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New online comic form combines news and rage
Last week’s tragic events in Norway have been a big topic on social-news site Reddit.
They may have also inspired a new Reddit art-form: the rage comic news recap.
Rage comics are user-generated comics that can be made with free online templates, most composed of crudely drawn faces, called rage faces. The comics were originally nothing more than simple expressions of anger at common daily aggravations.
But on Reddit, where an entire section exists for the comics, they’ve evolved. No longer just about anger, the comics cover everything, from short stories with narrative, to meta commentary on Reddit, to rants about movies.
And yesterday, redditor Gitarham took those common templates one step further. The redditor combined them into a narrative recounting the events in Norway.
The 40 panel comic was crudely written and drawn — a kind-of everyman version of Japan’s professionally illustrated manga news. Gitarham even super-imposed rage faces over well-known images from the disaster.
The post elicited 460 comments and no small amount of controversy from the community. Many found the use of rage faces over real pictures to be distasteful.
“I really hope this doesn’t become a trend,” wrote one. “This isn’t some fucking roleplay. If you’re going to inform people on a tragedy like this then do it fucking properly.”
Others thought the idea was genius — a fast, visual way to learn the news online.
The comic even inspired POLITE_ALLCAPS_GUY, one of the rage comic section’s moderators, to create a new section of the site. The title is a play off of the original rage comic section’s own expletive-inspired name: FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU.
In just 24 hours that community has already produced ten of the comics and reached500 subscribers.
So while some redditors may find news in rage comic form distasteful, it looks like its here to stay.
And for better or worse, some are already hoping the subreddit will become their one and only news source.
“I look forward to getting all my news from now on in ragecomic form,” commented angad19 on one of the new comics.
Though we’re pretty sure he really meant to say “NNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEWS in ragecomic form.”
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.