Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: September, 2015

‘Tail!’ – The party for So Cal Furs gives a Q&A for the Furclub Survey.

by Patch O'Furr

tail

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 ambitious than events that happen once, house parties, or informal meets.  Those can stay inner-focused for friends who already know each other.   This brings partnership with venues that aren’t hotels, and new supportive interest in the kind of events they host.  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 crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

See the list of parties at The Furclub survey.  Any party that gives a Q&A will get a featured article.  Tail! organizer Desoto shares this awesome new event:

Tail! (2015- now)

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French Anthro Comic: L’Epée d’Ardenois T. 4/4, – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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


L’
Épée d’Ardenois. T. 4/4, Nuhy, by Étienne Willem.L'Epee d'Ardenois cover
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, June 2015, hardbound €16,00 (64 pages).

This is part of Lex Nakashima’s & my project to bring American furry fans the best of new French-language animalière bandes dessinées. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of this 4-volume series, which were 48 pages each, were previously reviewed. Here is volume 4, the 64-page conclusion.

All that I said about volume 3 is intensified here. Nuhy begins with Oddenburg, the capital of King Tancred the Younger’s realm of Bohan, under fiery siege by the vulture armies of Hellequin of the Cursed Wood (goat), the unseen Nuhy’s general. “The city can’t hold out for more than two days,” a lion knight reports. “Not to mention the starvation and sickness, our walls are crumbling; there are already skirmishes in several districts; and if the vultures take the St. Georges gate… it’ll be the end of the castle…”

King Tancred (lynx), and two remaining Companions of the Dawn (Lord Arthus, bear; and La Fouine, marten) are trapped inside Oddenburg. This final volume begins with Tancred’s royal advisors arguing whether he should lead a final, hopeless defense and die gloriously in the city’s fall, or escape with a handful of knights through the catacombs under the city to continue a guerrilla resistance in Bohan’s countryside. Escape and resistance are chosen, with La Fouine leading the King’s party from Oddenburg while Lord Arthus remains behind to mount a diversionary death-&-glory charge. Meanwhile in the countryside, Garen (young rabbit squire) and Sir Grimbert (fox) of the Companions are with the refugees from the Duchy of Herbeutagne (which has already fallen to Hellequin), who are trying to reach Oddenburg…

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A chat with Uncle Kage about Anthrocon’s amazing achievements in 2015.

by Patch O'Furr

kage

This year, it seems like more great press attention went to Anthrocon than ever before.  Take a look!  (Here’s everything I could find in July.)

Why was there rising attention?  One of the big reasons was the fursuit parade.  For the first time in an almost two-decade history, the con took an amazing spectacle seen in private out to a public street.  A lot of the locals must wonder what goes on behind the doors of the con.  Getting to see it drew an enthusiastic crowd of “normals” almost as large as the convention itself.  Apart from the furry/crowd interaction, this was a big deal because of all the logistics and relationship building behind the scenes.  It promises great things to come.

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The Art of Regular Show – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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


The Art of Regular Show
, by Shannon O’Leary. Foreword by J. G. Quintel. Introduction by Paula Spence.
London, Titan Books, September 2015, hardcover $29.95 (160 pages).Regular show Cover

Lavish coffee-table animation art books are usually the prerogative of theatrical features from major animation studios like Disney, DreamWorks Animation, and Pixar; not a TV cartoon series from a studio like Cartoon Network. Yet if any TV cartoon series has earned that accolade, Regular Show has. The prime-time (7:30 p.m.; new episodes on Thursdays, reruns the rest of the Monday-Saturday week) half-hour program of two 11-minute episodes began on September 6, 2010, and is still going strong with 195 episodes (nine seasons) scheduled so far, and a made-for-TV feature, Regular Show: The Movie, due on November 25, 2015. Episode #58, “Eggscellent” by Regular Show creator J. G. Quintel, won a 2013 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Short-format Animated Program category; and various other episodes have been nominated for Annie, Emmy, Teen Choice, and other American and British TV awards. There have been a Regular Show monthly comic book since May 2013; and video games, action figures, plush dolls, bobbleheads, T-shirts, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

A good day to #sendhugs to a friend – World Suicide Prevention Day.

by Patch O'Furr

Does anybody want hugs?  This is a great day to ask your friends!  Especially those who do, but they’re afraid to ask.  Put a #sendhugs message out for them.

