Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: June, 2016

The Raccoon’s Den – The First Docudramedy Series in the Furry Fandom.

by Pup Matthias

See The Raccoon’s Den on Youtube. Thanks to Bandit and Pup Matthias for collaborating on this special guest article.  

When I say the word ‘creator’ in the furry fandom, what do you think of?  Mostly likely TRD_2016 Poster (sml)you would think of artist, writers, musicians, animators, game developers, fursuit makers, etc.  One type that doesn’t cross most people’s minds are video creators.  There are examples like EZ Wolf and Duke the Dog with their shorts and music videos, Culturally F’d with their educational videos, and this year has brought us Dominic Rodriguez and Eric Risher with their respected documentaries exploring the fandom. But it’s a relatively small pool compared to the others.

Part of that lies with platform. Most furry sites don’t offer a way for video creators to showcase their work and build a presence like the others. They’re always having to link to YouTube or Vimeo and hope someone will click the link. Furry Network looks to be the only one working on offering video creators a player to support them.  Time will only tell on that front.

(Note from Patch: the medium also brings challenges.  That’s why our ‘Special Features and Top Articles’ just added a section about THE NASCENT FURRY MOVIE SCENE.)

What’s truly sad about this is the way video creators have the best opportunity to explain and showcase what our fandom is.  Capturing the moments of celebration, joy, hardship, misunderstanding, and exploring what makes the furry fandom what it is.

There’s a series for that already. It’s been going on for over seven years, with almost one hundred episodes that explore what the fandom is. That show is The Raccoon’s Den.

Christopher Parque-Johnson, creator of the Raccoon’s Den, is better known as Bandit in the fandom. He was introduced to the fandom from a fan-made forum for the film ‘Over the Hedge’, which inspired him to have a raccoon fursona after the title character of the film.

I got into the furry fandom after seeing “Over the Hedge” in 2006, joined a fan-made forum and a friend on there made an RP account for RJ the Raccoon on MySpace (back when people used it). I joined the fandom on July 20th and up until 2009, I was just another person on the internet who liked being part of the community. I felt welcomed and accepted for being myself here and that was something I wasn’t able to feel outside of it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fur lost in Pulse nightclub shooting, and thoughts of national tragedies that touch the fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

UPDATE: TROLLED… first time for the site.  Whoops!  People died, but don’t bet on the fur name below.  It was a hoax for cheap attention.  Don’t skip the other truthful info here.

pulsePulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the scene of a national tragedy in the early AM hours of June 12.  News has spread far and wide about this worst mass shooting in US history.  50 or more lives were taken at a gay club, which is especially meaningful to many during Pride month.  You’ll see a sea of rememberances at the celebrations everywhere.

[Breaking News] Orlando Nightclub mass-shooting. from AskReddit

The event at Pulse happened to be a Latin night.  Comments to their Facebook page mention that the event was shared by more than gay people.  It touched other communities as well – including ours.

pulse2

Let’s focus on what it means to the small Furry subculture, and the impact of such events in general.

For those in Orlando Florida, my heart’s out for you from furry

(Suspicious info below.)  

Kodakoda Coyote died in the shooting, as shared by Soatoak on Reddit.  Here’s his FurAffinity account, listing his age of 20 (as of 2012?)  It gives no further info, except salutes from others.  (This news is rushed out prior to finding if there’s more info, but expect more attention for him.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Timbuktu: A Novel, by Paul Auster – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

TimbuktuNovelTimbuktu; A Novel, by Paul Auster.
NYC, Henry Holt and Co., May 1999, hardcover $22.00 (181 pages).

It can be argued that Timbuktu is the opposite of an anthropomorphic novella. It is about a dog, Mr. Bones, whose beloved human companion, the pseudonymous Willy B. Christmas, a homeless East Coast “street poet” is dying. Timbuktu does an excellent job of portraying the despairing thoughts of a mostly unanthropomorphized but exaggeratedly intelligent and loyal dog. He understands “Ingloosh” more than most dogs, but still from a canine viewpoint.

“Mr. Bones knew that Willy wasn’t long for this world. The cough had been inside him for over six months, and by now there wasn’t a chance in hell that he would ever get rid of it. Slowly and inexorably, without once taking a turn for the better, the thing had assumed a life of its own, advancing from a faint, phlegm-filled rattle in the lungs on February third to the wheezy sputum-jigs and gobby convulsions of high summer.” (p. 3)

“What was a poor dog to do? Mr. Bones had been with Willy since his earliest days as a pup, and by now it was next to impossible for him to imagine a world that did not have his master in it. Every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy’s presence. Habits die hard, and no doubt there’s some truth to the adage about old dogs and new tricks, but it was more than just love or devotion that caused Mr. Bones to dread what was coming. It was pure ontological terror. Subtract Willy from the world, and the odds were that the world itself would cease to exist.” (p. 4)

