March 28, 2012
Two men enter, both gripe.
Nerd Rage is a comic created by Andy Kluthe in September of 2010 centering around two lead male characters, both notably lacking in nomenclature and heavily steeped in geek, nerd, and anime fandom. Commonly, the pages feature them discussing some recent event or long-standing crises in fandom and giving their own individual opinions on it, but other pages feature outlandish situations to best portray a rather absurd notion within the same fandoms.
For sake of reference, we’ll name the diminutive male “Rage” as best befits his usual outlook and the larger male “Nerd” for the obligatory title reference. Rage is as described the usual source of fan outrage exposition in the pages, decrying new adaptations, revamps, etc. as well as much older gripes such as memory cartridges and poor-quality ports, whilst Nerd tends to be more reserved and calm about things, typically offering exposition upon the fandom itself but also serving to restrain Rage (physically, where necessary) from his outbursts and provide the closest thing to a straight man the comic regularly fields.
The comics vary in length, typically being three or four frames long, covering a fairly wide variety of topics within the fandom superstructures. Other comics can cover much larger spaces, including several pages, as well as much smaller ones. There’s the comedic standard of setup – beat – punchline in a lot of pages but in general things are kept pretty fresh and the writing rarely goes stale or repetitive.
Meanwhile, the artwork is top notch (no, not the Minecraft guy, shut up). Nerd and Rage, as well as an increasing catalogue of secondary characters (such as Animu Alex, whose gender defies classification at points), are all portrayed with reasonable consistency and always distinct from others (no two characters are drawn alike, ever).
Beyond the normal review points, the comic definitely knows its audience. Heated subjects are portrayed on both sides by Nerd and Rage, whilst stereotypes of geek and nerd culture are portrayed evenly between both of them (though Rage tends to fall directly into them whilst Nerd awkwardly sidesteps the crater). The same can’t really be said of the female stereotypes, largely portrayed by Animu Alex and the other geek girl characters (save those identified outright as posers), but I can perhaps understand there being an inevitable gender bias on the part of the author (I, for example, know very little of the actual content of menstruation, save to steer clear of the maiden’s…scratch that, there’s almost no domicile term suitable to continue that sentence) to explain that imbalance.
In all, Nerd Rage is well-produced, well-written, and covers its intended subject material thoroughly and, largely, without bias or stereotype. You can hit up Andy on a variety of sites, but as per usual I recommend Twitter.
I’ll see you all again tomorrow!