Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: March, 2016

Morning, Noon & Night, by Michael H. Payne – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

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Cover by Marilyn Scott-Walters

Morning, Noon & Night, by Michael H. Payne. Illustrated by Roz Gibson.
Balboa, CA, “Hey, Your Nose is on Fire” Industries, September 2014, trade paperback $14.00 (325 pages), Kindle $3.00.

“‘You dare?’ Koyannaset, the Black Sphinx of Andeer, let herself burst upward, towering onto her hind paws, the now massive points of her crown smashing the marble of the throne room ceiling into boulder-sized chunks; plummeting, they shattered the tile floor, cracks spidering out from the craters to splinter the pastel mosaics covering the walls. ‘I am your Goddess Queen!’” (p. 7)

This is one book where it pays to read the dedication:

For Lauren Faust, Rob Renzetti, and all the creative people behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic without whom this story would not have been possible

Morning, Noon & Night does not try to hide the fact that it is little more than MLP:FIM fan-fiction in a transparent disguise. The two equine goddesses of Equestria – Princess Celestia and Princess Luna – are the benevolent white griffin Princess Equinox and the murderously insane black sphinx Princess Koyannaset. The “Mane Six” ponies – Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and the rest – are the Champions of Andeer; two each of humans, hawks, and dogs, all adolescent females. Spike the dragon, Twilight Sparkle’s juvenile assistant, is Chert the (adult male) housecat, human Larissa Noon’s familiar but in love with the other human Champion, Violet – “even though every article Larissa had read on the subject said that interspecies romances never worked out!” (p. 16)

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Cat Crimebusters and Other P.I.s on Paws, Part 4 – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Cat Crimebusters, Part 1

Cat Crimebusters, Part 2

Cat Crimebusters, Part 3

UntitledCat Crimebusters and Other P.I.s on Paws, Part 4

Three series that are not “cat cozies” (and one which is), that do feature cat P.I.s who really investigate, are the Manx McCatty Adventures by Christopher Reed, the Sam the Cat Detective novels by Linda Stewart, the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers by Cindy Vincent, and the Cats on the Prowl books by Nancy C. Davis. These are fantasies where the cats do all the detecting, mostly in feline societies. The first two are hard-boiled P.I. pastiches set almost entirely in the feline world.

A Manx McCatty Adventure: The Big Scratch. November 1988.

Manx McCatty, a streetwise San Francisco feline P.I., is hired by “respectable cream-lickers” to break up Gato Nostro crimelord Tabby Tonelli’s racket of snatching gentle, comely female housecats to sell into prostitution abroad.

Reed apparently considered this as the first in a series, but the Ballantine original paperback didn’t sell. A sequel was written, but wasn’t published until October 1996, and then only in Germany as Der Fluch der Weißen Katze: Ein kerniger Katzenkrimi. Translation: The Curse of the White Cat: A Polynuclear Cat Crime. The Big Scratch was translated as Die Katzen-Gang the previous year; both by Bastei Lübbe Verlag.

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Endtown 3, by Aaron Neathery – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

41PLlraNpaL._SX362_BO1,204,203,200_Endtown 3, by Aaron Neathery. Foreword by Carol Lay.
Bellevue, WA, Jarlidium Press, December 2015, trade paperback $25.99 (279 [+ 1] pages).

Endtown is an Internet M-W-F comic strip of the dramatic serialized variety rather than the gag humor sort; a Dick Tracy rather than a Pearls Before Swine. It’s dystopian post-apocalyptic science fiction with funny animals.   To quote a blurb, “A mutagenic plague followed by a global war fought with disintegration weaponry has left much of the Earth a desert of fine powder and what remains of humanity fragmented into humans, animal-like mutants, and bloodthirsty monstrosities with lots of teeth. The surface, still teeming with the mutagenic virus, has become the domain of the dreaded Topsiders; well-organized, technologically advanced, and heavily armed un-mutated humans sworn to exterminate mutations of any kind in order to clear the way for the eventual resurgence of a new, genetically clean humanity. Faced with annihilation, mutants and “impure” humans have retreated into the depths of the planet to form communities and hope to win, or at least survive, what may prove to be mankind’s final war.”

Endtown is set six years after the global doomsday war. The surface of the world is a lifeless desert. Most humans are dead, either killed in the war or mutated by the plague into mindless, horrific, ravening monsters. The only exceptions are those who were unconscious or asleep when the plague changed them; those became anthropomorphized animals with their minds and memories intact. Six years later, the world is divided between the Topsiders, the remaining humans who live in airtight protective suits and kill anyone else they find as a non-human plague carrier, and the animal-peoples who live underground in hidden towns.

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Syrians, Zootopians, and all the love in the media – NEWSDUMP (3-15-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com. Thanks to Dronon for editing help!

furparazzi5Furry Media Events have never been so frequent!

