Artist Matt Furie grew up drawing cartoons, particularly frogs with prominent, anthropoid faces. In 2005, he published Boy’s Club, a comic featuring a cast of gangly goof-offs, among them a frog named Pepe who became a messageboard in-joke and then an Internet sensation.
Spreading like wildfire from Myspace to Tumblr to 4Chan, Pepe became a symbol of hate used by various far-right and white supremacist groups in the mid-2010s.
Fast forward to 2020. Director Arthur Jones’ doc Feels Good Man tells the story of the amphibian’s appropriation, its effects on Furie and our current meme-infused culture. Spectacular segments of animation by Jones, Jenna Caravello, Nicole Stafford, and Khylin Woodrow bring Pepe to life. Beginning with the opening titles, the animation gives the film a jump-start and establishes a visual language that moors the picture in a bright and bizarre reality. The opener features bold title type, rich colour, and, in the words of panel judge Louise Sandhaus, “a whiz-bang crescendo.”
The film is capped off in style, too, with a closing animation to match: Pepe dives away in a totally zen sunset send-off. Ultimately, the titles are a wonderfully accessible, inviting and joyful introduction to a far-reaching and powerful cartoon phenomenon.
Based on Original Artwork by: Matt Furie
Animated by: Jenna Caravello, Arthur Jones, Nicole Stafford, Khylin Woodrow
Motion Graphics & Design: Arthur Jones
Additional Animation by: Joseph Bennett, Drew Blatman, Angelo Hatgistavrou
Music by: Ari Balouzian, Ryan Hope
Closing Song Mixed by: Daniel Long
LIKE THIS FEATURE?
KEEP US PUBLISHING FANTASTIC FEATURES LIKE THIS ONE. BECOME A PATRON TODAY.