Two people who deserve it are Fred Patten and David (Poppa Bookworm) for the amazing writing and assistance they give to make this blog.

Hugging is such a “furry” thing.  It’s one of the big reasons they’re so loveable.  I really liked writing about how it makes a folk signifier: “Hugs are the handshake of furries” – Artists explore cultural meaning of touch.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  This has hit close to home with a good furry friend who lost a brother, and nobody saw it coming. When people die before their time, it often involves problems they can’t talk about.
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Second Chance: Furmankind II, by Ted R. Blasingame – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Second Chance: Furmankind II, by Ted R. Blasingame. (Revised and expanded edition)
Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com, May 2015, trade paperback $21.99 (460 pages).

product_thumbnailThis says “Revised and expanded edition”, but if I am reading Blasingame’s production schedule correctly, this was written between June 2012 and June 2014, allowed to sit for almost a year, and then revised and published in May 2015. So this Lulu.com trade paperback may be revised and expanded, but it is the first paper/printed edition.

Second Chance: Furmankind II is not as much a sequel to Sunset of Furmankind as it is a continuation of the same story. The former novel concentrated on the humans in Brian Barrett’s/Jon Sunset’s group of volunteers being bioengineered into Furs – supposedly hardier than unmodified humans; a hybrid of human and animal: four each of large feline, large canid, bear, and fox – and sent with a similar group (but two are anthro red pandas) to the extrasolar planet Bonestell to establish an Earth colony there. Bonestell appears to be practically a paradise compared to other newly-discovered worlds; very much like pre-human North America – but the first human colony spaceship sent there completely disappeared for unknown reasons. This second group considers itself humanity’s Second Chance at colonizing Bonestell, and adopts that name.

Second Chance: Furmankind II is the story of the 32 male and female Furs’ (actually 31 due to a death in Sunset of Furmankind) first year on Bonestell; or 2½ Earth years due to Bonestell’s longer rotation. It’s very much like a novel about a group of pioneers of the early 19th century pushing into the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys to establish homes, farms, and a town; with the differences that nobody knows which of the new animals, insects, and plants are safe or poisonous, whether the planet has any dangerous natives, or what made the first colonizers disappear. The Second Chance group find out by trial and error. There are successes and failures; natural and violent deaths; matings and children.

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French comics: Cerise, Vol 1-3, by Laurel – Book Reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Belgian, to be accurate.  Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

cerise tome 1Cerise. T.1, L’Avis des Bêtes, by Laurel.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, April 2012, hardbound €10,60 (48 pages).

Cerise. T.2, Smart Faune, by Laurel.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, February 2014, hardbound €10,60 (48 pages), Kindle €5,99.

Cerise. T.3, Le Seigneur des Animaux, by Laurel.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, July 2015, hardbound €10,60 (48 pages).

These three albums look at first glance like comics for little children. Well, they are and they aren’t. Mostly, they’re comics that little children should read, but they won’t get a chance to in America.

Cerise (Cherry, but the French is a common name in America, too) is a nine-year-old schoolgirl in Noticed by Beasts, the first album. She tries to save a snail from being crushed by a schoolmate. She fails, but the dying snail appreciates her effort and gives her the power to understand and talk with all beasts; mammals, birds, fish, bugs, you name it. The first album is mostly a collection of one-page gags around Cerise and talking animals: her pets (she has two cats and a ferret) and the local wildlife. No other humans believe her, and she boasts of her “secret ability”. In the last two pages, she meets Arthur, another boy who can also talk with animals. Read the rest of this entry »

Why are “nerdy” groups male-populated?  Revisiting a debate full of dogma.

by Patch O'Furr

Many corners of “nerd culture” can be guy-heavy.  A lot of people are predisposed to look down on that (with double standards if you flip the situation – only seeing the shadow side of one gender and the light side of another.)  Recently I shared another writer’s comments about it.  I liked them enough to invite her to submit guest posts.  She sent a great new one about animation.  (More please.)

The topic offers a cure for misunderstanding about Furries and gender. 

A typical Furry ratio from Pounced.org

A typical Furry ratio from Pounced.org.

Amanda at “Deep Fried Pancakes” gave open-minded insight:

In my opinion, it’s very telling that most furries are men… In general, men are discouraged from self-expression. They are coached to hide their emotions… stuff like this attracts a disproportionate number of men because it provides something they have a much harder time getting than women: self-expression.  They are encouraged to show everyone their true selves.

