Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: October, 2015

Life Changing Furries – Dawgtown and Wes Anderson animation – NEWSDUMP (10/15/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

“Being a Furry can change your life”

It’s a feature for The Stranger in Seattle, sharing some touching personal stories from Rainfurrest.  (That’s a nice change from drama…) Writer Matt Baume previously wrote a pretty good piece about puppy play, including one standard poodle who “presents as fluffy and effeminate”.  (Elsewhere, I really enjoyed getting to know about poodle fursuiter Edward Fuzzypaws, and agree that they are super fancy and should be less rare in the furry scene.)  It’s not furry, but the SEA-PAH (Seattle Pups And Handlers) monthly social meet at The Cuff draws at least a few fursuiters.

Matt posted a video with more content at Reddit’s r/furry (it’s special to see a writer post their own news directly there.) It also came in as a tip from Vox Fox.

Dogpatch Press added to Furry Writer’s Guild as Associate Member.

Already on the “recommended reading” list, now granted the fearsome power to nominate and vote in the Coyotl Awards. This is partly thanks to hosting Fred Patten’s “What the Well-Read Furry Should Read”. (Gratitude to Poppa Bookworm for adding and formatting all those book covers!)

“At the Soda City Comic Con, who’s your alter ego?”

News announcement at The State shares a video they made with local furries. “Soda City Comic Con is the premiere pop culture event in South Carolina, bringing together the best in comics, toys, cosplay, gaming and artists that Columbia has ever seen!”

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Swallowtail and Sword, by H. Leighton Dickson – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Swallowtail and SwordSwallowtail and Sword: The Scholar’s Book of Story and Song, by H. Leighton Dickson
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, April 2015, trade paperback $11.99 (255 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This is an interlude, because it comes after Book 3, Songs in the Year of the Cat, the last published, but before Book 4, Bones in the Year of the Dragon, which has not been published yet.

“Before there was a Shogun, before there was a Journey, there was a Story.

Not just one story, but many. Stories of myth and legend and Ancestors; of horses and lions and mountains and monkeys. Of life and death and those in between and how you can see them if only you try. If you sit quietly and listen deeply, you might hear something you’ve never heard before. You might know something you’ve never known and you might understand how we came to be the people we are. It is elusive, I grant you. Cats are, after all, an inscrutable people.” (p. 7)

So begins Swallowtail and Sword: The Scholar’s Book of Story and Song. With stories, but there are also songs. And steel. “Much steel, for cats are warriors and our armies are the envy of the world.” (p. 8) And tea. And much more. If you have read Books 1-3 of Tails of the Upper Kingdom (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?), you will know of that far-future Oriental Empire, and of some of its politics and its expeditions to the far West and its discovery that humans still exist. And are preparing to reclaim the world.

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One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks for help from Poppa Bookworm, and tips from Arrkay (Culturally F’ed) and Fuzzwolf (FurPlanet.) 

The newly established PAWcon is coming up on October 30 – in the same place as Further Confusion.  It made me raise a topic

In the 90’s, ConFurence was THE convention for all furries worldwide.  26 years after ConFurence 0 broke ground, the subculture has gained enough steam for some local populations to get multiple cons.  It’s a sign of a healthy community.  Areas or cities like that make great examples to learn from.  Do they succeed?  What does it say about fan support, and competition or cooperation to grow our awesome fandom?

Five places came to mind:

  • San Jose, CA (Further Confusion and PAWcon, since 2014)
  • Columbus, OH (Morphicon and Furlaxation, in 2012-2014)
  • Toronto (Camp Feral! and Furnal Equinox, since 2010)
  • Boston, MA (Maltese Fur Con and Anthro New England, in 2014)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Anthrocon and Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend)

Healthy growth can bring a downside.  Cons are growing large and well-attended enough to have critical security concerns.  This month, Oklacon and Rainfurrest both announced dramatic cancelations due to misbehavior.  Bad faith can get between organizers and their venues, and that gets bigger than internal fandom drama.  However, it’s also natural for problems to grow when a population does.  Be optimistic with a con every week, some place in the world.

