Pepe The Frog Creator: I’m Voting For Hillary

Esquire reports:

In 2005, Matt Furie—then in his early 20s—created a comic book called Boys Club in which a cartoon frog named Pepe acted out the dumb, laid-back stoner culture of post-college bros. Pepe, along with a wolf, a dancing bear, and a sarcastic dog, would play harmless pranks on one another. Furie, who was living in San Francisco at the time after attending Ohio Wesleyan University, would print the comic out at Kinkos and mostly distribute it to his small group of friends.

Today, the Anti-Defamation League officially recognized Furie’s cartoon frog as a hate symbol, one that has been hijacked by the alt-right and Internet trolls, championing white nationalism and a cartoon-frog-looking hero, Donald Trump. It’s thrown Furie into what he calls an idiotic joke, where his innocent frog is now listed alongside the swastika and the burning cross and other “symbols most frequently used by a variety of white supremacist groups and movements,” the ADL explains. But that is not in any way what Furie—a professional artist who makes comic and children’s books—originally intended.

“I’ve seen outrageous stuff involving Pepe online before, but I try not to dwell on it. I blame Trump for all of this, because he kind of looks like this smug Pepe meme. Now it’s just this runaway train. But the people who are driving this train are these anonymous Internet trolls who don’t stand for anything except for nihilism and getting a rise out of whatever racist or sexist or disgusting thing they can do. It’s just an idiotic joke… I’m voting for Hillary for sure. I was a big fan of Bernie, but that fizzled out, so I’m all Hillary 2016.”

The last time I checked, about one out four Breitbart commenters had some version of Pepe as their avatar.

  • Mark

    Could someone help me with a new avatar? I’d like to have Pepe getting the peepee….

  • AW

    How awful that his work has been corrupted by such hateful individuals.

    • DaddyRay

      But he does have the unique opportunity to use the image in support of the Hillary campaign

      • zhera

        Yes! I see some fine opportunities, there!

    • Dramphooey

      Ever hear of the Gadsden flag? The uncreative, stupid class steals everything and perverts it.

      • Circle Thomas

        Heck, the swastika is an ancient religious symbol that still has significant meaning in many Buddhist and Hindu cultures.

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  • DaddyRay

    He needs to make a new series of Pepe comics mocking him as a Trump supporter

    • Dramphooey

      They won’t care. The meme has taken a life of its own. I understand “the kids” who care about such things are fighting over this meaningless scribble and they’re free to do so.

  • PickyPecker
  • skyweaver

    I wonder if he knows how emasculated he is

  • Blake Jordan

    O/T: It is deeply disappointing that none of this seems to have an impact on the significant portion of those planing to vote third party, because they have bought into the lies / exaggerations about Clinton!!!

    These “people” are the ones that are going to decide the election, and the main ones to blame if Donnie Drumpf wins in November!!!!!

  • Archipelagos

    There’s something tragically modern about this whole thing.

  • Ninja0980

    Such a shame his work has been hijacked for hate.

    • DaddyRay

      Pepe should come out as gay and fall in love and marry an illegal immigrant

      • clay

        🎶 Froggy went a courtin’ and he did ride,
        um-hm, um-hm.🎶

    • Friday

      Hate can’t even tell a decent joke, never mind create anything, they just take from others and of course, don’t even understand what they stole.

  • greenmanTN

    I feel sorry for the guy. You draw a silly cartoon and suddenly you’re associated with white nationalists for some odd reason? I’d be beyond pissed!

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      I’m surprised they haven’t tried this with something more high profile like Mickey Mouse.

      • Fiona_Alwyn

        Disney is VERY protective of their products and their name.. You mess with one of their characters and they will take you to court so fast it will make your head spin.Actually I would love to see some of these folks try that.

        • greenmanTN

          In my 20s I was very interested in older movies, even willing to buy bootlegs of movies that weren’t commercially available. There was a saying among collectors, “You don’t fuck with the Mouse (Disney) or the Globe (Universal) se because they would land on you with both feet.

          I liked old horror movies and another bit of collector wisdom was that Bela Lugosi Jr was a bigger vampire than his father ever was.

        • Dramphooey

          Yes! What has happened with Pepe is exactly why Disney kept old wartime cartoons like “Der Fuehrer’s Face” AKA “Donald Duck in Nutzi Land” under wraps.

        • Jacob

          The Air Pirates did just that in 1971 and the lawsuit went on for ten years.

        • Skeptical_Inquirer

          Would they go after the individuals or would they basically go after 4chan or whatever website they were hanging out at?

          • IamM

            They’d sue everybody.

  • Joe in PA

    Some of the best people are saying Pepe was in a porn film.

  • Henry Auvil

    The internet will probably collapse today from millions of deplorables simultaneously deleting their avatars.

  • Friday

    Isn’t it funny how these right-wingers can never create anything for *themselves?*

    Just another way in which the world they want would be a basket of *suckage.*

  • What happened to Pepe is akin to the out-of-right-field Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) peeing on things thing–a meme before there were memes. It still makes me a bit angry, but probably makes Bill Watterson angrier.

    • Joe in PA

      Tell me about it!

    • Acronym Jim

      It’s partly the image but it’s also the commercialization. Watterson is adamant about not licensing Calvin and Hobbes images for merchandising purposes because “it seems to violate the spirit of the strip.”

