A rage comic is a short comic using a growing set of pre-made cartoon faces, or rage faces, which usually express rage or some other simple emotion or activity. These webcomics have spread much in the same way that internet memes do, and several memes have originated in this medium. They have been characterized by Ars Technica as an "accepted and standardized form of online communication." The popularity of rage comics has been attributed to their use as vehicles for humorizing shared experiences. The range of expression and standardized, easily identifiable faces has allowed uses such as teaching English as a foreign language.
Although used on numerous websites such as Reddit, Cheezburger, ESS.MX, Ragestache, and 9GAG, the source of the rage comic has largely been attributed to 4chan in mid-2007. The first rage comic was posted to the 4chan /b/random board in 2008. It was a simple 4-panel strip showing the author's anger about getting "splashback" while on the toilet, with the final panel featuring a zoomed-in face, known as Rage Guy, screaming "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU-". It was quickly reposted and modified, with other users creating new scenarios and characters.
- Boutin, Paul (May 9, 2012), "Put Your Rage Into a Cartoon and Exit Laughing", The New York Times
- Connor, Tom (11 March 2012). "Fuuuuuuuu: The Internet anthropologist's field guide to "rage faces"". Condé Nast. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Hoevel, Ann (11 October 2011). "The Know Your Meme team gets all scientific on the intarwebs". GeekOut. CNN. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Wolford, Josh (2 November 2011). "Teaching The English Language With Rage (Comics)". WebProNews. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- Ben Dennison. "Our 8 Favorite Rage Comic Characters: a Case Study". www.weirdworm.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
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