Pepe just broke the fourth wall.
Even if you don’t know what Pepe is, the odds are pretty high that you’ve seen him before.
For reference, this is Pepe:
The quick backstory of Pepe is this: He came to life in 2006, courtesy of California cartoonist Matt Furie. The now-infamous big-eyed frog was part of “Boy’s Club,” a strip about a group of 20-something slacker roommates, one of whom was a mellow frog man named Pepe. What skyrocketed Pepe to internet meme status was a panel that included Pepe being called out for peeing with his pants all the way down and him responding that it “feels good man.”
After a long and winding road of people idolizing and then creating their own Pepes, often identified as “rare Pepes,” Pepe has most recently been appropriated by the alt-right (a movement that seeks to distinguish itself from mainstream conservatism by openly embracing racist and anti-Semitic policies).
Which brings us to this week when Pepe’s creator, Furie, took to the internet one more time to bring us the most meta, self-aware Pepe of all.
Furie has spoken out before about his distaste for what the world has done to his dear Pepe.
“To lump Pepe the Frog as being similar to a swastika or a burning cross or any of this other nonsense ― I think they kind of rushed to do that because of whatever’s going on in politics right now,” Furie said.
But after the Anti-Defamation League listed Pepe the Frog as a hate symbol, Furie decided to take further action. In partnership with ADL, he created a brand new comic and started a campaign to #SavePepe from the alt-right.
The comic was published on The Nib, a site for political satire, journalism and nonfiction comics. In its bizarre blend of surrealism and terror, the comic personifies this election in more ways than one. From the Trump-like waves on Pepe’s head to his waking up in a cold sweat, wondering what the world will look like tomorrow, this Pepe hits close to home.
And the internet is in just as much awe as we are.
Let’s all band together to #SavePepe. He deserves better.