In August 2008, the internet was changed forever when an anonymous user posted the first-ever rage comic to 4chan. The comic was extremely simple, considering both its art style and humor, depicting a man known as Rage Guy taking a dump only to have the water splash back on him, resulting in the now-iconic scream of “FFFFUUUU-“ that you can almost hear echoing through the room when you read it.
In any sane world, this comic would have been a flash in the pan, disappearing with the 4chan post forever once it expired. We don’t live in a sane world though, and the meme economy of the time thrived on relatability even more so than it does now. Thus, rage comics were born, and for the next four years, they would dominate every social media platform on the web, from Tumblr to Facebook to 4chan and beyond. They offered an exciting new way to meme that involved storylines rather than single-image Advice Animals or reaction posts. Plus, they were really fun to make, and new characters were constantly popping up to use, effectively reshaping what a meme could even be.
Rage comics peaked around 2012 before steadily declining in the following years, stepping aside to allow new storytelling meme formats to take the spotlight, like webcomics, Dogelore, and, of course, Wojak, which originally began as a rage comic character. Since their peak, rage comics have become a relic of their time, with many people frequently citing them as “cringey” and “dated” these days. Now, in 2020, it seems as though rage comics are making their way back into the spotlight, exciting 25-year-old-boomers across the globe. But why now?
The Circle of Memes
The claim that rage comics are making a comeback is admittedly a bold one, but it’s not an absurd one considering we’ve seen meme revivals before. The most popular example has to be Doge, a meme that was brought back from the dead in a glorious way through Dogelore. Another example can be seen in Are Ya Winning, Son?, a…
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