Eric Hauser, who published a book “The Adventures of Pepe and Pede”, has now found himself without a job, after Pepe’s creator, Matt Furie, sued him for copyright violation.
But it wasn’t just about copyright:
“From our client’s perspective, the message that he wants to make clear is that Pepe the Frog does not belong to the alt-right,” said Tompros, who took the case with his partner pro bono.
The unsung hero in this story is Nina Khalova, a Ukrainian illustrator of children’s books who was “shocked” when she found out the meaning of the symbols, and provided information to the court.
The books is about two characters named Pepe and Pede, for centipede – an internet meme for Trump supporters – who set out to drain a swamp that is ruled by a bearded alligator named Alkah, and his minions, who were drawn based on illustrations of women wearing Islamic attire. The story ends happily when the minions are washed, and find out they have pink skin.
“It was very important for the little mud monsters to have eyes resembling the picture I sent to my illustrator,” Hauser told Motherboard. “Not because of the resemblance to the burka, but because of the eyes. I wanted pink to be showing through, and without those specific eye holes, it wouldn’t have looked right. The pink represents the human in all of us.”
The Motherboard article sets out the 4chan memes with lots of illustrations, and also documents the connection between author Hauser, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Post Hill Press, an independent publisher distributed by Simon & Schuster, who Yiannopoulos is suing for canceling his own book deal.