Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: December, 2016

Goddess, by Arilin Thorferra – book review by Greyflank.

by Patch O'Furr

Goddess by Arilin Thorferra – guest review submitted by Bill Kieffer, AKA Grayflank (author of The Goat: Building a Perfect Victim.)  See also Fred Patten’s review of Goddess.  Guests are invited to submit articles to: patch.ofurr(at)gmail.com.

GoddessA childhood full of monster of the week movies made me into the horse I am today. As a horror fan, giants hold a very special place in my heart. Giants played no small (ahem) part in helping me see monsters as more often dangerously misunderstood creatures than outright evil figures.

And, yet, I don’t particularly find myself attracted to the giant mythos. Not that I’m against Macrofurry stuff. I do like transformation stories and I do like submissive characters; so there’s quite a bit of overlap there with size shifting.

In this tale, set in a furry universe in a vague period prior to Hawaii’s statehood, Russel the cougar is looking to become a literature professor at a very posh American University in San Francisco. It’s probably in the 1950’s, even if the villain of the piece, Cornelius Bennett, is known as a “rail baron.” The first few pages felt nearly as staid and boring as any academic event that one might expect, but when the curvaceous otter Kailani enters the scene, things to pick up. I enjoyed every scene Kailani was in; even the scene where they are discussing The Great Gatsby. She is simply one of those people who are larger than life. *ahem*

And it’s to the authors credit that Kailani’s robust presence doesn’t overshadow the other characters in the scene with her. Russell becomes a bigger personality when he’s with her and, later, trying to be with her. Often in stories with this type of transformation from quiet protagonist with a plan to hero of the tale, the author relies on the cast to tell the hero/heroine that she changed. Here, I felt it.

No one had to tell me.

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Artists and authors, be in the book Furry Nation – January 6 deadline!

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a special announcement from Joe Strike.  Joe’s a writer and reporter about animation for the New York Daily News and Animation World Network. His website shows work with TV cartoons you may know. He’s a first-wave furry “greymuzzle.”  And he talks like a velvet alligator on the phone.

Joe has an incredibly exciting book coming out.  He’s putting the story of furry fandom in print from an established publisher.  He wants your help.book

I want to tell your story in Furry Nation.

I’m in the final stages of writing Furry Nation, the first book to chart the birth and growth of furry fandom and its relation to the anthropomorphic instinct that’s been part of civilization from prehistoric cave paintings of animal people and animal-headed Egyptian gods to the modern day. Furry Nation will be published fall 2017 by Cleis Press. To learn more visit www.furrynation.com

Furry Nation will include a handful of profiles of furry artists, published authors and craftspeople. (Furry sculptures, clothing, accessories, etc.) If you’d like to be in the book, please contact me by December 26 at info[at]furrynation[dot]com. I want to hear about your work, your first interest in anthro characters, and how you found the fandom; please include links to your work. (Sorry fursuiters but that section of the book has already been written.)

Thanx much!
– Joe Strike

Write to info[at]furrynation[dot]com, by January 6.

 

Personally, I have been urging the creation of a coffee table furry book for years – from the history and graphics, to fursuit fashion photography.  Like the kind of beautiful but info-packed bibles that Taschen is known for.  (I even outlined such a book – but what a big project that is!)

Now I’m delighted to hear that Joe has a contract with Cleis Press to publish Furry Nation in fall 2017.  Cleis has an eminent 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” Don’t get too mad about being grouped with erotica; emphasize independent.  It’s a chance-taking, open-minded platform that can do justice to an alternative subculture.  They explain on LinkedIn:

Cleis Press publishes provocative, intelligent books across genres. Whether literary fiction, human rights, mystery, romance, erotica, LGBTQ studies, pulp fiction, or memoir, you know that if it’s outside the ordinary, it’s Cleis Press.

51561577Don’t overlook more cool books! Dogpatch Press’s own star guest poster, Fred Patten, has Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 from McFarland Press.  (That’s an academic/reference publisher where you’d find the book in a library.  So you might consider Joe’s the “first” as a narrative history on the shelf at an indie or alternative bookstore.)

