Evil, funny stick figures from the Internet invade the world of print with Punching Zoo, the third collection of comics from the online cartoon strip Cyanide and Happiness.   Kris, Rob, Matt and Dave deliver numerous inappropriate comics from their website, along with 30 new comics and a "Chew Your Own Adventure" feature.

As with the last two collections (and the regular online strip), the comics here are offensive, covering death, rape, stupidity, superheroes, Jesus, suicide, kids, and more.  In his introduction, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian credits the comics' offensiveness, arguing that newspaper comics are designed to be benign and not offend anyone; he finishes the thought by wondering about all the jokes we never heard from twisted minds like Gary Larson because censors wouldn't print them -- and C&H has no such censorship.
 Does that mean the comics here are brilliant?  No, they frequently go for an evil punchline or plain ol' violence.  But they have a twisted sense of humor that often pays off, giving laughs at the same time they make you wonder if they could really just do and say that.  (They did.  Every time.)  Even the twist-a-plot "Chew Your Own Adventure" starts with a guy getting ready for a hot date and veers into him making dinner for his obnoxious son and fighting terrorists, often with less-than-stellar results.  ("You set the over to 350 and the timer for 30 minutes.  A chandelier falls on your head.  You die.  The End.")
Punching Zoo straddles the Internet and print by being "in murdered tree form" by being a physical book, but only available through the Cyanide and Happiness store.  For people with a sick sense of humor, it's definitely worth picking up.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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