Tiny Dick Briefs. It’s got good voice acting and decent animation.
Check out this Bear Grylls parody, which as of this writing has 11 million views.
Yeah, it basically boils down to some guy exposing his naked buttocks. But, God help me, I laughed.