Consider the hard work it takes to organize a con, and draw people to fly in from far away.  Organizing could be a paid profession.  Furries are lucky and loveable because theirs come from volunteering.  This brings a risk of burnout and decline.  It’s important to understand how and why.  The decline of ConFurence coincided with the start of Further Confusion, which may have unintentionally divided the pool of supporters.  16 years after ConFurence 10 ended, multi-con locations can show examples for how to sustain what we love.

There’s much more than conventions in the hard-to-measure Furry subculture.  They can only draw some members.  But they can be considered to lead it’s growth.  Con-goers, fursuiters, and fursuiting con-goers may be the most committed members of furry social life.  They spend the tourist dollars that float Furry’s best public profile.  Anthrocon’s $7 million tourism draw has earned more and more enthusiastic coverage.  In 2015, it achieved a new benchmark, with their first public parade that was cheered on by 5,000 regular people of Pittsburgh.  This is what the public sees.

Let’s look for insight from organizers.  Dogpatch Press sent questions to ten cons in five locations:

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“Furries For Kids” has a mission to join charities for clowns who help hospital patients.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s more about a previous Newsdump item.  (To read non-English links, try Google translate.)

“Furries For Kids” comes from the German/Austrian community. It has a goal to set up a legitimate charity with fursuiters, like “Clown Care” (a program to bring the healing power of laughter to hospitals).  Here’s the website for their philanthropic organization.

Who laughs, does not cry. This is the motto for Europe’s first, unique anthropomorphic “Kuschelzoo” (petting zoo?) for visiting care centers and homes for kids and needy people.  The affected people, especially kids in institutions, should be supported by costume performances with joy and laughter to get rid of negative feelings. Laughter is therapeutic and promotes positive energy, and a sense of hope that’s important to process emotional wounds.  Our appearances are voluntary and unpaid, to benefit individuals as well as the institutions.  Our organization funds its work largely through annual member dues, donations, sponsorships and small hired engagements.  Of course, our cuddly characters can also sometimes be found in public places like parks, museums, plazas, and anywhere they can make people happy and put smiles on your face.”

There’s an Austrian Furry news blog!  I asked the owner, Mailylion, to share more:

“I’d like to give you some further directions about “Furries For Kids”. First of all, there has been an article about the organization inside the “Eurofurence Daily”… a newspaper that is handed out to all attendees at the con.

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French Comic review by Fred Patten – Ocelot: Le Chat Qui N’en Etait Pas Un.

by Pup Matthias

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

Ocelot coverOcelot: Le Chat Qui N’en Était Pas Un, by Jean David Morvan & Séverine Tréfouël [writers] and Agnès Fouquart [art].
Paris, Delcourt, August 2015, hardcover €12,50 (48 pages), Kindle free.

Thanks once again to Lex Nakashima for this fine example of the French bande dessinée.

If you think that this story is familiar, it should be. The publisher itself says in its catalogue that Ocelot: The Cat Who Was Not One is “in the fashion of Lady and the Tramp”. Amazon.fr compares it to The Aristocats. (Les Aristochats.) You are advised “To read it with an empty mind and enjoy it”. (A lire pour se vider l’esprit et passer un bon moment.) In other words, just read it for fun. Tour modern Paris, the City of Lights, with a quartet of free-living cats.

Ocelot opens with the titular ocelot looking at the Eiffel Tower, all lit up at night. He hears another cat fighting with dogs and races across the rooftops to watch. He saves her, a fluffy white cat (“Une ragdoll!!”) with brown ears and tail, more by accident than design. The cat, obviously a sophisticated lady, is more amused than grateful. “You’re rather bizarre…” “I’m UNIQUE. That’s different.” She’s Olympe. He’s “Doudou de la Gür Gandine!” (Gür Gandine’s Cutie). She laughs in his face. (More specifically, a doudou is a young child’s favorite toy or plush doll, usually well-worn.) Read the rest of this entry »

The Stone God Awakens, by Philip Jose Farmer – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Josh KirbyThe Stone God Awakens, by Philip José Farmer.
NYC, Ace Books, November 1970, paperback #78650, 75¢ (190 pages).

“He awoke and did not know where he was.

