Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: May, 2013

Santa Ana gallery’s ‘Art of Furry Fandom’ connects public with Furry past and future

by Patch O'Furr

Repost from Flayrah news, 5/29/2013:

Mark Merlino and his friend Rod O’Riley might be called “first wave” furries from original geek culture, when that meant underground comics, fanzines and pen-pals. They held the first parties that turned into conventions, and WikiFur calls them “founding members of organized furry fandom.” Mark owns The Prancing Skiltaire.

furRod’s most recent accomplishment is The Art of Furry Fandom, at Avantgarden art gallery in Santa Ana, CA. It opens concurrently with this year’s Califur, this weekend. In his journal, Mark calls it a dream he’s had for over 30 years.

According to the gallery:

AVANTGARDEN is proud to present “Women Desperately Seeking Escape…a Series” photographically captured on film and digitally by ELLEN SEEFELDT. We also welcome JAY RIGGIO‘S hand cut pasted collage work, SHARLYNORA WILKINSON‘s paintings, and The Art of Furry Fandom, curated by RODNEY STANSFIELD. This exhibit runs June 1–29, opening reception June 1, 7–10pm.

Mark reminded me of a similar show in 2012 in San Jose during Further Confusion, with “more artists, more art, same kind of independent gallery”. Actually, there were two: a Slave Labor Graphics show, and “People-Shaped Animals” at Kaleid Gallery.

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Book review: ‘Freak’s Amour’, by Tom De Haven.

by Patch O'Furr

Flayrah News, 5/8/2013:

FreaksArmorFreak’s Amour, by Tom De Haven, is simply a masterpiece. This is some of the best weird literature that few seem to have heard of or remember. It’s been out of print for 27 years. I started it once, long ago when I was just getting into science fiction and weird genre stuff. It was a bit arty and demanding for a teenage reader, and my interest wasn’t up to the challenge at the time. Now, I have to give it very high recommendation after finding it again.

I suggest that anyone into classy lit as well as furries and pulp/pop culture go get it now, even if it takes your last two bucks. It’s one of those obscurities that could be worth quite a lot if it was less available – but it earned enough acclaim to get several printings, so it’s cheap and easy to get secondhand. (In fact, I’ve noticed a new comic/graphic novel version: info below.)
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Opinion: Street fursuiting is the most fun furry experience

by Patch O'Furr

Repost from Flayrah, 5/3/2013:

San Francisco hosted the 14th annual How Weird Street Faire last weekend, with the theme “WEIRDI GRAS: Carnival of Peace.” An informal fursuiter outing was organized through Meetup.com and its active Bay Area Furries group (independent from the mailing list), which runs many local events each month. I offered changing space at a nearby apartment, and scored a pair of “Disco Pants” for costuming, direct from the office of local web-based fashion startup company Betabrand. Afterwards, Betabrand was cool enough to post photos of modeling the pants on their “Model Citizen” section. (There’s more photos on Reddit.)

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Left to right: Kitten, Meerk, Patch. Background: Ty Cougar.

Any news media story that covers furries is likely to focus heavily on fursuiters, and their striking visual appeal and fuzzy glamor. Fursuiters can’t represent the whole of furry fandom, when “furry” is a vague and broadly defined umbrella over anything related to anthropomorphic animals- but I think it’s OK to consider fursuiters the expressive, theatrical soul of furrydom. There is an element of “ambassador” role to their hobby. Without the 15-20% of furries who wear fursuits and costumes for role-playing, you’d just have regular unglamorous nerds saying “meow! I’m a cat”. That’s what crazy people do.

Of course, I’m kidding: Call me the most crazy of all, but I prefer the term fabulous. I like to put on silver disco pants and a Husky partial, and get on the subway to go dance and hug random people, under the influence of blasting techno music and magical substances in the air. They get so entranced by a giant sparkly talking dog, that they hand over their babies for photos. That actually happened several times this weekend at the How Weird Street Faire. I didn’t know where those babies had been, but I let them touch my paws anyways, even more carefully than when I pick up my chihuahua (who gets super confused and never knows whether to trust me when I dress up.) As far as I can tell, everyone loved the experience, even the astonished babies. Those photos might provoke some interesting questions when they grow up.

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