      • IamM

        Calvin pissing on things can be kind of funny in a juvenile way, though sometimes it’s just juvenile and sometimes it’s just vile.

        I really dislike the Calvin and/or Suzy praying ones.

  • I’d like to see Matt Furie fight fire with fire. A new series of anti-Trump cartoons, with a reformed Pepe. Exposing the Trump Pepe as an imposter. Something to really make them squirm. If there is such a thing.

    • Clive Johnson

      I had the same thought.

    • Acronym Jim

      “Pepe! Why have we seen you wearing swastikas and Nazi regalia? Why would you do such a thing?”

      “That’s my evil twin, Essess. He fell in with a bad crowd back home in the Okefenokee swamp. Personally, I think he just needs to smoke a joint and calm the fuck down.”

      • B Snow

        FTW!!

  • Well, the Swastika was suborned from several different cultures, most of whom used a form of the crooked cross to symbolize peace and harmony.

  • boatboy_srq

    And here I thought that any cartoon frog named Pepe would be a Francophobic symbol…. whodathunk.

    • Gustav2

      Kids today, what can you say?

  • Ditry Harry

    Did someone say Pepe? Guitarist Pepe does “Fantasia” Video live

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ0pFGHdEcU

  • zhera

    Pepe, Skittles, using music without the artists approval, stealing pictures online, lying, contorting, etc.

    The haters cannot create, only destroy. Steal, manipulate, destroy. It’s what they do.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      I think you’re on to something.

    • ColdCountry

      And let’s not forget Melania’s speech.

  • BobSF_94117

    Perhaps it’s creeping senility, but I totally do not get Pepe. Is he a racist? I assumed he was an illegal alien frog???

    • Dramphooey

      It’s like an old cereal commercial. Those of a certain age aren’t supposed to get it.

    • IamM

      Originally, no. As used by Nazis and other trump supporters, yes. Smugly ‘unPC’, rude, disruptive, and fomenting chaos.

      • BobSF_94117

        “Yes” what? He’s a racist? With the name Pepe?

  • SoCalVet

    Since we’re putting Chris Christie in the basket, I think we’re gonna need a bigger basket.

  • Bill Post

    Wasn’t the swastika originally a symbol of peace?

    • BockMcMillan

      It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back to before the 2nd century BCE. It continues to be commonly used as a religious symbol in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. (Wikipedia on the swastika)

      • Friday

        All over Indo-European civilization from further back, actually: that or something very like seems to have appeared even in Neolithic cultures over much of the world. (It’s part of why the SS took an interest in quack anthropology, actually, they were trying to ‘prove’ certain notions that ….well, they kind of made up anyway. A lot of the people they sent kind of had to pretend to be onto something or else they’d have to go *back* actually pretty empty-handed. There’s kind of a story much like that about some dude who they sent looking for the Holy Grail and just had to keep sending BS to stay the Hel in Spain. (This did not work out for the long term.)

    • bzrd

      the swastika is a universal symbol with various meanings depending on the culture studied

    • Friday

      Originally, it’s thought, about the solar cycles of the Earth and all, so, yes, in a way. It’s actually found all over the world in various interpretations: the Nazis cribbed it from the Theosophists who were thinking India, and had a rather less racialist view of what became the ‘Aryan race’ that the Nazis decided must be them-as-supermen, etc. (Funny enough a lot of that ‘Nazi Occult’ stuff Christianists try to distance themselves from the Nazi, err, Christianists, actually comes from the ‘Thule Society’ which in turn was based on…. Fantasy literature that used those themes. The symbol ended up being something the NSDAP thought looked cool, even when for the most part they’d forgotten entirely where they got it. Like a lot of mystical stuff they appropriated, it was mostly because it’s *striking* like a lot of the runes they used. (Even with really no depth of understanding what they were apart from a notion of a Nordic overculture etc. Kind of like when white supremacists claim to be ‘Odinists’ but actually are just substituting Thor and Odin for the Christian God and Jesus but excising anything Jewish or inconveniently-humanitarian from that as too ’emasculated,’ etc.

  • Green Arrow

    Nihilists is a great term for Trump supporters on Reddit. I think sometimes it started out as a massive joke and now they don’t even know what they believe anymore – as long as the outcome is chaos. I’m really not being dramatic.

  • SoCalGal20

    Back in May The Daily Beast did a story about how Pepe became a symbol for the white nationalists/alt-right.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/26/how-pepe-the-frog-became-a-nazi-trump-supporter-and-alt-right-symbol.html

  • John Calendo
  • kirtanloorii

    “The last time I checked, about one out four Breitbart commenters had some version of Pepe as their avatar.”

    The same is true on twitter.

  • JT

    Time to frog march the offenders.

  • Furie must be going through what the mothers of serial killers and rapists go through. It’s like one of his children has become a monster.

    • IamM

      Makes me worry about 🐸☕️ meaning “No tea, no shade.” or “But that’s not MY problem.” getting misconstrued or appropriated.

  • TheManicMechanic

    So much for Pepe being used anymore by the alt-wrongs now.

    HAHAHAHAHA

  • leastyebejudged

    This just makes me want to be part of taking Pepe back.

    Can you imagine something you created being used like this ?

  • JCF

    Can Furie SUE anyone on the alt-right? Copyright infringement?