<<Trigger Warning: Depression>>
Everyday we scroll through our news feeds projecting a mere computation of our thoughts, feelings and impulses. And like any upskilled scroll-er we make a few stops- stuff that is important! Rob Deynblaker’s heart-touching strip-comic page Cyanide & Happiness is one of these major halts.
Articulated in the soberest of illustrations these comics gouge out the inner dark corners of its viewers with their unexpected extrapolations. The uneventful humour touches the world of dark comedy in the right spot and every last frame of every strip is an awaited experience.
Recently was the ‘depressing comic week’. A small series of tiny heart-wrenching chronicles that left everyone to spare a minute out of their lives to do nothing but “feel the feels” in silence.
As all kinds of comments started shrieking the posts on Rob’s page expressing their conscience of finding the funny in everything, a lot of them seem to have overlooked an important message in this.
There is no doubt in the appreciation of Rob’s creation because there is no concealed joke or an ending punchline in any of these comics as they steadily put what happened in these poor people’s lives and speaks of the justice he has done to the title.
But along the lines of understandable comments like “This isn’t funny anymore” or finding-the-funny ones like “This is why you don’t lie to kids, they take things quite literally.”, people let slide the positively attached encryption.
Rob’s comics are able to let us peek into the blanketed heads of people who tediously struggle everyday with their lives breathing along with their demised aspirations and rotten thoughts. How it happened is a question of the past, but the truth is that it HAS HAPPENED and it sucks on a medical level.
Depression being one of the most stigmatized of medical conditions is hardly given any chance of discussion in social circles and when it falls into the hands of comedians, there are very few who have been able to correctly illustrate it without letting it slip into the dark well of absolute ableism.
Louie Ck is another one who does it beautifully in his observational sitcom Louie, that embraces the loud discomfort of being in a stressed state and delineates the most poetic expression of awkwardness.
“It never stopped getting worse. I remember thinking, ‘This is too much for me to handle. I wanted to give up. I knew it was my right to. But then a few minutes would go by and I’d realize, I’m still here. In other words, there was no escape from it. And I’d be a little disappointed at not being truly suicidal. I hated being ‘all right.'” – Louie ck
Depression and comedy is an irrefutably dangerous combination but it swifts into a useful medium when thrown in the right manner. Along with being an accurate pointer towards a serious issue, the comics also stand out when it comes to saying out loud “Not every thing is supposed to be funny” which is quite a courageous thing to do in today’s world.
More of this could be an integral chance to generate casualness in talks about depression. Another reason for this could be to multiply the mental health activism from a discussion in a goal-oriented consequential meet-up, to of a small talk between two friends sharing these comic links with each other. That’s where normalcy begins and stigma suffers. In a plight of those suffering in silence, these comics can serve as a catalyst to initiate more talking and increase casual considerations.