Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: February, 2015

Huvek, by James L. Steele – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Huvek, by James L. Steele
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, July 2014, trade paperback $19.95 (247 pages).Huvek-Cover

(Publisher’s advisory): This is a mature content book.  Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your region.

“Loy emptied his clip, ejected it and crouched below the wall as he yanked another from his vest and popped it in. He braced himself on the sandbags piled midway up the wall for a firing platform, stood up straight and started shooting again.

His entire battalion was firing into the line of massive reptiles from behind the city’s defensive wall. They had previously succeeded in clearing the Kesvek out, but now the reptiles were coming back and they had never looked more intimidating.” (p. 5)

In an interstellar future, a spreading humanity first met another sentient life form, the massive reptilian Kesvek, over forty years earlier. The Kesvek immediately started killing all humans. They were not interested in negotiations. Humanity abruptly found itself being annihilated from its hundreds of newly-settled frontier worlds.

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The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.download

The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart
NYC, Cheshire House Books, September 2013, trade paperback $10.95 (143 [+ 1] pages).

This is the fourth novel in Stewart’s Sam the Cat series, officially children’s fantasies but often Edgar and Agatha Award mystery-fiction nominees. Stewart’s first, Sam the Cat: Detective (February 1993), was a generic hard-boiled mystery fantasy-parody, with Sam, one of a mystery-bookshop’s cats (the other is Sue, Sam’s sassy secretary), hired by an apartment building’s housecat to find their real human burglar and keep the apartment’s custodian from being framed. The next two novels, The Big Catnap (August 2000) and The Maltese Kitten (December 2002), were specific pastiches of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939) and The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929), with Sam standing in for Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, who practically defined the crime-noir private eye genre. Not exactly kids’ stuff. The Maltese Kitten also won the Cat Writers’ Association’s 2003 Muse Award in the Best Juvenile Fiction category.

Stewart seemed to run out of famous crime-noir mysteries to parody after 2002. But, eleven years later, here is The Great Catsby. Presumably you know what this is a pastiche of, even if you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic. Not exactly a hard-boiled mystery, and still not exactly kids’ stuff; but it does get the series moving again.

“The first time I saw Catsby he was sitting atop a diving board and staring across a swimming pool at a lantern hung from a tree. It was one of those green paper Japanese lanterns and it flashed, in the local distance, like the light of an alien star. Of course I didn’t know he was Catsby then, or anything else about him. By his looks, he was nothing special – just a pleasantly yellow fellow with a curve at the tip of his tail. What impressed me had been his gaze – an almost laser-like concentration – and the stillness that seemed to surround him the way a halo surrounds a saint.” (p. 1)

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Austrian TV and Lakeside Furries, Harper’s con story, Awesome Possum – Newsdump (2/25/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Story tips are always welcome. 

Ursa Major Awards nominations close on February 28.  Nominate Dogpatch Press – get fuzzy hugs!  I love furries so much, blogging about them is it’s own reward.  But I love shinies too, so can the highly attractive readers of this site nominate it for an award?  Submit a Best Magazine nomination.  These hugs are worth it.  (OK, they’re worth nothing because I hug everyone for free. They’re just priceless.)

                                             _____________________________

                  In the Media

                                             _____________________________

High traffic for $11,575 fursuit story.

Far flung places like German news sites are continuing to give notable high traffic for last week’s story of the record high fursuit price.

Austrian TV covers furries with a good 15 minute news piece.

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I can’t believe I forgot to nominate Finsterworld for a best movie Ursa Major award!

by Patch O'Furr

The Ursa Major nominations close on February 28.  Send yours to support creativity.  Here’s a choice that deserves recognition:

MV5BMjE3NTExMjI5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTQ1NTM1OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_Finsterworld is far from well known. That’s too bad, because even though I gave it a lot of articles, I only just remembered to add it to my nominations.  If you like smart movies and don’t hate foreign movies, seek it. (The Facebook page tells me it’s only shown once in Hollywood, and at international festivals where it got lots of awards.)

It’s likely to be the best furry-related feature film there is.  I’m sure it’s the only depiction of a capital-f Furry that was ever a possible Oscar contender.  (It was short-listed among Germany’s selections for Best Foreign Feature).

I’m not comparing it to huge things from Disney that are totally gateway movies, but aren’t informed by this tiny subculture. Finsterworld has a fursuiter who goes to furmeets.  The director used actual fursuits, and research and advice from Germany’s Furry scene.

It’s one reason to recommend a movie, but the real reason isn’t for a Furry movie, it’s for a good movie.

Finsterworld is a very, surprisingly good movie. I had low expectations when a festival director solicited a review and sent me a private screener.  I thought it would be just some average indie thing. Nope.

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The Hero of Color City – animated movie review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

The Hero of Color City, directed by Frank Gladstone. 77 minutes. October 3, 2014.164396

Since I have already reviewed The Nut Job and Thunder and the House of Magic, I may as well review the third similar animated feature here: October 2014’s The Hero of Color City. I am reviewing it primarily to let you know about it, in case you want to see it. You’ve seen the Transformers movies, about anthropomorphized whatever-they-are’s. Now here are anthropomorphized crayons! You won’t get many opportunities to see anthropomorphized crayons.

I criticized most of the reviews of The Nut Job and Thunder and the House of Magic, which were very negative, as irrelevant because they judged the movie as an adult theatrical feature, whereas it was a children’s film. The Hero of Color City is for even younger children – preschoolers – and the reviews tend to be of two types. Those that do review it as kidnergarteners’ fare are generally positive. Those that review it for the parents who will accompany those kindergarteners are really negative. And I can’t say that I disagree with them.

