Pepe The Frog's creator Matt Furie and his brother Jason have launched a Kickstarter called "Save Pepe" that seeks to fund a new comic starring the character. Watch the promo video for the fund above.
As Furie writes on the Kickstarter page, the comic does not actually aspire to take back Pepe from the neo-Nazis and alt-right who appropriated the cartoon and turned him into a hate symbol, as designated by the Anti-Defamation League last year. "We understand there's no way to fully control the internet or how people decide to use Pepe the Frog. Trying to control that would be a completely unreasonable goal. That said, the aim of this project is to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original BOY'S CLUB."
Furie hopes that the new comic will "[reclaim] his status as a universal symbol for peace, love, and acceptance."
Pepe was a character in the slacker mini-comic series Boy's Club before a panel of him saying "feels good man" became a meme in 2010. Towards the 2016 presidential election, images of Pepe became associated with the more hateful corners of the internet – one was even retweeted by then-candidate Donald Trump.
After the ADL branded Pepe as a hate symbol, the organization collaborated with Furie on the #SavePepe campaign. A press release described the endeavour as "an effort to take back the popular meme from racists and use the frog’s likeness as a force for good."
But In May, Furie released a new comic that depicted Pepe's funeral, and it seemed as though the character was done for good.
Furie's Kickstarter has reached its funding goal of $10,000 not long after it debuted, but you can still donate to receive rewards, like digital and physical copies of the comic and one-of-a-kind drawings.