The Rant, a.k.a. News Post, is a section of text below a webcomic strip that acts as a blog for the authors—sometimes, using actual blog software. They comment on their lives, beg for forgiveness for plot holes and irregular updates, and generally fill in the blanks.
This section is called "the rant" because it can be (and has been) used as a soap box to orate from. It's usually used more constructively than that. The rant helps improve the cross-media feel of webcomics, often acting as an easy-to-access Universe Compendium, built up slowly beneath each strip. It also allows the comic's creators to present themselves personally to the readers and shill The Merch.
Almost all webcomickers have a rant of some kind, whether it's called a newspost, blog, or something else. If more than one person works on the comic, such as a writer and an artist, they will each have their own rant section. Occasionally, other people, such as the person who hosts the website, the person who runs the forum, or random friends of the creators will chime in as well.
In some comics, it's taken as given that you'll read the rant, with the strip itself being an utterly incomprehensible non sequitur otherwise. Almost all strips of such a comic will have some explanation or extra detail in the rant, making it important as a frame for the strip. Others rarely update their rant, and only post philosophical musings and important announcements at irregular intervals.
- Integral in SMBC because it gives the author some space to explain the inevitable Schedule Slip.
- Tycho's newsposts are such an integral part of Penny Arcade that they're on the main page instead of the comic.
- David Morgan-Mar usually uses the Rant to either explain things in the comic that not everybody would get (often by linking to TV Tropes), make additional jokes or go into detail on the making of the comic.
- On a related site, the comic Comments on a Postcard consists solely of broken images and fictional news posts (or, depending on which About story you read, the associated annotations of a comic whose image files have been lost for one reason or another).
- An extreme case spends 7 pages on introductory transfinite math and then gives the Star Wars references that explains the pun.
- This one is even longer. For an entirely black strip, no less.
- This one features a truly epic rant... about how much Monopoly sucks.
- Terror Island used these for various purposes ranging from the Word of God to random links the writers want to show you.
- The rants at Sinfest ("Notes from The Resistance") are a series of totally inane, random musings that make no sense both in and out of the comic, which makes them great. Although originally a new one appeared rather often, it may now take many months for a new one to appear.
- The rant at Shortpacked normally provides a separation of fandoms - comments on the comic go to the forums, comments on the comics theme (toy collecting) invariable end up in the LiveJournal blog. However, a lot of people will also comment on the comic itself in the blog.
- A recent upgrade to the website means that the comments in both categories are directly below the comic on it's website, although purely toy-related ones are not necessarily attached to specific comics.
- Half the fun of Isotown is in the details that the rant highlights.
- The rants in The B Movie Comic are an invaluable source of information about the B-movie trope of the day, and its history.
- Dominic Deegan
- Questionable Content's rants vary from music reviews to (more often than not of late) the words "comic comic comic."
- A comic(al) comic about comics?
- Or, increasingly, "Comic will be up after [insert ungodly hour] A.M. because [insert excuse here]."
- El Goonish Shive has started using rants to elaborate on the current comic, including "behind the scenes" info and hints at future storylines.
- Shive also has started providing links to previous comics whenever he references past events, making it very easy for the reader to go back and refresh their memory.
- Misfile has commentary from the artist and his wife (who also handles the business side of the comic.
- Sins Venials contains lampshading of the comic's plot points and a review of whatever game, tv show, movie or whatever Pip is playing or watching at the time along with whatever sins it commits.
- Exterminatus Now has commentary from whichever of the four authors feels like putting up comments. Unfortunately, for a comic which so laugh-out-loud ninety percent of the time, Lothar's rants tend to wind up as being snipes at whatever annoyed him this post, and are in turn merely annoying.
- Gunnerkrigg Court's rant occasionally drops in some very handy plot background, but is mostly brief comments to the characters.
- As well as amusing but gentle swipes at Fan Dumb. ("This page is a flashback. It is showing an event in the past.")
- Or "Page notes will return when the chapter stops being about dead people. Come on."
- The Fan Nickname for the notes on Gunnerkrigg Court is 'tommentary', after the comic's creator, Tom Siddell.
- During one particularly weird and twisty-turny plotline, the "tommentary" simply read "buzzz", adding more z's with consecutive strips. When the insanity of the plotline climaxed, the post read "bu-".
- For City Face the comments are over the top directors comments from "filming"
- The rant is one of the main reasons to read Polk Out. It's also frequently used to figure out what's going on.
- Jayden and Crusader's artist frequently writes a very substantial rant on his own comics, some reaching 1000 or more words. That said, he is also apparently quite happy to leave it at only 4 or 5 words
- For Schlock Mercenary this comes in two flavors. In addition to the regularly updated fairly standard creator's blog, some comic strips have additional comments just below the comic. These are often simply humorous side notes to the ongoing story, but sometimes provides some context and/or explanation of what's going on (occasionally sidetracking into humorous side note territory), or explanations of the science behind things that appear in the comic.
- A Miracle of Science often uses these to explain the underlying science of a strip (for example orbital mechanics and computer security).
- There are two further interesting things about the rants in A Miracle of Science and its successor, Afterlife Blues. The first is that every strip has two pieces of commentary, one from Jon (the author) and one from Mark (the artist). The second interesting thing is that Jon writes his commentary after seeing the finished art but before Mark writes his commentary, so Mark's commentary frequently references, or directly answers, Jon's.
- Faulty Logic uses its rant-box as a forum for its two Author Avatars to bounce off of each other, which often provides some of the strip's funniest content. Over the course of the strip's history, Jalyss has used it to rant about half a dozen times.
- Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation has been accompanied by a weekly column, Extra Punctuation, where Yahtzee takes a minute to flesh out points from the previous week's review "in a format that doesn't require constant nob jokes", as well as responding to viewer mail more punctually.
- The news posts for Concerned, in addition to news and rants, gave insights into how the Machinima comic was made.
- Gibson Twist's commentaries from Pictures of You proves to sometimes be equally as entertaining as the comic itself.
- Jesus and Mo is usually rant-free, but now and again has a link to a relevant news story. Occasionally this is phrased as a tongue-in-cheek "thanks" to a "guest scriptwriter", such as Tariq Ramadan or Karen Armstrong.
- Brian Carroll of Instant Classic is a filmmaker and thus the majority of his rants end up being miniature articles on film and movies.
- The news section is occasionally used to tell extra anecdotal stories on The Life of Nob T. Mouse.
- Jukashi, author of Keychain of Creation, posts a commentary about his webcomic with each update, frequently used to explain Exalted rules that readers who don't also play the tabletop RPG might not understand. He's also very active on the comic's official forums.
- Happle Tea strips are always accompanied by commentary from the author, which provide extra jokes and give the readers some insight on mythology.
- Tim Krieder's The Pain -- When Will It End? does this regularly, in the form of an "Artist's Statement". One particularly memorable example was the cartoon he drew about Ronald Reagan's death.
- RyanMC of Two Evil Scientists fame does this with nearly every comic, usually to explain something that might be unclear, or add in some sort of humorous remark regarding the strip's contents.
- Captain Osaka's descriptions beneath every comic of Double K manage to be just as awesomely hammy as the comic itself, if not more.
- Extra Punctuation is posted on Tuesday, the reviews on Wednesday