Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: May, 2015

A con was threatened, but don’t attack symptoms and make a problem worse.

by Patch O'Furr

There were lots of reasons to celebrate in Reno, on May 14-17, 2015.  2400 furballs tumbled across the desert to Biggest Little Fur Con, making it the 6th largest con after three short years. I spoke to the Chair, who said that they were very lucky to have the extravagant layout of the Grand Sierra. Happy vibes filled it up. There was a group photo of 700 fursuiters.  I jumped in to hug as many as possible, and it was like a spin in a dryer on fluff cycle.

Swept away from the outpouring of Furry friendship, there was one little black speck of pain. While others acted out their inner feelings in colorful costumes, one lonely guy let his inner demons out.  He went to make an outburst with threats of violence.  It was a cry for help. But the community could only help itself, and he was detained and escorted away.  Everyone else’s happiness could only be a mirage in his personal desert.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disaster Dogs joins The Furclub Survey.

by Patch O'Furr

Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.”  It’s a New Thing that’s been spreading since the late 2000’s.  This kind of dance party is independent from conventions.  This builds on the growth of cons, and takes things farther.  It’s more established than events that happen once, house parties or informal meets.  Those can be inner-focused, or gather cliquish friends to only seek each other.   This brings partnership with venues that aren’t hotels, and new supportive interest in the kind of events they host and promote.  It crosses a line to public space.  A stranger may walk in off the street to discover their new favorite thing.  It encourages new blood, and crosses over to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive.

See the list of parties at The Furclub survey.  Any one that gives a Q&A will get a featured article. Organizer Ezo Kewn tells you about this new event:

Disaster Dogs (founded 2015)

____________________  

Current Founders: Ezo & The OG Disaster Dogs Crew.
Event Type: Club.
Styles Of Music: DJ’s, Rap, Rock Bands.
Crowd Size: 75-100.
Venue: The High Line, in Seattle WA.
Twitter: @Disasterdogs
Website: www.disasterdogs.net
Comments: Disaster Dogs has been around for years in the Seattle area throwing house parties and brewing beer, but this year we are branching out to provide a club outlet for the furry community in the Pacific Northwest.

Catalyst and Catacombs – book review by Fred Patten.

by kiwiztiger

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

Catalyst; A Tale of the Barque Cats, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
NYC, Ballantine Books, January 2010, hardcover $26.00 (256 [+ 5] pages), Kindle $7.99.

Catacombs; A Tale of the Barque Cats, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
NYC, Ballantine Books, December 2010, hardcover $26.00 (236 [+ 3] pages), Kindle $9.99.

9780345513762_p0_v1_s600 McCaffrey and Scarborough, two well-known cat-lovers, focus upon cats of the interstellar future in this two-volume series. “Hood Station, where they had just docked, was a backwater facility providing the interface between the agro-based planet Sherwood and the rest of the universe.” (Catalyst, p. 3) The opening lead characters are Janina Mauer, a human Cat Person, and her charge, Chessie, the Barque Cat of the interstellar freighter Molly Daise. They have just arrived at Hood Station. Janina’s exact age is not given, but clues make her a rather naïve young woman. Barque Cats “are highly prized, as [they] are not only superbly bred but have all grown into the best ships’ cats in the universe.” They “save lives […] patrol the tight areas of our spaceships, keeping rodents from eating the coating on cables, smelling hazardous gases and even escaping oxygen”. (p. 4) They are extremely valuable, leading to Chessie being bred as often as is safe.

It is obvious in the first chapter that, although Catalyst is packaged and priced as an adult book, this is really an adventure for teenagers. Janina has a chaste crush on Dr. Jared Vlast, Sherwood’s handsome young veterinarian, which he reciprocates. As important as the humans seem, it is Chessie who is the focus of the opening of the story. The writing is “cozy”: “Chessie was surprised her human friends couldn’t hear each other’s chests pounding. Or maybe they could and just wouldn’t admit it. Humans were so strange about mating matters.” (p. 10)
And although Barque Cats are already highly intelligent cats, clues tell the reader that something in their diet on the frontier planet Sherwood is making both them and other Earth animals mutate or evolve into real sentience.

“As Jared then moved on to a quick, competent feel of her [Chessie’s] fecund belly, he asked Jenina what was concerning her.