Big stories come in clusters.  A blog reports something, more blogs catch on, and the story trades up to syndicated news. In Furry fandom, that used to happen maybe once a year… and that could be predictable stories about Anthrocon.

Dogpatch Press is only 2 years old, but there’s been a noticeable spike. There was the chlorine attack at MFF. #TonyTigerGate hit the “weird news” section. Not 6 weeks later, there’s THREE in the same week – Zootopia marketing to Furries; Syrian refugees at VancouFur; and notices for the Fursonas documentary.

It’s so much that you get two Newsdumps this week.  Soon: “all the controversy in the media”.  The pace makes it hard to keep up with the Year Of Furry!

Zootopia marketing to Furries – (Look for another article about this soon.)

It blew up with a Buzzfeed column full of fetish-snark: Proof Disney Is Actually Marketing “Zootopia” To Furries.

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Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, by Lawrence M. Schoen – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

UnknownBarsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, by Lawrence M. Schoen
NYC, A Tim Doherty Associates Book/Tor Books, December 2015, hardcover $25.99 (384 pages), Kindle $12.99.

In the very far future, civilization has spread throughout the galaxy, but there are no longer any humans. Humanity has been replaced by the descendants of uplifted animals.

Chapter One, “A Death Detoured”, features Rüsul, an elderly Fant, alone and naked, on a raft six days at sea. He is on his death journey, the traditional final rite of passage of every Fant on the world of Barsk. Rüsul expects to sail alone until he dies. He does not expect to be picked up by a spaceship of Cans (canines; Dogs) commanded by a Cheetah, Nonyx-Captain Selishta. She tells her Cans, “‘Maybe this one will know something useful about whatever shrubs and leaves the drug comes from. Hold him here a moment while the rest of the crew secures his flotsam, and then put him below in one of the vacant isolation cells.’” (p. 19)

The importance of Barsk’s drug, koph, is explained in Chapter Four, “Solutions in Memory”, in this description of Lirlowil the Otter and her ability to talk with the dead:

“Beautiful by Otter standards, she’d spent the last few years enjoying the peaks of privilege earned not by any acts of her own, but by the random chance that gifted her with being able to both read minds and talk with the dead. Unless you had the misfortune to be one of those disgusting Fant on Barsk, you could go your entire life without encountering a Speaker. The drug that triggered the ability was fiendishly expensive, and rarely worked the first few times. Alliance science had yet to determine what genetic markers resulted in the talent. Off Barsk, Speakers were unlikely, though hardly uncommon. True telepaths though, people who could effortlessly slip inside the mind of other beings and sample their memories and knowledge as easily as flipping the pages of a book, were orders of magnitude more rare.

The number of individuals with both sets of abilities would make for a very small dinner party indeed. Lirlowil’s mental gifts emerged with puberty and elevated her social status a thousand-fold. The discovery that her talents included Speaking occurred a couple of years later when she’d sampled some koph at a party and began seeing nefshons over the next hour’s time.” (pgs. 42-43)

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Windfall, by Tempe O’Kun – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

windfallWindfall, by Tempe O’Kun. Illustrated by Slate.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, July 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (325 pages), electronic edition $9.95.

This is a mature content book.  Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher’s advisory)

It has been six months since the popular TV series Strangeville was cancelled after five seasons. The cast has split up and gone their own ways. For Max Saber (husky) and Kylie Bevy (otter), teenage supporting actors who played a high-school boy & girl on the series, this has meant returning to their homes across America. Yet they have remained in touch through texting, and after six months, both are wondering whether their TV romance might have been more serious than they realized. When Max, on his parents’ Montana ranch, gets an invitation from Kylie to spend a three-week vacation in her old New England town of Windfall – the town that the creepy, surrealistic Strangeville was modelled upon – he takes it. Yep, their romance is real. So is the horror of Windfall.

As readers of my reviews know, I don’t think much of funny-animal novels in which the characters are really humans with superficial animal features. But Windfall presents them in depth. There are constant mentions of fur, wagging tails, perked or drooping ears, the female otters’ whiskers and webbed paws. A teen rhino fan asks Max to autograph his horn. “The otter threaded her tail through the hole in the [car] seat and popped the key into the ignition.” (p. 41) Max calls Kylie “rudderbutt”. Some of it is occasionally anthro-specific, as when Kylie finds a deer’s skull while she and Max are camping in the woods:

“She knew that [the deer had been feral]. The eyes were too far to the sides and the neck attached at the wrong angle, leaving little room for the brain. Still it looked enough like a sapient deer’s skull to give her the creeps.” (p. 57)

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Zootopia – movie review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

posters-for-disneys-zootopia-and-pixars-finding-doryZootopia, directed by Bryon Howard and Rich Moore; co-directed by Jared Bush; produced by Walt Disney Motion Pictures. 108 minutes. March 4, 2016.

