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Redditor Jon Poisel explains the recent rise of rage animations and helps “encourage growth in the genre.”
Rage comics have thoroughly democratized web comics. Can rage cartoons do the same for animation?
In 2008, rage comics bubbled forth from the creative and sometimes horrific depths of the image board 4chan. The easily made comics have since become a ubiquitous part of Web culture. At the social news site Reddit, for example, the rage comic forum r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu (F7U12) boasts nearly 300,000 users.
So it should be little surprise that some enterprising rage fans have turned the comics into animations. Unlike their paneled cousins, however, rage animations take a whole lot of time and skill, not to mention some seriously thick skin.
In September, redditor Jonatar, whose real name is Jon Poisel, created r/ragetoons, a subreddit (section) on the site devoted solely to animated rage comics. Poisel is a 49-year-old self-described “idle dabbler” in animation. He works in computer tech and said his dream job would be to “to marry my fondness for computers and animation with a loaded Dell XT3.”
Poisel told the Daily Dot he created r/ragetoons “as a proving ground for aspiring and existing rage animators, to encourage growth in the genre.”
Animations aren’t forbidden in r/ragetoons giant cousin, F7U12. That subreddit, however, has what Poisel calls the “Darwinistic” environment for choosing what post succeeds or fails—a culture that seeps through in the comments. For Poisel, that’s hardly an environment to nurture animators, especially those experimenting with a new creative form.
“The atmosphere that works for comics can be too intimidating for animators who aren’t already completely confident in their abilities” Poisel wrote. “Beginner or expert, animation requires a lot more work artistically and technically for even simple, short animations.”
Like a lot of Reddit happenings, r/ragetoons didn’t really take off until a minor controversy broke out. This one took place on the front page of F7U12 when a moderator removed an animation by redditor thedbp over a minor-rule squabble. But thedbp’s loss was r/ragetoons gain: With the F7U12 community hot and bothered over the minor controversy, Poisel posted a link to r/ragetoons at the top of the thread.
Thus, r/ragetoons gained thedbp, whose real name is Dennis, a talented, 19-year-old animator who hails from Denmark. He’s now a moderator and a frequent poster. They also got a big traffic burst and a lot of publicity. The subreddit’s users have since jumped to about 3,200, a 50 percent gain in less than a month. (Moderators at both F7U12 and r/ragetoons are on good terms).
Poisel said he hopes r/ragetoons will become a supportive place for animators to learn their craft and display their work. “Part of the appeal of rage is its simplicity and limited, self-contained nature,” he wrote.
They’re going to provide basic tutorials in the basics of animation and may at some point even give lessons.
That said, ragetoons will probably never be as easy to make as their still-life cousins. That’s just the nature of animation (and the limitations of technology). Still, the broad familiarity of the rage characters is a big help to people learning animation. A rage character is a ”self-contained shortcut.” Poisel wrote. “Its appearance serves as a clue to what the scene is about and how the character is reacting, saving the animator valuable setup and beat time ”
By combining a ubiquitous crutch of web culture with a nurturing, creative atmosphere, the r/ragetoons may help just create a small army of new animators.
“I love hoodies, I just have this one problem with them.” by thedbp
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.