Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: September, 2015

Fursuiters on Food Network, and Cosplay celebrity wants a suit – NEWSDUMP (9/30/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race features Fursuiters.

I’m told that a minute of air time was recorded during a “furry scurry” in Chicago.  (I’m pretty sure I have heard of such an event, but can’t find it at Lake Area Furry Friends.) I hope one day that term replaces “furmeet” for meets that get you out of the house, and maybe involve Street Fursuiting (my favorite thing.)

Cosplay celebrity Jessica Nigri wants to join the Furry side.

Nigri is known as a model/promoter for video games, and interviewer/correspondent at cons.  It’s amazing when a subculture grows large enough to have it’s own hired sub-services… when is it no longer “sub” culture?  (Imagine if “popufur” actually meant anything to anyone besides furries?)  Popularity-wise, I suspect she’s famous-for-being-famous, but I don’t know enough to judge. I just hope this involves interest in what furries actually do.  It’s a new item for the next “Celebrifurry” list:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fred Patten Presents – his articles about Furry publishing, animation, and history.

by Patch O'Furr

Discussion of the history of furry fandom with Fred Patten, at ConFURence 9.

Fred Patten is the most valued contributor at Dogpatch Press.  He came here during editor down time at Flayrah, seeking a stable place for his reviews and history articles.  (For those who aren’t acquainted with Fred’s impressive resume as a fan historian and curator, he has spent a lot of the recent decade in a convalescent hospital.  Writing is a major benefit to his life and a good cause to support.)

The “Fred Patten” tag has everything he has contributed here.  

Without Fred’s guest posts, there would be no five day a week schedule here.  Assisting and formatting his articles takes a lot of work, and five days a week makes a very demanding pace.  But I think the promise of regular content should inspire anyone who contributes.  It makes this the most active “Furry News” source.  It’s all non-profit, so thank Fred for doing what few people can do without being paid – and volunteer helper Poppa Bookworm – and (ahem) anyone else who helps, reads, shares or comments to make this a community thing.

Fred recently shared a bibliography listing an incredible abundance of his book reviews.  It covers years of writing and hundreds of posts.  At the very least, it’s worth browsing to get an idea about the variety of Furry published work.

“What the Well Read Furry Should Read”: All of Fred’s book reviews at Dogpatch Press, Flayrah, and Anthro magazine.

The list doesn’t include Fred’s other amazing articles that aren’t book reviews.  Here’s everything else.  You don’t want to miss these, if you’re interested in learning about anthropomorphic art, how furries came to be, and what they do and like.

FURRY PUBLISHING, ANIMATION, AND HISTORY:

Read the rest of this entry »

Oklacon is canceled, and you might want to call Oklahoma’s Tourism Department.

by Patch O'Furr

Oklahoma Department of Recreation and Tourism: 405-230-8303
Direct line to Dick Dutton – Executive Director:  405-230-8414

oOxlQAc
Oklacon
sounded like a fantastic event. (Here’s interesting coverage from an independent Oklahoma City news blog.)

Now comes sad news that Oklacon is canceled permanently.  The reason appears to involve a tangle of prejudice and bad faith, coinciding with a misbehavior incident.  It came to my attention via Reddit.  More info went out in a final statement that replaces the front page of the con’s official website. I have heard statements from attendees that lead me to share the story, and report their anger and frustration about it.  (Editorial comments here don’t speak for the con.)

Here are points and open questions that stood out to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fred Patten Presents: What the Well-Read Furry Should Read.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer. WORD COUNT RECORD: 8266!

Art by pacopanda.

Art by pacopanda.

Patch has been urging me to make a list of my furry book reviews for fans who want recommendations of what’s worth reading. Okay — but that’s a constantly changing situation. There are a very few books like Animal Farm by George Orwell and Watership Down by Richard Adams that will always remain classics. Otherwise, what’s a hot title this year will become forgotten in a few years. How many people remember New Coyote by Michael Bergey today? — but it’s still an excellent novel.

I have been reviewing furry fiction since 1962, for fanzines and online sites. On one hand, I don’t want my reviews to become forgotten. On the other, I realize that an info dump of 1,000 or more reviews of furry books will turn off the vast majority of fans and never be read.  So here are several sections as a compromise.

First, enjoy my pick of Ten Furry Classics that everyone should read. Okay, one is edited by me, but it’s the first anthology of furry fiction; not just stories written to fill a book, but the best stories from the first fifteen years of all the furry magazines, 1987 to 2002.  These ten books are all great reading, and all are important for one reason or another. Sirius was the first serious intelligent animal novel for adults. Watership Down was the first adult talking animal fantasy to present a species having its own language and religion. Tailchaser’s Song was the first adult talking-animal fantasy to feature cats. Jonathan Livingston Seagull — a mainstream cult classic in the 1970s, and still one of the best “Feel Good” furry novels. Fangs of K’aath; arguably the first “furry” novel.