Zootopia has already been anticipated, seen, and covered more thoroughly than any other anthropomorphic motion picture in furry fandom history.

We know that its theatrical release has stretched from February 10 in Belgium to April 23 in Japan. (Dogpatch Press has covered its furry fandom theater parties throughout the U.S. and in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, and Sweden.) We know that it was originally intended to be released as Zootopia worldwide, but due to various legal reasons it has become Zootropola in Croatia, Zootopie in France, Zoomania in Germany, Zootropolis in Denmark, Spain, and other countries, Zveropolis in Russia, and Zwierzogród in Poland.

It grossed $75,063,401 on its opening weekend in 3,827 theaters in the U.S. and $232,500,000 worldwide, breaking the records for the premiere of a Disney animated feature (Frozen with $67,400,000 in November 2013) and for any March animated feature (Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax; $70,200,000 in March 2012). Its voice cast features Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps, Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, and numerous others ranging from celebrity actors to professional voice actors, and including directors Howard, Moore, and Bush as minor characters. It debuted with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 92 reviews. Disney reportedly hired at least one marketing agency to promote Zootopia to the furry community.

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Exciting news to come for ‘Fursonas’ documentary movie.

by Patch O'Furr

A followup to yesterday’s story:  ‘Fursonas’ beats Zootopia as most important furry movie, coming on Video On Demand.

“Most important?” What’s with the sensational title?

Not the biggest or most widely appealing. Just one that stands apart.

There’s never been a furry-made feature film that got support from the movie industry, until now.  Not just support, but pole position to open Slamdance, one of the most significant film festivals.  It got an award for representing the spirit of the festival. Then it sold immediately to a mainstream distributor with Hollywood press, while tons of larger movies sit on the shelf.

That’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened in fandom-made media.

Disney’s non-fanmade “furry” movie is getting all the attention, while a by-and-for-fans movie is getting what any furry moviemaker dreams of.  It’s a good reason for an article about what’s going on with the Year of Furry movies.

It was surprising that nobody talked about the Slamdance win when it happened… so here’s a little nudge to notice.  The best part of the hype is it’s not just a furry movie, it’s a legit movie.

More news to come!  Dogpatch Press will be on the story.

Director Dominic Rodriguez said that five furries attended the two screenings of his movie at Slamdance, with two in suit.  Slamdance released a video as part of their Spotlight Series of a short interview with him, the producer, and Boomer The Dog.

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‘Fursonas’ beats Zootopia as most important furry movie, coming soon on Video On Demand.

by Patch O'Furr

Co-written by Patch and Pup Matthias. Find ‘Fursonas’ on the web and on Twitter.

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2016 has been labeled The Year Of Furry.  Disney’s Zootopia is just the start.  There’s a surprising amount of other films to come with anthropomorphic animals. From Kung Fu Panda 3, Ratchet and Clank, The Angry Birds Movie, Secret Life of Pets, Sing, The Boy and The Beast, and TMNT 2 (yes it counts)… there’s a wealth of films for furries to enjoy (or love to hate) this year.

There’s a film apart from those that has surprisingly flown under a lot of people’s radars.  It’s not a big-budget blockbuster, and doesn’t have massive marketing. (With vast differences in “furry movies”, that’s why the headline is just to get your attention.)  Few have talked about it… but for this tiny fandom, it has special quality above any other.

Fursonas is a documentary directed by Dominic Rodriguez.  It looks at the fandom itself, to clear up fuzziness over what it’s about.

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The Art of Zootopia, by Jessica Julius – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

91QvZofgFfLThe Art of Zootopia, by Jessica Julius. Preface by John Lasseter. Foreword- Byron Howard, Rich Moore.
San Francisco, CA, Chronicle Books, March 2016, hardcover $40.00 (160 pages), Kindle $16.19.

Here it is! The coffee-table animation-art book that you’ve been waiting for! Note that the blurb says, “This lushly illustrated book offers a behind-the-scenes view of the elaborate artistry involved in creating the film.” The villain is revealed, but if you want the film’s story in detail, get Disney’s Zootopia Junior Noveliation.

The Art of Zootopia presents 160 pages of Zootopia artwork in closeup detail, with commentary by the Disney staff. There are not only finished designs, there are preliminary sketches and models showing early designs that were discarded.

“In an early iteration of the film, prey animals were dominant in Zootopia, so the motifs used in buildings reflected ther reality. We used vegetable patterns, leaf shapes, and flower murals in the architecture. –Dave Goetz, production designer” (p. 21).

“In early versions of the story, this division was overt, with prey animals exploiting their strength in numbers to dominate predators, who were forced to wear collars that prevented accidental expressions of their natural aggression.” (p. 28)

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