‘Well, she’s been regurgitating a lot, and it’s strange looking.’ Janina showed him the vial that contained the latest of her spit-up. Humans collected the strangest things! Janina turned it in the light. ‘You see it’s got these sparkly bits that I can’t account for at all.’” (p. 12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Dude, Where’s My Fox?, by Kyell Gold – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Dude, Where’s My Fox?, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by BlackTeagan.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, September 2014, trade paperback $9.95 ( [3] + 115 pages), Kindle $7.99.

DWMF-Cover-smallThis is “A Red Velvet Cupcake”, FurPlanet’s eighth “Cupcake” novella for fiction between the short story and novel lengths. It does not have FurPlanet’s usual Adults warning for NC-17 content of a M/M erotic relationship, but it probably – no; definitely! — should. Here is FurPlanet’s back-cover blurb:

“Lonnie’s slept with exactly two guys in his life: his ex-boyfriend of three years Steven, and the fox he just hooked up with while drunk at a party. The fox didn’t leave his name, just his scent in Lonnie’s fur—but a scent is enough for a wolf to follow a trail. With his friends Derek the gym wolf and Jeremy the fashionplate rat helping him, Lonnie will learn lessons of dating, sex, and trust, and maybe he’ll find the fox whose scent is just right before the clock chimes midnight.”

Lonnie (no last names here), the narrator, is a young, slightly small (5’5”) wolf. He’s a recent college graduate and structural geologist who seems to devote more of his life to his gay proclivities than to his professional career. He is still getting over his breakup with Steven, his previous red fox boyfriend, when he gets so drunk at a party that, when he wakes up the next morning, he can’t remember much about the male fox that he had sex with the night before, except that it was so good that Lonnie is determined to find him again:

Read the rest of this entry »

Mask/hood bans: Haters love this excuse for war on fun and freedom.

by Patch O'Furr

3RANT! Sometimes, you don’t know how good it is to have tolerance, until you see it taken away from others.

In Vermont, fursuiters were mingling with crowds at a Mardi Gras celebration.  They were high-fiving people and making them feel like they were in magical unicorn-land, like fursuiters do.  Then a town official with a Sequoia up his butt decided that fun should be illegal. Or they weren’t paying the Smile Tax. Or whatever.

Vermont town selectively bans fursuiters: Prejudice complaint and update.

Here’s what happened since:  The sad fursuiters patiently worked with the town, trying to jump through their hoops to get permits.  The town officials stroked their Hitler mustaches, and came up with this scheisse:

Read the rest of this entry »

Yay for street fursuiting! San Francisco’s 2015 How Weird Street Faire furmeet.

by Patch O'Furr

To me, street fursuiting is the best, most spontaneous form of “The Most Furry Activity”.  Street fairs are the best place to do it.  So, the start of street fair season is a special occasion.

In San Francisco, for at least the past several years, How Weird Street Faire has been first on the list.  After this, the season reaches a high point with the million-attended Pride celebration. It stays strong through October with events like the Superhero Street Fair.  It’s especially strong here because the crowds are very friendly to freaky spectacles and costuming – and the area may have the world’s highest population of furries.  Fun like this makes a good reason to say that the San Francisco Bay Area is Furry Mecca.

To any fursuiters who have never done it on the street, and feel like traveling – consider making a trip coincide with one of our meets.  You’ll get an amazing subcultural experience you can never have as a regular tourist.  That’s the beauty of subculture – friends wherever you go!  You can do this wherever you are, though.  Get inspired by my interview with Sakura Fox:  Renegade fursuiting is BEST fursuiting.

The 2013 How Weird furmeet gave us wonderful photos.  For the 2014 meet, ABC News gave a shout to furries picked out from thousands of costumers.  There was continuing recognition at the 2015 How Weird Street Faire, their 16th annual event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Camp Feral!: Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012 (Part 1) by Fred Patten

by kiwiztiger

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

200px-Feral

Camp Feral! An all-inclusive furry summer camp where the registration fee covers your food, lodging and activities for the most unique and memorable furry experience of your life! Your fee covers all the coffee you can drink, [and] all the breakfast lunch or dinner you can eat.” (from the Camp Feral! 2012 website)

Camp Feral! is the oldest of the recorded outdoor furry conventions, going back to 1998. (There may have been earlier informal furry camping trips that made no claim of being conventions.) It is also Canada’s oldest furry event, and the fourth oldest continuing furry convention (after EuroFurence in 1995 and Anthrocon and Mephit FurMeet in 1997). It was started after the oldest furry annual convention, ConFurence in Southern California (1989), gave rise to U.S. East Coast furry conventions in 1995 to 1997 (Furtasticon, Confurence East, Albany Anthrocon), inspiring Canadian furry fans to start their own convention – but with a difference.

