Visual Analysis: Dimensions of Rage

Visual Analysis: Dimensions of Rage

Filed under "White Papers"
Published May 26, 2011 at 06:21PM EDT by Olivia Gulin.

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From simple comics about life’s daily frustrations, rage comics have grown into a format that includes a rich visual language of a huge number of MS paint faces. Images of submission, disbelief, joy, contentment, and extreme anger can all be found in a contemporary rage comic. Just how wide is this range of emotions, exactly?

Here, I’ve organized a number of common faces found in rage comics and rage comic builders into an emotional system to see how they pan out. Not surprisingly, most of the faces (and especially the more popular ones) fit into the most extreme ends of the spectrum.

It’s also interesting to use this as a format to analyze the pacing of popular rage comics. Consider this one from We can use the grid to see how emotions play out in the plot:

Things get pretty intense pretty fast. The same goes for this one from Memebase.

Where do your favorite rage comics or reaction faces line up?

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