There’s an insanely long list of reasons why this is true.  It doesn’t even necessarily come from a problem… Stalwartness and self-discipline can bring as many benefits as lacking it brings drawbacks, and there’s no reason why men, women, or others should follow the same patterns as each other (but more options is ideal.) It does vindicate every guy with a positive interest who’s been slandered for sharing it with other guys.

There are fundamentalists who insist that Furry fandom is “sexist” because it’s “male-dominated” (no, it’s male-populated.) Sexism is bad, but behavior is separate from bodies*. Mindless proportionality ignores why people gather in the first place. When you sweep intentions aside, it’s easy to lump people into the same pot and cook up foregone conclusions about their “original sin”. It’s a fallacy of demographics, based on things people don’t choose when they’re born. It happens if you only look for the bad in people. You can find badness anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of control or worse than elsewhere.

More men than women doesn’t mean that bad behavior drove women out – any more than two male friends are evil, if they get together without a corresponding pair of females to chaperone them.

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Most Embarrassing Google Search, and Furries on Seeker Network – NEWSDUMP (9/7/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

SFGate looked at a map of the “most embarrassing Google searches” in the USA and found me.

(Appeared in photo #9.)  “Furries” is supposedly searched a lot in Wyoming. The map also shows who searched for: Bronies, Nickelback Lyrics, Dog Clothes, Meth Recipe… Who knows if it’s really real data, but you can tell they had fun.  But not as much as I did in the pic. Sorry guys, not embarassed in the slightest!

Playwright fictionalizes the 2014 MWFF chlorine attack, for a story exploring identity.

The sixth Chicago Fringe Festival, opening tonight, brings zombies, victims, and furries to town.”  Here’s the festival page dedicated to the play.  I confess I only had a minute to look into this and the play’s Indiegogo page. I have a rule – I assume that any “furry” story that uses cheap halloween costumes is probably bad storytelling. Misinformed exploitation pieces often aim for humor at our expense, and they fail because they lack authenticity. Well, in this case, I may be proven wrong.  I think this festival is prestigious, and: ‘He’s worked to keep it balanced—”not other-ing the community”‘ – says Corbeau at Furstarter.  (It’s so great to have more than one eye on this stuff – please furries, make more blogs!)

Furry Migration gets a nice feature.

“…Where being weird is a good thing.”  The article’s just a standard introduction, but the video lets several fursuiters speak and dance in a charming way.

Furries at Bubonicon in New Mexico.

A nice exploration by a columnist who investigates the con and meets a lot of different sci fi fan characters, including a few extra fuzzy ones.

A film maker was commissioned to make a documentary for Seeker network- and he started at reddit’s r/furry.

In March 2015, Discovery launched a new network, Seeker. Their programming goes for the mysterious and wonderful fringes of nature and culture.  Now that means Furries.  Their piece is called “Furries Aren’t As Weird As You Think.”

Here was the film maker’s overture to the community on reddit.  Seeker posted it, and then the film maker came back to ask what we think. Getting a well-made, paid for documentary seems yet another sign of rising subculture. Don’t mind the one mistake of the title.

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Camp Feral!: Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012 (Part 3) – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Article with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

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. 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.

300px-Feral

Camp Feral!:  Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012, Part 3

Camp Feral! X, at Camp Arowhon, was August 27 – 31, 2007. The U.S. financial crisis affected attendance adversely, dropping it back to about 80 campers. It focused upon the Camp’s tenth anniversary. The Feral! Survival Guide featured a retrospective by Terry Wessner titled “It’s Like Herding Cats, Only Moreso”. Registration was now C$325 for regular campers, C$375 for Sponsors, and C$495 for patrons, plus the C$45 bus fee.

Guests of Honour were three Canadian furry artists; Ferris (Chuck Davies), Gideon Hoss (of Club Stripes), and Max Blackrabbit (Malcolm Earle). The FeralCom staff was mostly the same: Potoroo and Patchouli (co-chairs), Verec (registration and logistics), Grex (finances), WilyKat and Growler (security), Dralen (workshop coordiator), Crono (activities coordinator), Cobalt (conbook and activities editor), and Blake, Desertwolf, Khaki Wolf, and Srice (gofurs).

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