Then enjoy my pick of twenty-five more that are still enjoyable, even if they’re no longer current, for fans who want to read more. These are NOT necessarily better than the “dump” below them. They are guaranteed good reading, but they do not include anything above a PG rating, for readers who do not like fiction of a mature erotic nature. Kyell Gold writes excellent fiction, but he does put R-rated scenes into most of them.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life, by M.C.A. Hogarth – Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life, by M. C. A. Hogarth. Foreword by Ursula Vernon.
Tampa, FL, mcahogarth.org, August 2015, trade paperback $15.99 (vi + 136 [+ 1] pages).

51wGE4NLrmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_M.C. A. Hogarth was one of the first creators in furry fandom. She had art as a young teenager in Yarf! #1, January 1990, as Maggie de Alarcon. Her first novel, a fixup of furry short stories, was Alysha’s Fall (Cornwuff Press, September 2000). Since then she has had over twenty books published, as trade paperbacks and electronic books, by furry specialty publishers and through CreateSpace, often under her own imprint as Studio MCAH. She has won an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction of the year, and been nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award for a fantasy novel with a LGBT theme. In May 2015 Hogarth was elected Vice President of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

She has also had an active online presence since the 1990s, often raising funds for publishing her books through Kickstarter and similar campaigns. She has regularly answered questions about how to become a successful creative artist or writer. In January 2013 she began presenting this advice/her experiences in the form of a Monday-Wednesday and sometimes Friday web comic strip, The Three Jaguars, which ran through that August. It took the form of conversations, and sometimes arguments, between three facets of her creativity personified as three anthropomorphic jaguars; Business Manager, Marketer, and Artist. Business Manager is the most practical of the three, trying to limit the creativity to what will sell. Artist is the most imaginative, wanting to create what she wants to create when she wants to create it. And Marketer tries to figure out how to make what Artist wants to create saleable.

The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life presents the totality of that comic, plus a four-page epilogue drawn for this edition. In an Afterword, Hogarth analyzes why The Three Jaguars did not work as a comic strip. Readers don’t read a comic strip for objective business advice, and the format of three separate characters kept segueing into dramatic storylines, which was fine for evolving the comic into an adventure serial but was not its original purpose. Read the rest of this entry »

Sad Ending for Oklacon – Jungle Book – Furry blogs and games – NEWSDUMP (9/23/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Oklacon_Temp_LogoOklacon canceled permanently in a tangle of prejudice and bad faith, coinciding with a misbehavior incident.  

Read more via Reddit. Expect a longer article here soon.  The official website has replaced the front page with a final statement.  Oklacon’s history is at Wikifur.

Former FurAffinity Forums taken down by Cease and Desist letter from IMVU.  Tweeted from @fatransparency.

“On Conventions, Cosplay and Furries” – One blogger’s nice personal recounting of how he discovered Furry fandom.

“At Home With The Furries” photographer Tom Broadbent recounts 2008 beginning.  Tom was assigned to cover furries for the UK’s “Bizarre” magazine.

Special Features and Top Articles at Dogpatch Press get illustrations. Thanks to Spalding, the article list has some spiffy new art.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chasing the Phoenix, by Michael Swanwick – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Chasing the Phoenix, by Michael Swanwick
NYC, Tor Books, August 2015, hardcover $26.99 (316 pages), Kindle $12.99.

51L9iPNqqiL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Here is Michael Swanwick’s opening of Chasing the Phoenix:

“Third year, summer, first month, of the royal year. The Hidden King killed his brothers so that there might be no rivals for his throne and continued his preparations for war. In that same month, a stranger unlike any ever seen before came to the Abundant Kingdom.

— The Summer and Winter Annals

Surplus came down out of the north dressed in a Mongolian shaman’s robes covered with multicolored ribbons and hammered copper disks. He was leading a yak adorned with red tassels and tiny silver bells. The yak carried a bundle swaddled in cloth and carefully tied up with ropes.

In the bundle was the corpse of his friend Aubrey Darger.” (p. 17)

I am tempted to end this review here. If that isn’t enough to make you want to read Chasing the Phoenix, nothing that I could say would convince you.

Chasing the Phoenix is Swanwick’s sixth novelette, novella, or novel featuring the adventures of his futuristic con-man team of human Aubrey Darger and genetically-engineered talking dog Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux (“Call me Sir Plus”). Three short fictions chronicled their steampunk post-utopian adventures in London, Paris, and Arcadian Greece on their way to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy. In the novel Dancing With Bears (reviewed here), they reached (and ruined) Moscow. A later adventure was set in New Orleans.