Camp Feral! was conceived by several Toronto-area Furry fans. P. Pardus said in the Feral! 99! Survival Guide that it got started by him and Terry Wessner asking each other “what if” questions during Albany Anthrocon ’97. Other furs remember the planning as starting just after the first Albany Anthrocon in July 1997, while still others remember it as preceding the first Anthrocon but inspired by Anthrocon’s pre-con publicity. In any case, everyone agrees that Albany Anthrocon gave them the idea. The original plan, to have an outdoor summer camping retreat with furry workshops instead of a traditional hotel-style convention (it is often called the “uncon” because it is so different from other furry conventions), is credited to P. (Panthera) Pardus (Ken Suzuki) of Mississauga, and Silfur (Dan Markey) and Terry Wessner of Toronto. They held several organizational meetings from summer 1997 through early 1998, led by Pardus in Wessner’s 22nd floor Toronto apartment. The Camp Feral! name is credited to MelSkunk (Melissa Drake), in response to a call for a name that was “evocative without being too open to ridicule”. The initial committee consisted of Pardus (chairman), Wessner (facilitator), and Silfur (activities coordinator), plus Simba (Benjamin Eren Robinson, also known as Benjamin; advertising director and web site developer) and Wilykat (Colin Bolton; safety and security), all of Toronto-area furry fandom. The committee and workshop instructor posts for this and future years have not always had the formal titles that they do today – Pardus and Wessner were known at FeralCom meetings as “president-for-life” and “facilitator” — but these are the furs and the jobs that they were responsible for. Wessner bankrolled the first Camp Feral!, which operated at a steep loss because the committee seriously underestimated expenses. (He was reimbursed over several years.) Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A with Biohazard, artist of the infamous “Too Hot for PBS” auction video.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a followup to a previous article – Exchanging Fluids on PBS: Your eyes will bug out at this WTF furry video from 1992!  The artist Biohazard has more details on his page: “Too Hot for PBS”.

Biohazard answered my request to talk about this crazy subcultural stunt.  Here’s our Q&A:

(Patch:)  The PBS art auction video is epic and classic.  I’m curious how the whole thing went down… beyond the stuff you have already posted, and what you can see in the video.

Can you set the scene to give us a little “furry history”? What was it like to be making naughty furry art in the 1980’s, when that was a more daring thing than now? How did you start making it? How did you start sharing it? Who inspired you or gave you courage to share? What were the reactions? Who were your fans and how did you interact? Was it all by mail or was any in person? How much real-name/real-face interaction was there beyond your fan names? Was there much of a “furry scene”, and did they find you, or did you find it first?

I noticed you said something about donating to that auction for 14 years before they stopped taking the naughty stuff. Was your stuff always cartoony, and did it get more naughty over time? Did you get any funny reactions besides a “tense phone call” with the manager? Any other interaction with “the normals” before they changed their rules to ban your stuff? Did you continue donating tame stuff afterwards, or just move on?

biohazard(Biohazard:) Gallery 33 was not my original foray into TV Land; the first television appearance of my (non-furry) art was at the age of eleven! My winning entry in a 1977 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra poster contest was announced and displayed on the local children’s show ‘Captain Chesapeake’. (I was even invited to City Hall where I met crazy ol’ Mayor Schaefer.) Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks to Furry Force fans, Orlando’s soccer mascot, vampire squirrels: Newsdump (5/8/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

________________________________________________________

Furry Force’s surprising Ursa Major Award.

________________________________________________________

 

CollegeHumorFurryForceLogoFlayrah has the details about all winners.  Furry Force stole an expected win from My Little Pony.  It showed appreciation from targets of the gently teasing “fursploitation” parody.  I suspect two influences made a difference – support from this site (it’s a small site, but the Ursas linked here for voters!) and CollegeHumor’s own video appealing for votes.  There was said to be a rise of 150% more voting over previous years.  It caused some protest, but popular demand for truly funny stuff spoke. I saw a furry fandom founder (SySable) commenting that it was very positive to get more notice for the award.