Flames were crackling fifty feet away. Woodsmoke stung his nose and brought tears. Somewhere, men were shouting and screaming. […]

He was in one end of a large building of gigantic logs, wooden pillars, and large overhead beams. Flames leaped along the wall toward him. The roof at the other end had just caved in, and the smoke was carried away by a vagary of the wind. He could see the sky outside. It was black, and then, far off, lightning flashed. About fifty yards away, lit by the flames, was a hill. On top of the hill were the silhouettes of trees. Fully leaved trees.

A moment ago, it had been winter. The deep snows had been piled around the buildings of the research center outside Syracuse, New York.” (p. 5)

The protagonist is Ulysses Singing Bear, a young scientist of native American descent in 1985 (fifteen years in the future when this book was published). He discovers that the fighting going on around him does not involve humans.

“The flames from the burning hall and from other buildings combined to illuminate the scene. Furry legs and tails, white and black and brown, danced around. The legs were human and yet not human. They bent queerly; they looked like the hind legs of four-footed animals that had decided to stand upright, like men, and so had evolved half-human, half-beast legs.

The owner of a pair of legs fell flat on his back, a spear stuck in his belly. The man became even more confused and shocked. The creature looked like a cross between a human being and a sealpoint Siamese cat. The body fur was white; the face below the forehead was black; the lower part of the arms, legs and the tail were black. The face was as flat as any human’s, but the nose was round and black, like a cat’s, and the ears were black and pointed. The mouth, open in death, revealed sharp feline teeth.” (p. 6) Read the rest of this entry »

“Fursuits are furry couture – high art furry fashion”. A great fashion news article from Racked.

by Patch O'Furr

download

It’s a belief demonstrated with skill by Jill, the highly demanded maker at Jillcostumes.  Her quote appears in The Fursuit of Happiness: High Fashion in Furry Fandom  an article from July 2015 at Racked (a style and beauty industry news site owned by Vox Media).

The author is Sydney Parker, a journalist who previously wrote about furries for Splitsider, a news site about the comedy industry.  Her previous piece was about CollegeHumor’s Furry Force and my interview with it’s writer.  I loved helping to put Furry feedback in the story to show a good relationship.

When Fred Patten told me that Sydney was doing the fashion article, it made me want to send feedback again.  (I’m just a suiter, not a maker, but Street Fursuiting is my favorite thing.)  I was happy to hear that some info on Dogpatch Press made helpful reference, like the record top fursuit price.  Most of what I sent didn’t make it in because the finished piece was so long and well researched.  So, here’s the full thing as a bonus.

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The Suspended Castle – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Suspended Castle, by Fred. [Translated by Richard Kutner.]
NYC, Candlewick Press/TOON Books, October 2015, hardcover $16.95 (53 [+ 1] pages).

7655555The Suspended Castle (Le Château Suspendu) is Book 3 in the Philémon series by Fred (Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, 1931-2013), serialized in the classic French comics magazine Pilote. The weekly strip was collected into 15 books between 1972 and 1987. Fred retired leaving Philémon’s adventures uncompleted, until he wrote/drew a 16th volume to finish the series just before his death.

Book 1, Cast Away on the Letter A, was reviewed here in January, and book 2, The Wild Piano, in June. Fred’s Philémon was/is a surrealistic cartoon strip in the tradition of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. Philémon is a teenage farmboy in the French countryside of the 1960s-‘70s who falls down a well and has psychedelic adventures on the literal letters ATLANTIC of the Atlantic Ocean of a parallel world. The series is only marginally anthro-animal, but it contains many imaginative fantastic animals in bizarre settings that lovers of top-quality newspaper comic-strip art, and furry fans, will want to see. Philémon, and Fred’s other works, have been hits in France for almost fifty years, almost constantly in print.

In the first two albums, teenager Philémon falls down an abandoned old well on his father’s farm in the French countryside and has fantastic adventures on the two A’s of the ATLANTIC ocean of a parallel world. He meets Mister Bartholomew (Barthélémy), an old Robinson Crusoe-like hermit from our world who was cast away onto the first A forty years ago. Philémon returns to his skeptical father Hector’s farm at the end of Cast Away on the Letter A, but he accidentally leaves Mr. Barthlomew behind. In The Wild Piano, Phil’s Uncle Felix (Félicien) turns out to be an amateur magician who knows how to return to the parallel world. (The “portal” is a different fantastic method each time.) He sends Phil back to rescue Mr. Bartholomew, which he does after more adventures on the letter N.

