Pepe the Frog was once a peaceful frog dude. However, that’s not the case anymore as the meme is now a symbol that’s commonly used to make political statements by the so-called alt-right.
Renowned illustrator and artist Matt Furie is declaring that Pepe is dead. It now seems that Pepe will not cloak anymore, this is after Furie drew the green frog in an open casket as part of a one-page strip for publisher Fantagraphics Books on Saturday marking Free Comic Book Day.
He also uploaded an image on his Tumblr showing the frog in the casket, linking to an article on Comic Book Resources announcing the character's demise.
In response, CBR author Shaun Manning said in the post that it's unlikely Pepe's official death will stop extremists from designating his image, this was, perhaps, the most effective way for Furie to reclaim his character. Pepe's soul has returned to his creator. The author concluded his post with an R.I.P (Rest in Peace).
Furie revealed that in 2005, Pepe was adopted as a harmless cartoon, in the Fantagraphics' comic book Boy's Club. Ever since, he’s gained popularity over the next few years online as a meme before his more recent association with white supremacists, neo-Nazi groups and the so-called alt-right.
In an attempt to reclaim the positive message originally behind the meme, the Anti-Defamation League launched a #SavePepe campaign in October. The ADL had previously declared the Frog as symbol of hate.
Furie made a statement in a post on TIME’s website saying that its completely insane that Pepe has been labeled a symbol of hate, and that racists and anti-Semites are using a once peaceful frog-dude from my comic book as an icon of hate.
In response, the ADL said that despite the fact that cartoons are inoffensive, the Frog had been increasingly appropriated for bigoted themes in a tendency aggravated by the controversial and contentious 2016 presidential election.
Beyond all of this posturing, we all know that the power of Kek is eternal. Therefore Pepe has eternal life.