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Trollface is a rage comic character wearing a mischievous smile that is meant to represent the facial expression of an Internet troll. The image is most commonly used to portray a character as a troll in rage comics, or alternatively, to identify oneself or another participant as such in online discussions.
The Trollface was originally drawn by Carlos Ramirez, an Oakland-based artist known by his deviantART handle Whynne, as part of a MS Paint webcomic webcomic about the pointless nature of trolling on 4chan’s /v/ (video games) board. The comic was uploaded to deviantART on September 19th, 2008.
In the deviantART post, Ramirez added a note revealing that he was attempting to draw a comic character known as the “Rape Rodent.”
In the following months, Ramirez’ drawing quick gained traction on 4chan as the universal emoticon of an Internet troll and a versatile rage comic character. For a brief time, the face became alternatively known as “the coolface” after a rage comic-style webcomic took off on 4chan and Ebaumsworld, though only for a brief period of time.
Throughout the first half of 2009, Trollface quickly gained favor with Redditors and rage comic artists in particular, in part owing to the rapid growth of the /r/f7u12 subreddit around that same time. On August 1st, 2009, the first Urban Dictionary definition for “trollface” was submitted by user A Terrible Driver. Thousands of additional webcomic and photoshopped instances featuring the face can be found Tumblr, Cheezburger, Reddit, Facebook, Quickmeme and Memegenerator among many others.
Whynne Claims Copyright Infringement
On July 16th, 2011, a screenshot of an email sent to an undisclosed recipient from a man named Carlos Ramirez claiming to be Whynne was posted to Reddit. The email stated that the use of Trollface on Reddit violated his copyright on the image and requested the subreddit to be removed from the site.
You know what also makes me happy? Trolling reddit and seeing a shitstorm like this develop.
The background image for the f7u12 pages was changed to a picture of trollface with the text “HEY WHYNNE… U MAD BRO?”:
Search queries did not pick up until January of 2009, several months after the original deviantArt posting.