Willy is aware that he is dying. As he and Mr. Bones wander the streets of Baltimore, Willy tries to prepare the dog for life after him. He rambles to him about “how to avoid the dogcatchers and constables, the paddy wagons and unmarked cars, the hypocrites from the so-called humane societies. No matter how sweetly they talked to you, the word shelter meant trouble.”   Mr. Bones is a sweet but ugly, smelly, adult mongrel. “No one was going to want to rescue him. As the homeless bard was fond of putting it, the outcome was written in stone. Unless Mr. Bones found another master in one quick hurry, he was a pooch primed for oblivion.” (p. 5)

Read the rest of this entry »

Suit Up Saturday – Minnesota’s Furry Club night gives a Q&A for the Furclub Survey.

by Patch O'Furr

suslogo

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 cons. 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 new kinds of venues, 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. Featured here is a new event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s yet another one inspired by Frolic in San Francisco, the seed for many new ones across the USA. Organizer Rachel introduces the party:

Suit Up Saturday (2016)

____________________  

My name is Rachel, that’s my real name and furry name too. I’ve been a furry for about 15 years now, and I recently moved back to Minnesota from San Francisco, where I lived for 10 years and went to college. When in San Francisco I frequently went to FROLIC, which is run by some friends of mine, and I began to miss it.

While Minnesota has an amazing team running all the PG, all ages events (mnfurs.org, and DRAKE in particular)… There was nothing serving the adult, kink or 18+ community.  Up until that point, any kinky or adult events were held in private homes or we would loosely organize a bar event. Even so, events were sporadic and lightly attended, as there wasn’t even a good way for kinky furs to even connect with each other in this state.

At my current job I do club promotions and events occasionally, so I had a few contacts. I picked a bar that most reminded me of the STUD in San Francisco (where Frolic happens every month), a bar called the EagleBolt here in Minneapolis. I spoke with the owner and manager and they allowed us to throw a trial basis party on January 31st. If that went well, they would be willing to host us every 5th saturday, or more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Special Feature, by Charles V DeVet – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

UnknownSpecial Feature, by Charles V. DeVet.
NYC, Avon Books, June 1975, paperback 95¢ (176 pages)

Special Feature is a terrible s-f novel about terrible characters. It is hard to tell which are the more unlikable, the humans or the cat-people. But taken as a noir thriller in which the reader is gradually brought to sympathize with some seriously flawed characters, or as a funky “how many things can you find wrong with this s-f scenario?” quiz, Special Feature is an unusual and fascinating page-turner.

Pentizel, a cat-women from the banned planet Paarae, has stolen a spaceship and flown to Earth. Due to the icy climate of Paarae, she chooses St. Paul, Minnesota in winter in which to secretly hide.

Although her goal is pointedly kept mysterious (except for being given away in the cover blurb), she is immediately identified as arrogant, cruel, and contemptuous of humanity:

“Once inside her room [in a slum hotel], she locked the door, drew in a deep breath and let it out. Her whole body relaxed with the expelled breath. A world lay within her eager grasp, a world in which to lose herself. And a billion decadent weaklings to be maneuvered in any way that suited her.” (p. 8)

Unknown to Pentizel, St. Paul is completely covered by surveillance cameras, in seemingly every street and almost every room of every building. Howard Benidt, manager of TV station RBC, sees the cat-woman’s assault and stealing of a pedestrian’s clothes, and her checking into the flophouse in disguise. Benidt decides to make a “Special Feature” out of this alien invasion of Earth, to boost his channel’s ratings and his own prestige among its management:

“The room was getting warm. Benidt took off his coat and hung it on the back of his chair. ‘Now I want a top-grade build-up on this. Play up strong the potentiality of violence: assault, murder, blood. Make it good. Start cutting in immediately — on whatever program’s running on the channel now – with tantalizers. Don’t tell them exactly what the feature will be. Let them use their imagination. Build up their curiosity – and impatience – for the start of the biggest, live thrill show in the annals of video.” (p. 15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Zootopia: “A Call For Balance” – guest post by Alex Reynard.

by Patch O'Furr

Zootopia’s Blu-ray/DVD release is June 7, 2016.

Zootopia_Lionheart_and_Judy_pose

Dogpatch Press welcomes Furry fanfic writer Alex Reynard.  See also Inquisitr.com: “Is Zootopia a modern version of Animal Farm?”  

ZOOTOPIA has been out for a while now.  In that time, I cannot count how many times I’ve seen it called “propaganda”.

Left-wing propaganda, right-wing propaganda, commie propaganda, gender propaganda, race propaganda.

It’s ridiculous. And it’s unfair to what the movie actually is.

I’m gonna assume that we, being furries, have all seen the film a kazillion times by now. If not, then this is me HONKING THE SPOILER HORN. TOOT TOOT. I want to start this with a synopsis, so I can talk about how the themes of this cute animated children’s film are really really important.

