Pepe the Frog: Meme-turned-hate icon gets killed by creator

Pepe the Frog dead wake (Matt Furie)
Pepe was officially declared a hate symbol last year (Matt Furie / Tumblr)

The cartoonist who created Pepe the Frog, a meme that was co-opted by neo-Nazis, has killed off the beloved character.

Pepe was officially declared a hate symbol in September by the Anti-Defamation League, more than eight years after it first did the rounds on the internet.

At the time, creator Matt Furie dismissed the rebranding of his character as just a phase.

"I think people in whatever dark corners of the internet are just trying to one up each other on how shocking they can make Pepe appear," he told The Atlantic.

But in October, he was less accepting, calling it "completely insane" in a piece in Time magazine.

"It's a nightmare, and the only thing I can do is see this as an opportunity to speak out against hate," he wrote.

In January, white supremacist Richard Spencer was punched in the face while explaining the meaning behind a pin he had of Pepe the Frog, where he said it had "become kind of a symbol..." before being cut off by the fist landing on his cheek.

Now Furie appears to have accepted that Pepe, also known as the "sad frog" meme, has gone too far. He published a one-page comic of the frog's wake on Saturday (local time), taking the character back once and for all.

Pepe the Frog meme dead Matt Furie
(Matt Furie / Tumblr)

While it's unlikely the new comic will actually stop the alt-right from co-opting Pepe's image, it's at least made its creator's view on the matter very clear.