Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: December, 2015

College Catastrophe, by Jan – comic review By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

ccbookCollege Catastrophe, by Jan. Illustrated.
Hong Kong, Tiger Knight Comics, November 2012, trade paperback, $12.95 (unpaged [127 pages]), e-book $3.95.

This is the collection of the online comic strip that Jan (this book gives away his real name as Chun Yan Miu) published from November 2000 to January 2013. The early strips were remastered between 2009 and 2012, so they all look “current”. He retired it to concentrate on his later, more popular Medievalish fantasy Swords and Sausages strip, although he has just started a College Catastrophe sequel: Nine to Nine, showing what is happening to its cast one year after graduating from college, beginning on November 1, 2015.

If you want to know what Jan did before Swords and Sausages, here it is – all 202 strips, plus fillers unavailable elsewhere.

College Catastrophe is a slice-of-life college comic strip with seven anthropomorphized students as the main characters: Jan, a lion computer science major; Wolf, a wolf physics major and Jan’s roommate; Phil, a horse math major; Amber, Jan’s vixen girlfriend; Shiera, a lioness Japanese major; Tor, a tiger fine arts major; and Andrea, Tor’s arctic fox girlfriend. Tor and Andrea were added to the strip shortly before it ended, and have been reused as the main characters in Jan’s fantasy Swords and Sausages.

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The Doorman, by Reinaldo Arenas – Book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.  Originally written for Quentin Long’s Anthro Magazine.

91I58R+W9CLThe Doorman, by Reinaldo Arenas. Translated from the Spanish by Dolores M. Koch.
NYC, Grove Weidenfeld, June 1991, hardcover 0-8021-1109-2 $17.95 (191 pages).

Reinaldo Arenas was a young Cuban novelist known for both novels of “magical realism” and a flamboyant homosexual life style. The Castro regime, notoriously anti-homosexual, imprisoned and tortured him, and finally exiled him as part of the Mariel boatlift of 1980. He wrote several critically-acclaimed novels, plays, and collections of poetry in New York during the 1980s. In 1987 he contracted AIDS and, giving in to worsening health, committed suicide in 1990.

The Doorman (El Portero) was published in 1987 but not translated into English until after his death. It was described as a semi-autobiographical surrealist fantasy; reviewers threw the terms “magical realism”, “sardonic Swiftian parable”, and “fabulist” around a lot. Juan, an idealistic young Cuban exile, ends up in New York City (just like Arenas). He eventually gets a position as a doorman at an exclusive luxury Manhattan apartment building. Juan is an overzealous idealist who appoints himself to be a friend of each of the tenants, with a mission to help them open a mystical “door to true happiness” (pg. 6). Alas, the tenants are all self-centered elitists who ignore him. But each tenant has a pet, and the pets listen to his message.

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Murder and the furry community – the untold story of ‘Night Horse’.

by Patch O'Furr

Every community has its crimes. This story is not unusual in that way. It’s just sad in a human way.

This small subculture has suffered at least a handful of murder stories – mostly on the victim side.  This week, there’s word going around that an especially deadly mass shooting in California took a friend of the community.

There were unsolved double drive-by murders of Rrroofus and MetalHead in 1996 – considered a case of mistaken identity.  In 2010, there was the death of “Starblade”.  He was the inspiration for the “fuck you I’m a dragon!” meme, and an outcast who suffered fatal acquaintance violence after nobody believed his claim to be in danger. In 2015, domestic violence took the life of Sasha Tigress.

Some were more dramatic than deadly:  In the UK in 2009, there was an absurd murder plot by two young lovers (all lived to tell, but some went to jail).  The 2014 MWFF chlorine incident got at least one headline calling it attempted murder.

And then there’s a story so brutal and pathetic, that I’m sad to put it back in anyone’s memory since it ended in a murder conviction in 2011.  If there’s anything good to see here, let it be loving family memories of the victim shining through.

Why now?  It’s been over since 2011, and I don’t know anyone who has to do with it.  It just came up as part of a short list of tragedies in the past.  It seems like news reports left some things unclear.  And the victim suffered disrepute and might deserve to have the story told right.  This has bugged me for a long time.

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Friend of community dies in shooting, Zootopia and animation – NEWSDUMP (12/07/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Friend of the community lost in mass shooting in San Bernardino CA. (Tip: Bosn Otter.)

EP-151209804The tragedy on December 2 is described as terrorism-related, and left 14 dead and 21 injured.

Bosn said Dan Kaufman was “a friend to the furry community… a friend to pretty much everybody he ever met.”

  • ABC7.com: “A coffee shop worker killed in the San Bernardino mass shooting on Wednesday was remembered by loved ones as a caring and compassionate man.”
  • Inside Edition: Kaufman was “named as one of the victims of the San Bernardino massacre after his partner initially thought he’d survived.”
  • L.A. Times: “For victim’s boyfriend, 22 hours of conflicting reports, then heartbreak”
  • SBsun.com: “jovial person who touched lives”
  • The Guardian: “a gregarious free spirit who adored horror films”
  • PE.com: “Kaufman liked dressing up in costume and performed for 16 years in a local Renaissance Faire.”
  • L.A. Times: “dressed as an Italian noble with a stiff lace collar and a pewter goblet, or as a peasant riding a horse”
  • Frontiers Media: “San Bernardino Mass Shooting Took Gay Victim”

His Facebook account gave the impression that he had lots of friends through cons and the Ren Faires.  It was hard to find direct Furry connections, although some of his last pics were from a comic con I went to 1 month ago (Comikaze Expo) where he cosplayed as a wolf.

