Today on the site, RJ Casey speaks to Kimberley Motley, the prominent attorney representing Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie.
Do you have any idea of what kind of toll this ordeal has taken on Matt and his family?
It clearly couldn’t have been easy. Matt’s a really good guy. He’s very humble and a great artist. It’s been hard for him to see his creation being used in a negative way, especially since it was created to be a funny, friendly frog. I think it has been shocking and disappointing to Matt. For me personally, I always see what happened to Pepe over the last year and a half representative of what’s happening in America. This is a wonderful country with a lot of possibilities and opportunities, but unfortunately, from my perspective, we’ve seen a lot of ugliness lately. I’ve seen a lot of negativity that is taking our country in a direction that I don’t like. To a certain extent, that is what has happened to Pepe. The alt-right has hijacked him and has tried to take this symbol as their own.
I think a lot of that has to do with how the internet is set up and in a way still feels like the Wild West. How are you going to take that on? Is this unprecedented?
It is, in a way. It’s difficult. Matt, Jason, and I believe in freedom of speech and want to make sure people can still celebrate Pepe. You can’t really control how Pepe has been used on the internet in the past, especially since he’s been turned into this meme. Dealing with the internet is difficult because there are so many users all around the world. Pepe has taken on a life of his own. However, what should not happen is people profiting off Pepe and the intellectual property of Matt Furie. That’s a big concern. I couldn’t make a tuna fish sandwich at home and stick a McDonald’s logo on it and sell it to people. The McDonald’s corporation would come after me. This is Matt’s creation and people don’t have a right to take his intellectual property and then themselves profit off of it without his permission.
—Interviews & Profiles. Alex Dueben interviews Keiler Roberts.
What made you interested in making comics about yourself and your family?
Those are the people I know and can characterize pretty accurately. I’ve always been drawn to personal essays and stories, comics or otherwise. My favorite comedians dwell on themselves and their relationships. In fiction it’s always the characters that matter more to me than the plot. You can know a lot about the nature of a relationship by listening to the way people talk to each other.
—Reviews & Commentary. I’m a day late but I agree with Tom Spurgeon’s guide to Prime Day.
Brian Nicholson reviews Daryl Seitchik’s Exits.
Every sequence seems like a setpiece, playing with a limited palette. Not seeing the main character makes the reader more aware of negative space where that character could be, in order to follow along.