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Patreon hack blamed on furries, news from Culturally F’ed – NEWSDUMP (10/8/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Patreon Hacked, Furries blamed, journalist downloads porn for “work”.

Patreon user info was compromised by a security breach.  A Twitter user claiming responsibility offered an online-politics grudge motive, and shared claims that Patreon account data was being misused by the “Yiff.party” website.  The prankish claim seems really far fetched to me up front, and the site itself denies any responsibility.  But the prank was successful enough to convince the journalist (for a big digital media brand) to download from the site, and seriously report finding nothing but sexy animals.  

UT club encourages students to find ‘fursonas’

Whines, from FurAffinity.

Whines, from FA.

A standard introduction article from the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper. It adds nothing unexpected, but reads nicely.  Congrats to the Longhorn Furs social club.

They have involvement with Whines.  It led me to learn the info below, and request a submission for The Furclub Survey of Furry dance parties. Expect more about it soon.

Starting in 2013 and inspired by descriptions of the Frolic in California, Whines started organizing small furry dance events and has held them once every 2-3 months since them. They tend to have an attendance in the 20-40 range with a handful of fursuiters. Most recently the dance was held on UT campus in partership with the University of Texas ‘Longhorn Furs‘ group.

New from Culturally F’ed

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Into Expermia, by M. R. Anglin – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Into Expermia, by M. R. Anglin
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, July 2015, trade paperback $9.99 (299 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $2.99.

51VFIQ7b7LLM. R. Anglin’s Silver Foxes series is up to four novels now. She began writing it with Silver Foxes, published in April 2008. You can probably skip that one, but if you are unfamiliar with this series, you should read Winds of Change (June 2009) and Prelude to War (October 2013) for their background before you read Into Expermia.

In the funny-animal world of Clorth, the Age of the Silver Foxes lasted a little over 2,000 years and abruptly ended with their extermination about 1,500 years ago. The Silver Foxes were a mutant anthropomorphic species whose metallic-like fur gave them their distinct silver coloring, and strong bioelectrical powers that they used to make themselves an arrogant ruling class in the semi-mythical past. They were hated, and Clorth finally united to invade their country, Expermia, and slaughter all the Silver Foxes in 3045-’46. In Clorth’s present, 4587, all the Silver Foxes are believed long dead. The previous novels establish the current political tensions between the rest of Clorth, led by the Kingdom of Drymairad, and police-state Expermia which is ending centuries of isolation and about to launch a new campaign for world conquest. One of several protagonists is mid-teen Xena Dunsworth, an orphan gray fox adopted with her younger sister Kathra by J. R. Dunsworth (wolf), a notorious criminal but kindly to them. Xena is aware that she is growing up to become a Silver Fox. She darkens her fur, but she can’t do anything about the bursts of electricity she inadvertently gives off. Simultaneously the charismatic villain Maximilian Descarté (red fox), a powerful industrialist, is maneuvering to replace the king of Drymairad and take charge of the league against Expermia. Max believes that the Silver Foxes were once real (many Clorthians think they were mythical), and he has secretly tried to recreate them in the laboratory. When he learned that one had been re-bred by accident, he captured Xena and Kathra as experimental guinea-pigs. They were rescued by their foster father, who located their long-lost mother. That’s the background.

Into Expermia begins a short time later, after Xena has returned to her home town and Max has consolidated his takeover of Drymairad’s throne. The scene is very mundane, considering its cast. Xena has a quiet 15th birthday party at home in the small rural town of Justin’s Ridge with her sister, her refound mother and her foster father, her teen boyfriend Hunter, and her pet, Charuse. If you’ve read the earlier novels, you know that Xena isn’t a normal gray fox, her Daddy is a high-profile criminal, her boyfriend was originally the Expermian red fox bounty hunter hired to re-enslave her, and Charuse is …well, read it. Read the rest of this entry »