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Cat Crimebusters and Other P.I.s On Paws, Part 2 – Book Reviews By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Part 1 can be found here.

wish you were hereThe Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown is another animal crime series where the animals actively detect, rather than just tag along with the human amateur detective while she (it’s invariably a woman) solves the mystery. The Mrs. Murphy books, officially in collaboration between Rita Mae Brown and her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, are up to 24 novels. The next is coming in May 2016.

Wish You Were Here. November 1990.

Rest in Pieces. June 1993.

Murder at Monticello. November 1994.

Pay Dirt. November 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

Odyssey from River Bend, by Tom McGowen – Book Review By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

“Here is another old review, fixed up the way that it should be published.”
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Odyssey from River Bend, by Tom McGowen.
Boston, Little, Brown and Company, April 1975, hardcover $5.95 (ix + 166 pages).

This was a minor children’s/Young Adult fantasy in 1975, but it is notable as one of the first novels to promote the theme of talking animals inheriting the earth after mankind has become extinct through its own mismanagement of the environment.

“It was an old village. Many generations of animals had been born, lived, and died in it. Its name was Jallakragga, which in the language of the animals meant ‘river bend.’

Around the entire village was a stout wall made of logs that had been cut and trimmed by the beaver builders, stuck upright in the ground, and plastered over with clay from the riverbank. The wall formed an irregular circle, and at several places along its length were watchtowers. From these, day and night, the wolf soldiers peered down, alert for any sign of the wandering bands of weasels or wildcats that roamed the forest and sometimes attacked villages. In the part of the wall that faced the great, dim mass of the forest there was a gateway, with a wide door made of thick logs. This door was kept closed and barred during the hours of darkness, and the logs were covered with carved, frightening faces, to scare away any wandering ghosts or wicked spirits that might try to enter.” (pgs. 3-4)

Jikatik and Ikatibby, two raccoon children foraging for food in the nearby forest in autumn, find an ancient object exposed where the river has undercut the bank.

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What will the National Mascot Hall of Fame mean for furries? – Part 3 of mascot series.

by Patch O'Furr

A three part series:

1) The beginning of mascots and fursuiting.
2) Fursuiting crossover with pro sports.
3) The National Mascot Hall of Fame.

mascot-hall-of-fameMascot art, business, culture, and a Hall of Fame to celebrate it all.

Let’s peer into the strange, distant futureworld of 2017.

How much respect do mascots get?  It’s kind of a stereotype that they deserve mocking and noogies from jocks.  Some would say that enjoying mascots too much is like loving the sauce while ignoring the main course.  They might consider it ridiculous to give sole focus for celebration of mascots.

Now there’s a whole institution for that.  The Mascot Hall of Fame was founded by David Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic from 1978-1993. It’s been around since 2005 in online-only form.  Now it’s getting a 25,000 square-foot building in Whiting, Indiana. (With the crowd capacity of this place, imagine a jock giving noogies to so many thousands of mascot lovers- his arms would fall off.) Read the rest of this entry »

When fursuits cross with sports, ‘Stupid Costume Enthusiasts’ go big – Part 2 of mascot series.

by Patch O'Furr

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Edmonton Oil Kings hockey halftime show, January 2015.

A three part series:

1) The beginning of mascots and fursuiting.
2) Fursuiting crossover with pro sports.
3) The National Mascot Hall of Fame.

Good examples of fursuiting crossover with pro sports.

I have to admit not knowing a lot about commercial mascotting.  But here’s some quick comparison with the amateur hobby kind.  At Amazing-Mascots.com, you can get a feel for how major teams and companies commission the pro makers.

Amazing Mascots is a company with a 15,000 foot warehouse, and a team of seasoned professionals boasting decades of mascotting and designing experience. They quote multiplied prices ($4000-12,000) compared to costume makers inside fandom.

Our own fursuit makers charge as little as $2000 and typically do it from a craft room at home.  But their craft often beats the pros, doesn’t it?  They do it for love as much as money.  So value their skills and personal relationships with them, and give them love back.

On to the examples of how hobbyists are reaching the level of pros…

Wolf mascot for Moscow’s Dynamo hockey team – made in 2013 by Mixedcandy.

Even if the Dynamo NHL team was in the USA – I wouldn’t know anything about them. But I would know the work of Mixedcandy. There must be an interesting story about how they commissioned this and why.  I wouldn’t expect a pro team to approach a hobby community just to save a couple grand!  (Pic: LatinVixen on FurAffinity.  More at the Dynamo Instagram page.) 

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 3.37.46 PMwolf

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