Rage Comics are a series of web comics with characters, sometimes referred to as "rage faces", that are often created with simple drawing software such as MS Paint. The comics are typically used to tell stories about real life experiences, and end with a humorous punchline. It has become increasingly popular to create the comics using web applications often referred to as "rage comic generators" or "rage makers".
The first amateur made comics date back to 2008 on 4chan's /b/ board with the introduction of FFFUUUU Rageguy 4-panes. As the name suggests, the comics' stories were mostly about circumstances that lead to anger or rage. While most "rage faces" are not used to express rage, the name has been used due to their Rage Guy origins.
In January 2009, Reddit launched the "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU" subreddit (widely known as "f7u12"). This allowed users to submit their own original rage comics, which resulted in the creation of a large number of new characters. Some of the earliest notable examples were the Everything went better than expected and F*ck Yea characters. A full catalogue of rage faces can be found in the Dan Awesome's Ragemaker site.
On February 25th, 2012, Youtuber PistolShrimps upload the first episode of 6 entitled "Rage Comics – In Real Life." This first upload garnered 132,000 likes and 13,000,000 views within the first six years (shown below).
In February of the same year, The Rage Comics App was made available for free download in the apple store. The app lets you view, rate and share Rage Comics .
On May 9th, 2012, Paul Boutin of the New York Times published an article teaching readers how to edit their own rage comic strips to relieve stress .
On May 1st, 2018, The National People's Congress of China passed and enacted the “Heroes and Martyrs Protection Act,” making it illegal to make jokes at the expense of communist heroes or martyrs .The "rage comics” brand, Baozou Manhua, was censored on multiple online platforms for a 58-second video posted which used rage comics to joke about two Chinese civil war figures: Ye Ting, an army general, and Dong Cunrui, a People’s Liberation Army soldier who destroyed an enemy bunker in a suicide bombing.
As a result of the popularity of rage comics and the need for an easier method for their creation, several "rage makers" have been developed. The most popular makers are the Memebase Ragebuilder and Dan Awesome's Ragemaker.
On October 3rd, 2011, English instructor Scott Stillar created a subreddit titled "EFL comics" for his Japanese ESL students from the University of Tsukuba, Japan to learn english. On October 18th, 2011, a thread was posted to the r/bestof subreddit titled "Non-native speakers practice English using rage comics. Hilariously absurd" that linked directly to the EFLcomics subreddit and has received 2,908 up votes as of October 18th, 2011. The Daily Dot published an interview with Professor Stillar where he explains why he chose rage comics as a teaching tool on October 17th.
“Rage comics are special because at their core they consist of well known faces or expressions which are meant to show universal emotions of varying degrees under a wide variety of circumstances.”
It was suspected that users may have started trolling the EFLcomics subreddit and a thread was posted titled "How to tell if user is actually Japanese, or just trolling" on October 17th.
Some ragefaces found their way to become successful Advice Animal-style image macros. The most successful examples are Forever Alone and Y U NO Guy. Generators can be found on QuickMeme and MemeGenerator.
Most rage comic creators tend to add a "le" at the beginning of a sentence which signifies an action or as a replacement for the word "the". Example usage is "le walking around the house" and "le browsing knowyourmeme".
The origin of the usage of the "le" word in rage comics dates back to the early days of rage comics, with this comic:
The "Derp" and "herp" are generally words used online to signify stupidity (see DERP). In rage comics, the words are used in two different ways. They can be used as placeholder expressions to unimportant dialogs or conditions and also to give names to characters in a comic:
Like a Boss / Determined
The Like a Boss phrase is a reference to a music video by Lonely Island (see Like a Boss). In the context of rage comics, the phrase is used to mean "in a daring way".
In the context of Rage Comics, sexytime refers to the act of sexual intercourse.
Poorly Drawn X
Poorly Drawn X is an snowclone usually used in rage comics to refer to poorly drawn objects.
Brief History of Rage Comics
 The Daily Dot – Making rage comics? Just fine with this English teacher