Cartoonist Forced To Kill Beloved Character Hijacked By Trump Trolls
It’s not easy being green
It’s not easy being green.
Pour one out for Pepe the Frog. The little green guy is officially no more after his creator laid him to rest because the character became far more famous as a symbol for the alt-right.
Matt Furie knows his cartoon character has long been a joke meme among online trolls dating back to shortly after Pepe’s 2005 creation. But during the 2016 campaign, Pepe took on an entirely different life, as the alt-right began using him as a proxy to support Donald Trump. The future president even famously tweeted an image of Pepe dressed as Trump.
Things got so bad, the Anti-Defamation League labeled Pepe a “hate symbol,” while acknowledging that Furie himself was in no way to blame.
So, Furie created a final one-page comic strip in an anthology published by Fantagraphic Books, showing Pepe being laid to rest at a funeral, surrounded by his comic strip friends. Though Furie has remained silent on the comic, the statement was pretty clear.
“A lot of the Pepe controversy has really troubled him,” Fantagraphic Books associate publisher Eric Reynolds said in an interview with the The New York Times. “I think the strip was less about saying Pepe the Frog is dead—because Pepe is a fictional cartoon character—and more about him just sort of processing everything that’s going on.”