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Dolan is an MS Paint web comic series featuring a variety of poorly drawn Disney cartoon characters. The main character Dolan, based on Donald Duck, is often portrayed as a psychotic killer and sex addict.
According to Uncle Dolan, the comics were originally created during the summer of 2010 by artist Sakolut on the Finnish image board Kuvalauta. Titled “Aku Ankka” (Finnish for “Donald Duck”), the comics featured poorly drawn MS Paint characters and misspelled captions in speech bubbles. The first Dolan comic seem to be posted on early May 2010 on Naurunappula and the Meme Generator pics with the actual Dolan face date to early July 2010 to the creation time of “Akun Neuvo” (Donald’s Advice) group on Naurunappula. Following the repeated use of “Dolan” on English imageboards to refer to the character of Donald Duck, the comics eventually became known as “Dolan” comics.
The earliest archived instance in English-language comes from a You Laugh, You Lose thread on 4chan posted on August 12th, 2010. The /r/dolan subreddit was created two days later on August 14th, 2010.
Precursor: Spurdo Spärde
Dolan has many resemblances to Spurdo Spärde, another Finnish webcomic character from Kuvalauta that is meant to represent a poorly drawn version of Pedobear. The character was conceived in a mocking response to the sudden influx of teenage newcomers in June 2009. Aside from their imperfectionist style of drawing, both comics also share similarities in dialogue captions; Spurdo comics often end with the message “t. Spurdo” (Finnish: “regards, Spurdo”) as Dolan comics do with “regards, Dolan.”
In August 2011, YouTuber SweederLander launched a web series titled “The Uncle Dolan Show,” using various images of comics found on 4chan and text-to-speech narrations of the dialogues. One of the episodes was posted onto eBaumsworld in January 2012.
Through the rest of 2011 and early 2012, Dolan comics continued to surface on 4chan’s /b/ and reblogged through personal blogs on occasions, but the meme stayed mostly dormant. However, beginning in early March 2012, the comics saw a significant resurgence in popularity with a slew of threads popping up on 4chan, the /r/4chan subreddit and Tumblr under the tag #Dolan.
Single topic blogs like Dolan-Duck and Fuck Yeah Dolan were launched to cater to the rising demand of comics while those who were puzzled by its nonsensical humor began inquiring about its origin and meaning via Yahoo Answers and Reddit. The meme also gained a large following on the BodyBuilding forum, leading to dozens of Dolan-related threads on the site. As of May 2012, the Memegenerator page for Uncle Dolan has more than 3,500 image macro instances, the /r/Dolan subreddit has 21,989 readers and the Facebook page has 96,000 likes.
The Disney character Goofy also became a popular subject of MS Paint-style characters, such as the highly suspicious Ferrari Goofy who has elusive interactions with Dolan, as well as “Gooby,” who has also appeared in several comics. The /r/gooby subreddit was created on March 14th, 2012 and YouTuber SweederLander of “The Uncle Dolan Show” launched a spin-off series titled “A Gooby Story” in April.
Other characters include poorly drawn variations of Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny.
Everything Went Better Than Expected
Search query volume for “dolan” rose significantly in early 2012 following the resurgence in popularity on Reddit, 4chan and Tumblr.