Pepe the Frog has been murdered by his creator:
The creator of Pepe the Frog has symbolically killed off the cartoon frog, effectively surrendering control of the character to the far right.
Matt Furie, an artist and children’s book author, created the now-infamous frog as part of his “Boy’s Club” series on MySpace in 2005. Pepe took on a life of its own online as a meme, before being eventually adopted as a symbol by the “alt-right” in the lead-up to last year’s US election.
In September, Hillary Clinton identified Pepe the Frog as a racist hate symbol, and Pepe was added to the Anti-Defamation League’s database of hate symbols.
Furie launched a campaign to “Save Pepe”, flooding the internet with “peaceful or nice” depictions of the character in a bid to shake its association with white supremacy and antisemitism.
But he now seems to have conceded defeat, killing the character off in a one-page strip for the independent publisher Fantagraphics’ Free Comic Book Day. It showed Pepe laid to rest in an open casket, being mourned by his fellow characters from Boy’s Club.
Furie had been attempting to wrench back his “peaceful frog-dude” – whom he has often said he imagined as an extension of his personality – for more than six months. Pepe’s passing has been interpreted of his ceding control of the character.
Yeah, so, about that….
I cannot believe he didn’t see that coming. The Left has even begun to admit, reluctantly, that all their memes are belong to us.
Angela Nagle, a writer and academic whose book on the culture of the alt-right will be published at the end of next month, told the Guardian Furie’s campaign to reclaim his creation, while understandable, had been misguided.
“I can see why he must be dismayed that his own creation is being used in this way, so I don’t blame him for trying. In general though, I think it’s a dead end, yes.”“Critics of the alt-right have a tendency to try to outdo them at their own game by ‘trolling the trolls’. This should be rejected in its entirety and not ‘reclaimed’ in any way … There are many wonderful ideals for us to reclaim like beauty, utopianism, internationalism. Let them have their tedious nihilistic juvenile symbols.”