Fred Patten, Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association Secretary:

The creators of “The Furry Force” have been very enthusiastic in e-mails that they won, and want to know how they can get their trophy since they weren’t at the Morphicon to get it in person. I don’t recall that the creators of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” ever gave any sign of caring about their win.

Writer Adam Conover told me:

Thanks again for all your support Patch! I am so, so thrilled. 🙂

Furry Force’s animation director gave me a Q&A I can post soon.  He told me:

Amazing!!! I am so happy about this you have no idea. Thanks for nominating us in the first place! I’m so glad the community loves it and glad Smiley Guy was able to be involved. I’ve also been able to animate MLP and FF is way more fun! Adam Conover, rules.  Thank you to the fans of Furry Force!

____________________________

Mainstream sightings

_____________________________

Photo by Moop.

How Weird Street Faire photo by Moop (on the right.) I’m the Husky, of course!

San Francisco’s How Weird Street Faire features fursuiters.

(Look for a longer article about the furmeet soon.) SFGate posted an article with fursuiter photos:

Groups of festivalgoers in furry mascot costumes looked on, seemingly unfazed by the effect of seasonably warm weather on their body temperature inside fuzzy suits.  “No matter the heat, there’s always a big furry contingent. It’s like having cartoon characters here…”

Playboy visits the land of Brony-o.

What the hell is a Brony? Playboy investigates.  Their visit to a convention made a warm, positive article:

“Don’t people make fun of you guys for being so genuine about your love of a little girl cartoon show—and how you dress up like ponies?”

As they remember people making fun of them, I feel like an asshole for even asking the question. There’s an awkward silence.

Dave says, with a hint of sadness, “Honestly, people do make fun of us outside of here.”

I recover. “Well, dude, I’m super-impressed by how genuine everyone is. It’s pretty fucking cool. Bronies are kinda like punk rock but with pink ponies.”

Kingston, the Orlando City Soccer Club mascot, gets a furry facelift.   Read the rest of this entry »

PULP! Two-Pawed Tales of Adventure – book review by Fred Patten.

by kiwiztiger

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

PULP! Two-Pawed Tales of Adventure, edited by Ianus J. Wolf
Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Books, September 2014, trade paperback $20.00 (255 pages).

pulp-two-pawed-tales-of-adventure-edited-by-ianus-j-wolf-67151“The Pulps” were the rough-edged inexpensive, popular fiction magazines that were published from the late 1890s through the early 1950s, on the cheapest wood-pulp paper available. There were general-fiction magazines like All-Story and Argosy, and specialized magazines like Black Mask (mystery), Exciting Western (Western), Fight Stories (sports), G-8 and His Battle Aces (aerial warfare), Love and Romance (romance), Railroad Stories (railroad adventure), Ranch Romances (romantic Western), South Sea Stories (sea adventure), Thrilling Wonder Stories (science fiction), Weird Tales (horror), and many others. The 1920s to the ‘50s was also a period of similar weekly radio adventure-fiction dramatizations.

Now Rabbit Valley Books has recreated that era, but with anthro animal casts. Editor Ianus J. Wolf presents eight stories as though they were episodes of “The RVO Radio Evening of Adventure”.

PULP! Two-Pawed Tales of Adventure is a very mixed bag. Some of the stories are just standard adventure stories with funny-animal casts. (Boring.) Some seem to be standard adventures with funny animals, but the animal natures of the characters turn out to be pertinent. (Clever.) And some present a new kind of adventure designed for a furry world. (Admirably imaginative!) But it would be a spoiler to say which is which.

“The Ruins” by Tym Greene is an Indiana Jones-type Amazonian adventure. Liam Felton, an experienced explorer (zebra), and Stewart Brace (Dalmatian dog), an inexperienced youth but the son of the company president who ordered the expedition, search through the South American jungle for the ancient Indian temple that holds the Secret of the Gods. An unscrupulous rival, Maicon Klauss (magpie), and his hulking henchman Bernard (Clysdale horse) are ahead of them.

“Prey” by Ocean Tigrox is a Western. A nameless grizzled badger bounty hunter comes into a dusty Nevada town looking for a rabbit outlaw. “The rabbit could run but he couldn’t hide.” (p. 23) He finds that the whole town is hiding a more deadly secret. There are a vulture saloonkeeper, a bobcat mayor, an eagle sheriff and his hyena deputy, a cougar callgirl, a jackal clergyman, and more. Read the rest of this entry »