Examining the Origins of Rage Comics

Rage Comics

Rage Comics are a series of popular online comics that feature characters often denoted as ‘rage faces’.  They are usually created with a simple software, Microsoft Paint is the most common, but websites such as Rage Maker also exist to make the creation of them easy.  Rage Comics usually cover real-life experiences, and because the comic is ‘open source’, anyone can create their own comic and finish it with a funny tag-line.  They’re especially popular on social media as well as on community forums like Reddit and 4Chan.

Origins of Rage Comics

The first Rage Comics were created in 2008 on 4Chan’s community board /b/.  As the name suggests, the first comics covered anger and rage situations, and the circumstances that led to them.  Although nowadays rage faces cover almost all emotions, they got their name from the original comic containing Rageguy.  The first Rageguy comic consisted of four panes, with the first three describing the situation that made him angry and the final one portraying Rageguy screaming with rage.

After the first Rageguy comics, similar strips began to appear, most of which were in the same four-pane design.  With Rageguy’s success, along came comics of other emotions, all drawn in the same simplistic art form as the original.  Rageguy remained on 4Chan predominantly until 2009 when it started to become popular in other online communities like Reddit.  Reddit also had a board specifically used for the sharing of Rageguy comics.

Best Internet Memes Finalist

In 2010, famous technology blog Mashable launched a contest to find the best internet meme.  The Rage Comics were listed and ended up being one of the finalists along with Bed Intruder, Double Rainbow, and Sad Keanu.  Rageguy lost out to Bed Intruder, although being listed as a finalist helped its popularity even further with even Buzzfeed writer Tanner Ringerud explaining that the reason why Rageguy is so popular is that it’s true.

Further Popularity

As Rageguy became a household name, even clothing store Hot Topic started to sell Rageguy inspired clothing.  This, unfortunately, did not go down well with the comic’s internet followers who created Raceguy (a series of racist internet memes containing the character) in response.

Nowadays there is a whole host of Rageguy based comics which include:

  • Trollface – a character which was created to point out the pointless yet extensive amount of trolling happening on 4Chan.
  • Cereal Guy – a stick figure character which is often used for multi-purpose reactions.
  • Okay, Guy – a character who literally says okay to everything as opposed to getting angry like Rageguy.
  • Fuck Yeah Guy – a character who expresses pride at relatively minor achievements such as waking up before your alarm goes off.
  • Forever Alone Guy – a character who is regularly disappointed with life and always on his own.
  • Y U NO Guy – a character who uses SMS messaging language.
  • Me Gusta Guy – a character who responds to what would normally be a displeasing situation with ‘me gusta’ – meaning ‘I like it’ in English.

With the number of Rage Comics still being created, it doesn’t look like they will die down anytime soon.