Pepe the Frog Is Dead: Creator Kills Off Cartoon That Became a Hate Symbol

Pepe the Frog, the “once peaceful frog dude” meme that was co-opted by trolls and transformed into a symbol of racism and bigotry, has croaked.

Artist and illustrator Matt Furie, who originated the image as a harmless cartoon, 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.

As NBC News reports, Furie also posted an image on his Tumblr showing the frog in the casket and linked to an article on the Comic Book Resources site announcing the character's demise.

"While it's unlikely Pepe's official death will stop extremists from co-opting his image, this was, perhaps, the most effective way for Furie to reclaim his character," CBR author Shaun Manning said in the post.

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