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The original illustration of crazy Ronald McDonald reading the Death Note (ですのーと) was drawn by a Japanese amateur illustrator Masao (Japanese: マサオ) and was uploaded to both his website and a Japanese parody illustration hub site Asame Graph in August 2006. The remark in a baloon, “Achopu Mau Mau” (アチョプマウマウ), is the characteristic groan of Gonzui, the protagonist in a Japanese manga Kaijin Gonzui (海人ゴンズイ, lit.“Ocean Human Gonzui”) written by George Akiyama, and it stands for one’s madness or mental defectiveness.
In late 2009, 4chan users began to utilize this illustration as an reaction face by changing the remark and the book title. For example, this picture below is a screenshot of a 4chan user’s post containing “What The Fuck Am I Reading” on Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?, which was taken in December 2009.
On March 4th, 2012, the Facebook page What the Fuck am I Reading was created, as of October 2014, the page has gained over 3,000 likes. On November 5th, 2013, Russian Wikipedia Lurkmore added an entry for What the Fuck am I Reading. As of October 2014, DeviantArt has over 5,000 pieces of fan art tagged “What the fuck am I reading?”
Samuel Johnson’s Reaction
On March 17th, 2012, FunnyJunk user mugglemasher uploaded a picture of English writer Samuel Johnson reading with a confused look on his face. The user titled the picture Samuel Johnson Reaction and overlayed a quote over the photo which reads:
“Dafuq did I just read”
As of October 2014, the post has gained over 900 views. The image is often used as a reaction image stand in for the original “what the fuck I am reading” image on Tumblr.