'Pepe the Frog' creator kills off cartoon that became alt-right meme

The creator of the "Pepe the Frog" character has laid his popular internet meme to rest.

In a special strip for Free Comic Book Day, artist Matt Furie drew a one-page special edition of his famous comic, "Pepe the Frog," in a casket at his funeral.

Furie debuted the character on his Myspace blog in 2005, but Pepe soon evolved into a widely shared joke on the anonymous image board 4chan. Pepe's popularity online exploded, until the character was co-opted by members of the alt-right during the 2016 election campaign.

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White nationalists began sharing the image online and customizing it to display racist messages.

“We basically mixed Pepe in with Nazi propaganda, etc. We built that association,” one alt-right member told the Daily Beast. 

Last year, the Anti-Defamation League designated Pepe as a hate symbol, horrifying its creator.

“It’s a nightmare, and the only thing I can do is see this as an opportunity to speak out against hate," Furie told Time magazine.