June 29, 2017

New Pepe zine hopes to reestablish the cartoon frog as a symbol of love and acceptance


Matt Furie. Via Kickstarter.

Matt Furie, the cartoonist responsible for the creation of Pepe the Frog, that iconic and most troubling of cartoons-turned-memes, has had a tough, and very weird, couple of years.

We’ve followed the story of his creation’s fall from beloved, free-living, stoned friend-of-all to internet meme to poster frog for the alt-right to officially acknowledged hate symbol, writing about it here and here, and most recently reporting on his sudden death in a short, six-panel comic by Furie, which was published by Fantagraphics this past May as part of Free Comic Book Day.

Now, Furie tells us (in an appropriately blissed-out Kickstarter video) that with your help, Pepe, the good Pepe, can live again. He can be resurrected. “I’d like to invite you to help me save Pepe,” Furie begins, before briefly summarizing the frog’s recent, tragic history. He goes on to describe his hopes and plans for the campaign:

This project is an effort to re-re-brand Pepe the Frog as a symbol of love, peace, and acceptance. My aim for the project is to create a brand new zine in the spirit of the original Boy’s Club, and tell the story of Pepe’s resurrection, his rebirth, and the story that follows.

The campaign has already exceeded its initial goal of $10,000. As of this writing, 187 backers have contributed over $13,000. And so: Pepe will live. Please, spread the good Pepe.



Chad Felix is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House, and a former bookseller.