(San Francisco, CA, Wednesday, October 14, 2020) – Created by artist Matt Furie as a character in his comic Boy’s Club, Pepe was originally an embodiment of the laid-back lifestyles of young male college graduates finding their footing in the real world. After popping up in meme form on various fitness blogs, Pepe eventually started appearing on the anonymous online message board 4chan, where his image was quickly copied again and again and adopted as a symbol of misfits everywhere.
The new documentary Feels Good Man follows his surreal journey of being co-opted and twisted into an image of hate by extreme online communities through the eyes of his horrified creator, who finds himself increasingly powerless to stop this co-optation as it spirals out of his control.
As the alt-right’s images of Pepe infiltrate the mainstream media in more insidious ways leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the film asks the questions: Does anyone truly own anything on the internet? Can an image that has been transformed into one of hate be transformed once again into one of hope?
Arthur Jones – Director: Feels Good Man is Jones’s directorial debut, but he’s uniquely suited to tell the story. He’s a cartoonist who came up in the same indie comics scene as the film’s subject, Matt Furie. Jones published a book of his illustrations in 2011: Post-it Note Diaries (Penguin/Plume Paperbacks). Over his career, he’s art directed animation and motion graphics for journalists and documentary filmmakers, working with companies including The New York Times, VICE, The Center for Investigative Reporting and The International Consortium of Journalists.
Giorgio Angelini – Producer: Giorgio came into film from a longer, multi-faceted career in the creative arts. After touring in bands like The Rosebuds and Bishop Allen for much of his 20s, Giorgio enrolled in the Masters of Architecture program at Rice University during the depths of the 2008 real estate collapse. It was during this tumultuous time that the seeds for Giorgio’s directorial debut, OWNED: A Tale of Two Americas began to take shape.
Matt Furie – Creator of Pepe the Frog: Matt Furie is an artist, illustrator, and children’s book author. He’s best known for his character Pepe, a fun-loving stoner frog from his comic Boy’s Club, who has become a ubiquitous internet meme. In 2012, McSweeney’s published Furie’s first children’s book, The Night Riders, a wordless tale about the adventures of two best friends, a frog, and a rat. He’s currently based in Los Angeles.