Read the rest of this entry »

Frameline Film Fest features two furry documentaries – furs invited to a red carpet event.

by Patch O'Furr

Frameline-1-212x300Wear YOUR best carpet!

  • FURSONAS – Sunday, June 19, 9:15 PM (86 min.)  Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St, San Francisco.  “Through a furry fray of intimate dramas and dilemmas, the fascinating individuals and universal longings of furries—or folks who don anthropomorphic body suits for role-play—come into snuggly view.” Tickets here.
  • FURRIES – Monday, June 20, 9:15 PM (33 min.) Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St, San Francisco. Info here: “Furries looks beyond the fur to discover the importance of identity, creativity, and the community’s people.”  Tickets here for the ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO shorts program: “From dancing leather daddies and celebrated drag kings and queens to the imaginatively sexy and romantic and a trip to a Furry convention, this batch of shorts truly embodies the “only in San Francisco” spirit.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 12.24.39 AM“I can’t believe it – we’re right next to Michael Moore’s latest on Google Play,” said Fursonas director Dominic Rodriguez.  “It finally got real for me when I realized you could watch it on planes.”

I checked the “documentary” category, and there it was, the second most popular movie. Since mid-May, it’s still on the front page.  That’s quite a step up from all the years when Dominic was working on just another student project made for passion.  He said the crew still felt like students even when they were accepted to the Slamdance fest, where a distributor picked up the movie.

There’s more greatness to come.  And the public is loving it as much as furries who praise it. (Not all, since it is polarizing in some ways – but man, it is special to read outsider opinions like this.)

“…a tender and nuanced meditation on a community that’s still trying to find itself… a noteworthy achievement for having the skill and will to let the narrative breathe.” – Criterioncast.com

Read the rest of this entry »

Mouse Mission, by Prudence Breitrose – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51Nw6dacHlL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Mouse Mission, by Prudence Breitrose. Illustrated by Stephanie Yue.
NYC, Disney•Hyperion, October 2015, hardcover $16.99 (266 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Mouse Mission is The Mousenet, Book 3; the conclusion of the trilogy that began with Mousenet and Mousemobile (both 2013). To repeat the events in the first two books, 10/11-year-old Megan Miller learns that the mice of the world are as intelligent as humans, but are too small and fragile to create a civilization. They’re isolated in small groups; and they can’t be heard by humans unless they scream all the time. The mice learn that Megan’s uncle, Fred Barnes, is an electronic tinkerer who has invented a miniature computer just for his own amusement, but which would be ideal for mice to communicate with each other throughout the world; and with humans.

In the first two books, Megan and Uncle Fred become part of the Humans Who Know about the Mouse Nation, and the mice figure out how the five humans can mass-produce the Thumbtop computers, supposedly as toy keychains but actually for the mice to use. Megan’s uncle and step-dad, Fred Barnes and Jake Fisher, create their home-run Planet Mouse factory in Cleveland, ostensibly to manufacture only a tiny number of miniature computer toys, but actually with a secret assembly line of seven hundred mice making Thumbtops for mice all around the world.

One of the Humans Who Know is Megan’s mother Susan Fisher, who is an environmental activist. Breitrose unfortunately allowed Mousemobile to become very preachy about the danger of Climate Change, which the five Humans Who Know and all the mice are very passionate about. The message of Mouse Mission, Saving the Rainforest, is fortunately integrated into the plot much better.

Susan Fisher’s current environmental campaign is saving the rainforest that covers the fictional island-nation of Marisco in the Indian Ocean (a pastiche of Madagascar).

“This was one of the last forests on that part of the planet that was still completely wild, and it had been kept that way by the government of Marisco until recently, when a group of generals seized power. A month ago, mice had found a document on the generals’ computers – a document that revealed their plan to sell the rights to the forest to Loggocorp, a huge international timber company.” (p. 16)

Read the rest of this entry »

Zen: Meditations of an Egotistical Duck, by Phicil – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

5193RSt5quL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_Zen: Meditations d’Un Canard Égoiste (Zen: Meditations of an Egotistical Duck), by Phicil
Paris, Éditions Carabas, November 2015; hardcover €16,00 (80 pages).

Google’s automatic translator says that “un canard égoiste” is “a selfish duck”, but in this case “egotistical” is a better translation than “selfish”. Jean Plumo sees everything as revolving around himself, but he’s not particularly selfish once the needs and desires of others are brought to his attention.

The Patten-Nakashima conspiracy to get you to read French funny-animal bandes dessinées that aren’t likely to be published in English has probably let you down this time.

Jean Plumo, a mallard office-worker in a funny-animal world, is fed up with not only being yelled at by an unsympathetic boss, but at not getting the respect he feels that he’s due from his fellow deskmates. When he sees a copy of Bronzage (“Tanning”) magazine on his boss’ desk with an article about a luxurious vacation retreat to study zen meditation all day (implied under the sun; a good way to get a tan), he decides to sign up for it.

It’s not what he expects.

Read the rest of this entry »