Pepe the Frog, the beloved green amphibian, was created by cartoonist Matt Furie with good intentions--to lift the spirits of those who needed it. The "blissfully stoned frog" was never intended to inspire hate, let alone become the universal symbol for white supremacy. That's why Furie, according to Comic Book Resources, chose to retire the frog from public life, to place him him a coffin in a page-long comic book strip published on Saturday.
RIP Pepe the Frog: 2005-2017
Furie unfurled Pepe and the "Boy's Club" characters on his MySpace -- remember that?-- in 2005. Pepe was known as the abnormally green character who provided laughs with his mellow disposition and distasteful behavior.
But it wasn't until 2015 that Pepe became the mascot for the alt-right movement. Pepe was featured in memes showing the frog promoting white nationalist and Semitic messages. In September 2016, the Anti-Defamation League classified Pepe the Frog as an official hate symbol.
“Before Pepe the Frog was a meme designated a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, he began his life as a blissfully stoned frog in my comic book "Boy’s Club," where he enjoyed a simple life of snacks, soda and pulling his pants all the way down to go pee,” Furie wrote in Time.
Furie concluded his essay by stating, "Pepe is love."
But that didn't stop the hate from being circulated. Pepe the Frog also was used to advocate Donald Trump's presidential run.
A self-identified white nationalist told the Daily Beast that, “We basically mixed Pepe in with Nazi propaganda, etc. We built that association.”
So, it seems, Pepe's time has come to an end. What remains unclear if, and how, white supremacists will use the now deceased frog in future messages.