Pepe the Frog killed off by his creator

Matt Furie previously condemned "racist and fringe groups" for appropriating his character as a "hate symbol"

Pepe the Frog killed off by his creator

Pepe the Frog. Image: KnowYourMeme

The creator of the (in)famous Pepe the Frog character has killed off the anthropomorphic amphibian.

Although created a decade ago, Pepe gained particular notoriety during the US election campaign when the character became the meme of choice for legions of online trolls, the alt-right movement, and even white supremacists.

The character subsequently became part of the US political discourse: Donald Trump retweeted a picture of a Pepe-Trump meme in 2015, while the Clinton campaign said the character had been "almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the 'alt-right'."

Artist Matt Furie had previously argued that his creation - originally intended to be a "chill frog-dude" - had become "a hate symbol".

In October, Furie joined forces with the Anti-Defamation League in attempt to 'reclaim' the character.

He said: “As the creator of Pepe, I condemn the illegal and repulsive appropriations of the character by racist and fringe groups.

"The true nature of Pepe, as featured in my comic book, Boys Club, celebrates peace, togetherness and fun. I aim to reclaim the rascally frog from the forces of hate and ask that you join me in making millions of new, joyful Pepe memes that share the light hearted spirit of the original chilled-out champion.”

However, it seems as if the effort did not have the desired impact - and Furie has instead taken a more drastic measure to try and reclaim the Pepe narrative.

In a Fantagraphics comic released for this weekend's Free Comic Book Day, one strip shows the previously 'chill' frog lying dead in an open casket.

Fantagraphics, which publishes Furie's comics, previously condemned the appropriation of Pepe.

They suggested: "Having your creation appropriated without consent is never something an artist wants to suffer, but having it done in the service of such repellent hatred - and thereby dragging your name into the conversation, as well - makes it considerably more troubling."