Here is the plot synopsis from the review from Variety, October 2, 2014, by Geoff Berkshire:

“Lacking any of the visual sophistication customary in contemporary bigscreen toons, The Hero of Color City more closely resembles the by-the-numbers smallscreen product churned out overseas to fill time on countless tyke-oriented cable channels. The youngest members of the film’s target audience aren’t likely to care much about the lack of craft here, but grown-ups will immediately spot a generic rip-off and tune out accordingly. They won’t be missing much.

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The 2014 Olympics Winter Games Mascots – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Dear Patch;

I was inspired to write this by the discovery that some of the “current” internet information about the 2014 Winter Olympics mascots is now being taken down.  I feel that this will still be of interest to at least some furry fans, and somebody ought to save it while it’s available.  Late January or February is a rough first anniversary.

A brief aside about sobering world news… The “most expensive Olympics games in history” left more abandoned than the mascots.

Stamps_of_Russia_2012_No_1559-61_Mascots_2014_Winter_Olympics

The 2014 Olympics Winter Games Mascots

The 2014 Olympics Winter Games, in Sochi, Russia from February 23 to March 1, 2014, are almost a year old now. Information about them is disappearing from the Internet. It’s time to save their three anthropomorphized mascots before they’re gone for good. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Furry Fan Photos – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Greymuzzle Stickmaker (Rodford Edmiston Smith), an attendee and photographer of many World S-F Conventions and other s-f conventions of the 1980s through the 2000s, has been posting his photos on Flickr since late September.

Most are of interest to s-f fans, but some contain pictures of furry fans at bygone s-f conventions. (I’m in there, but never mind where – I don’t photograph well.)

A fox fursuiter (but the word “fursuit” didn’t exist yet) at the 1991 Worldcon in Chicago.  (link)

w91m003

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French anthro comic: Solo, by Oscar Martin – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Solo. T.1, Les Survivants du Chaos, by Oscar Martindownload (2)
Paris, Delcourt, September 2014, hardcover €16,95 (107 [+ 13] pages).

Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.

The setting: a bleak, war-destroyed future Earth. Think MGM’s/Hugh Harman’s 1939 animated Peace on Earth, where the last humans on Earth kill each other and leave the world to the peaceful funny animals; or the similar sequence in Alexander Korda’s 1936 live-action feature Things to Come, where England (and presumably the whole human race) has been bombed and shot up back to the Stone Age. It’s Mad Max with furries.

Solo’s blurb, translated by the publisher, is:

“Ravaged by nuclear and chemical weapons, the Earth has mutated and many animal species have developed a size and intelligence similar to that of humans. To make life easier for his family, Solo, a young rat, decides to take the road. In this hostile world of predators, cannibals, monsters or pirates, Solo will have to become the best fighter to survive.”

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$11,575 fursuit sale brings comments from Furbuy and seller PhoenixWolf.

by Patch O'Furr

(UPDATE: The buyer does an interview with Dogpatch Press!  Thoughts from the winner of the record-setting $11,575 fursuit auction.)

“Angel Dragon” set a new record for known fursuit auctions.kestrel

The $11,575 sale on Furbuy beat the recent record of $8,025 for Lavender Corgi, sold on 10/11/14.

At the time, Lavender Corgi’s buyer declined my request for comment, citing drama that could be seen on forums elsewhere.  (In requests, I mention: “When something sells for a lot of money, I consider it positive “patron of the arts” support for artists.”)

The “Angel Dragon” is by PhoenixWolf Fursuits, maker of the popular suit for Telephone. The contest of 187 bids ended on 2/14/15.   The auction didn’t go without drama even before it ended.  At one point, bids shot up to $14,000.  These were removed after a bidder commented:

 I guess I don’t have 14000 I only have 11,000 in my bank can and admin remove me from the angel dragon auction please I’m no interested anymore I really do want it but I don’t want to bid too much

Furbuy admin, Jurann, replied…

“…this is one of the straws that broke the camel’s back and caused us to implement the new bidding restriction measures today.”

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Chakat in the Alley, by James R. Jordan – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Chakat in the Alley, by James R. Jordan. Illustrated.
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, June 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (318 pages), Kindle $4.95. 

download (1)Chakat in the Alley is James Jordan’s third annual novel in what has become a regular series. It is a direct continuation of Jordan’s May 2012 Bound to Play, and his June 2013 The Cat’s Eye Pub; and it ends with “To Be Continued In: It Takes Two: The Story of Diamondstripe”, presumably coming around June 2015. Each novel is complete in itself, but for how long will the overall saga continue?

What’s more, Jordan’s novels do not exist alone. They are set, with permission, in Bernard Doove’s “Chakat’s Den” universe. Doove began writing about the chakats, his 24th-century hermaphroditic felinoid centauroids in an interstellar civilization, in 1995. By now Doove has six volumes of their adventures (one of which, Flight of the Star Phoenix, won the 2012 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Novel of the year), plus another set in their universe. Doove is writing My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction today (see his December 2013 Change of Life, his May 2014 Growing Up Dandy, and his December 2014 Conversations in a Canterlot Café), so Jordan (among others) is keeping his chakat universe alive.

By now, everyone in furry fandom should be at least aware of the chakats, foxtaurs, skunktaurs, Caitans, and other species (including humans, of course) of the Chakat’s Den universe. If you’re not, it’s easy enough to pick up within the first few pages. The chakats take the most getting used to, because of their hermaphroditic nature. Each chakat is both female and male. That makes family life among chakats a bit unusual, with each parent able to be both a mother or a father. Since chakats are neither a “him” or a “her”, they have their own pronouns of “shi”, “shir”, and “hir”. You’ll pick it up fast.

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