Explosm (creators of Cyanide and Happiness, Joking Hazard, Explosm (creators of Cyanide and Happiness, Joking Hazard, Purgatony, Freakpocalypse) have partnered with animation studio Octopie (Magic: The Gathering, Paranormal Action Squad, Celebrity Animal Encounters) for their new show The Stockholms, a hostage situation comedy airing exclusively on Octopie’s YouTube channel. The series follows a goofball bank robber who spends months in a bank with his captive loving “family”, all thanks to a pushover negotiator. If you’re a fan of the genre-challenging humor behind Cyanide and Happiness, then you’ll LOVE this new show! We interviewed the creator Mike Salcedo.
Joshua Sexton: What was the inspiration behind the webcomic?
I started Bigfoot Justice shortly after joining Explosm. I noticed that Rob, Dave, and Kris all had awesome side projects outside of owning and operating an animation studio, which made me feel like a bum for only being creative at work. I started pumping out whatever jokes I could think of. Eventually, one of those unused jokes became The Stockholms.
JS: What was the hardest thing about creating this webcomic?
MS: For Bigfoot Justice, the most difficult thing was consistently being funny. I was surprised that a lot of times, the self-imposed deadlines bred some of my best jokes. The same can kind of be said for The Stockholms. We brought the show together so quickly, that there was a lot of spontaneity during production, which was to the show’s benefit.
JS: How has the current world situation affected your work?
MS: I’m very thankful to say “not much at all”. I’ve gone from staring at a computer screen at an office, to staring at the same computer screen at home. The Explosm team made half, if not most of The Stockholms in our pajamas.
JS: What are some of your long term goals with this project ?
MS: In the immediate future, I would love to finish 2 more seasons. We’ve got a solid 3-season arc that I would love to see realized. Long-term, it’d be incredible if the show grows into something bigger, whatever that should mean. I really love these characters and would take any excuse to see them again.
JS: For those looking to reach the level of success you have had, what three things can they do to help them get there?
Just make stuff! Nothing I learned in school compared to the hours I spent making dumb stuff that made me laugh. Don’t wait for anyone else to teach you.
Don’t be precious with your ideas. It’s really easy to become glued to your first “great” idea, and never actually make it because it’s too big. Start with something small, and make it exist.
Be consistent! Rob Denbleyker of Cyanide & Happiness told me that. The internet has such a short attention span, that people assume you died if you skip a week. From personal experience, I can say it’s much easier to keep going than to start up again.Mike Salcedo
JS: What is the favorite thing about your career?
MS: I absolutely love the creative freedom we have at Explosm. If you come up with an idea and people in the room laugh, you can make it. Every now and then I’ll catch myself drawing something ridiculous, or asking our sound designer to “make that fart louder”, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that this is my job.
JS: Have you ever dreamed about robbing a bank?
MS: If that’s what it would take to fund another season of The Stockholms, so be it!