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Furries at Burning Man, Pride parade, and Mascots movie – NEWSDUMP (9/21/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Furries at Burning Man – Amazing fursuit programmed to light up with movement!  Don’t miss the suit at 1:10. (Vid by Vox Fox).  

German news article:  “EUROFURENCE In Video – The Furries conquer Neukölln.”

The coming 2016 Furpocalypse is getting ridiculous: Netflix announces “Mascots” movie, from famed mockumentary maker Christopher Guest. 

Brace yourselves, Disney’s Zootopia is coming. Now this: a grade-A Hollywood director is tackling “fursploitation”, my catch-all genre that has many mediocre failures and just a few sparkling hits (like CollegeHumor’s Furry Force.) Chris Guest is famous for popularizing “mockumentary” with movies like This Is Spinal Tap and Best In Show. His “Mascots” will be on Netflix in 2016. There’s little info about it yet except a very short summary:

Welcome to all the drama, intrigue and occasional excitement of the 8th World Mascot Association Championships, where a group of ‘unusual’ men and women, with big heads and furry suits, compete to win the prestigious Gold Fluffy Award and be crowned best mascot in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Starling God, by Tanya Sousa – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Starling God, by Tanya Sousa.
Old Hickory, TN, Forestry Press, March 2014, trade paperback $12.50 (269 pages), Kindle $9.99.51CE4mZ0mLL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

“Trying to make sense of humanity’s quirky and often devastating behaviors, birds formed a religion complete with mythology, lore and fissured beliefs.

“The tenuous world-view of birds, and perhaps humans too, is about to be challenged by the coming of a Starling of Prophecy and the truth He is called to discover and ultimately share.” (back-cover blurb)

The Starling God is reminiscent of the 1972 novel Watership Down, by Richard Adams. That novel invented a religion and a language for its animal species, the rabbits, as The Starling God also creates a religion and language for birds. It is also reminiscent of the 1987 Japanese motion picture Gokiburi-tachi no Tasogare/Twilight of the Cockroaches, written and directed by Hiroaki Yoshida. That movie shows a detailed animal (or insect) religion based upon their belief of their relationship with humans, which turns out to be completely erroneous.

In the Prologue a nameless woman who is a wildlife rehabilitator, and who wears flower-print dresses, is called to a trailer park. One of its residents is distraught over the park management’s eradication of a starling’s nest. The woman takes three starling chicks home and nurses them. One fledgling survives, which she prepares to release back into the wild when it is old enough to fend for itself.

She takes the young starling outdoors for short practice flights around her yard, where she puts out food for birds. These include Dove L’al and his mate L’in, and a flock of redwing blackbirds led by Rem. L’al is a Teller, a religious leader who tells the birds who their God is and what she wants.

“Birds here called this God ‘Flower’ since she more often than not chose plumage to reflect their shapes and colors.” (p. 3)

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French Anthro Comic: Intégrale Chlorophylle – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Chlorophylle Integrale tome 1Intégrale Chlorophylle 1, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, October 2012, hardcover 25,50 (208 pages).

Intégrale Chlorophylle 2, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, November 2012, hardcover 25,50 (208 pages).

Intégrale Chlorophylle 3, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, April 2013, hardcover 25,50 (206 pages).

Raymond Macherot (1924-2008) didn’t invent the French-language animalière cartoon strip. Hergé, the creator of Tintin, dabbled with it in his 1931 Tim L’Ésureuil, Héros du Far-West (Tim the Squirrel, Hero of the Far West), and again in his 1934 album featuring the bears Paul and Virginia, Popol et Virginie chez les Lapinos. (The Lapinos were a tribe of rabbit Indians, renamed the Bunnokees in an English translation. Hergé was a fan of early Western movies.) Edmond-François Calvo (1892-1957) created the first memorable animalière with his classic two-volume history of World War II with funny animals, La Bête est Morte (The Beast is Dead, 1944), which resulted in Calvo in France getting an invitation from Walt Disney to come work for his studio in Hollywood. (Calvo declined.) Calvo drew several other comics featuring adorably cute animals during his career, but they were mostly innocent pets. It was Macherot who established talking funny animals as a viable category of French-language comic strips from the 1950s to the 1990s when he retired. Macherot created several other popular series, not all featuring funny animals – his light adventures of human British secret agent Colonel Clifton are still reprinted – but his Chlorophylle the dormouse, serialized in the weekly Tintin magazine from 1954 to 1966, Sibylline the field mouse, Inspector Chaminou (pretty kitty) of Zooland’s Royal Secret Police, Mirliton the housecat (written by Raoul Cauvin), and other funny animals are what Macherot is most remembered for. Read the rest of this entry »