Pepe The Frog creator Matt Furie appears to have killed off his most famous creation.The move coincided with a new strip published on Free Comic Book Day, May 6. In Fantagraphics’ offering, “World’s Greatest Cartoonists,” Pepe lies in an open casket and is mourned by his Boy’s Club friends Landwolf, Brett and Andy. The one-page strip was shared online after its publication.
First created in 2005, Pepe the Frog began as a relaxed, fun-loving stoner frog in Furie's comic series. The image of the frog then developed into an internet meme before being adopted by Trump supporters and the alt-right. In September 2016 Pepe was added to the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols alongside the Swastika and imagery associated with the Ku Klux Klan.
Furie attempted to take control of the image back and "Save Pepe" late last year. "I understand that it’s out of my control," he wrote in a Time op-ed at the time, "but in the end, Pepe is whatever you say he is, and I, the creator, say that Pepe is love."
The FADER has contacted Furie and Fantagraphics for comment.