L.A.-based comic artist Matt Furie has received an unusual amount of attention in recent months, thanks to a weird turn in a very strange election cycle. Furie is the creator of Pepe the Frog, an anthropomorphic comic character–turned-meme, which landed in the Anti-Defamation League's “Hate Symbols Database” thanks to racists and other jerks of the internet who altered the character to serve their own purposes. In September, Hillary Clinton's campaign called out the frog, and the character, who has been around for more than a decade, became the subject of news reports and, ultimately, a #savepepe social media campaign that brought together Furie and the ADL.
It shouldn't need to be repeated that Pepe isn't a hate-filled character. If you've read Boy's Club, the comic in which he originated, then you know that he's a stoner who digs pizza and lives with a bunch of weird dudes in a house where all sorts of shenanigans go down. But it also should be said that Pepe isn't Furie's only character.
Here, we look at Pepe's pals who live in the Boy's Club world. A compendium of this series of comics was released by Fantagraphics earlier this year.
Andy looks like Falkor from The Neverending Story, and that similarity is not lost on Furie, who makes reference to it early in the pages of Boy's Club.
At the start of the Fantagraphics collection, Furie writes that one of Andy's favorite things is “zany wordplay,” as is evident when the character talks about a high-end French cheese that is supposedly made via a cat's digestive system, thus become “the best-tasting shit in the world.” While he may be more into language than the other characters in Boy's Club, he shares their affection for toilet humor.
Jokes about bodily excretions aside, Andy can be a very wise character. One of his highlights is a monologue about Alanis Morissette and the complications of having a hit record that misuses the word “ironic” in a song title. “My point is know the word, then use it,” Andy says. That should be a meme.
Brett is a species-ambiguous character whose ears might make you think of a bear, but whose slim frame says otherwise. He's the fashionable one of the bunch, but fashion is relative in Boy's Club; Brett is usually dressed in track pants and sneakers, as if he just stepped out of a British dance music video from the 1990s.
Brett has dabbled in yoga, although his concentration was broken by a gas attack courtesy of Landwolf. He finds joy by dancing alone in his underwear and is the pal you'll call when you need a photo taken. Of all the characters in Boy's Club, he's probably the most into his appearance, but he appears to be kinder than some of the other characters, too. At the end, you'll see him giving a hug to Landwolf, who is a bit of a trainwreck.
Landwolf is to Boy's Club as Super Hans is to Peep Show. He's the character who parties hard even in comparison with the wild characters that surround him. Landwolf pushes more than his tolerance for drugs and alcohol to extremes; he also tests his buddies' (and the readers') threshold for gross-out humor. The pinnacle of this is “The Long Story,” a vignette about the character's massive dump.
Landwolf is the most outlandish character at every turn. Where Brett dances in his underwear, Landwolf gets full-on naked before shaking the goods in front of a strobe light. He is a hard character to handle, but his friends seem to be more than willing to put up with his antics.
Bird-Dog is a minor character who enters the fold later in the Boy's Club collection. A tall, thin, birdlike creature with floppy dog ears, this guy turns up at the Boy's Club pad with pizza and sticks around for weed. In the process he gives Pepe the lowdown on cannabis history and horticulture in a long-winded stoner chat that may be lost on the frog, who seems to be content with staring at his hands.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.