Fred’s Publishing for Furries article helps to show how special these are in the publishing world.  Until now, there’s been almost nothing at book stores.  Whatever you’re looking for in a furry book, these are extremely cool happenings.

And I can’t wait to see more. Grubbs Grizzzly (of Ask Papabear) has The Furry Book on the way, too.

Book by Grubbs, cover art by Charleston Rat

Book by Grubbs, cover by Charleston Rat

The Art of Moana, by Jessica Julius and Maggie Malone – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

9781452155364_flatcoverThe Art of Moana, by Jessica Julius and Maggie Malone. Preface by John Lasseter. Foreword by Ron Clements and John Musker.
San Francisco, CA, Chronicle Books, November 2016, hardcover $40.00 (160 pages), Kindle $16.19.

Moana is a 103-minute 3D computer-animated comedy fantasy feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, released on November 23rd, 2016. The Art of Moana is a coffee-table, full-color art book describing that film, and its making, in detail. Jessica Julius and Maggie Malone, the book’s authors, are both veteran executives at Walt Disney Animation. Julius wrote The Art of Big Hero Six and The Art of Zootopia. The preface is by John Lasseter, the director responsible for turning the Pixar and Disney studios into the powerhouses of theatrical feature animation in the last two decades. The foreword is by Ron Clements and John Musker, the co-directors of many other Disney features including The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.

The Art of Moana is a de luxe art book about the film and its making, with detailed visual samples and background information. For those interested in the film, this book is worth getting for the names of all the characters alone. The rejected preliminary designs of the main characters will be fascinating, also.

The film’s plot is summarized in its official blurb.

“Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world ventured across the Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped—and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios, Moana is a CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui and together they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.”

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Furry Bowling record: 297 attend ‘When Furballs Strike 25’ – interview with Kijani of FurLifeNW.

by Patch O'Furr

If you only saw furries in the media, you might think they only meet at cons.  But after the con, there’s local events you won’t know about unless you’re tuned in to their channels.  Some of them are established with their own names, venues and dedicated dates. You can go and say tonight, this place is ours. That’s a sign of a full-fledged subculture.

Independent furry dance parties are well covered at Dogpatch Press.  That’s adult night life. But for all ages, there’s furry bowling.  Big bowling meets can be bigger than small cons.  They happen all over the place, but how many does the furry world have?  I doubt anyone knows!

I’d love to know more, considering how fabulous some of them seem.

9177041_origfurries_vs_klingons

Here’s a special look at the thriving community of the Pacific Northwest furries. (Member pics: Whenfurballsstrike.net)

November 12, 2016 – When Furballs Strike 25 – Fursuit bowling in Kenmore, Washington. 

  • ‘When Furballs Strike’ appears to be the biggest bowling meet for any furry community. If it was a con, it would just enter the Top 40 by attendance.
  • Their nearest rival for size is a bowling meet in Brazil! How many outsiders are in touch with that corner of fandom? It shows how widespread this is.
  • The Pacific Northwest furry community has remarkable activity. Does any other have an event calendar like Furlife on Meetup with over 2,000 members? (Disney’s marketers went to Furlife to reach furries for Zootopia.)
  • Furry dance parties have tried to get established in the Pacific Northwest without the success you might expect, making this their biggest meet.  (And their popular local con Rainfurrest shut down, but an unprecedented four are now proposed there.)

I talked to Kijani Lion, meet organizer:

Tell me more about the broken record?

“The record that was broken was actually our own record for “largest attendance at a furry/anthropomorphics fan bowling meet”. We had 297 attendees at When Furballs Strike 25, which broke our old record of 271 at When Furballs Strike 22. Before that, the Brazilian furbowl Furboliche had the record with 248 attendees at Furboliche 4 which took place Halloween 2015.”

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Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour is OPEN FOR SUBMISSION

by Pup Matthias

tales-from-the-guild-music-to-your-ears-edited-by-anthroaquatic-67102“Our world is one rich with diversity and culture, but how would civilized animals change that?”

That is the question Ocean Tigrox asks for you to write about in the upcoming anthology, Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour. Building from Tales From the Guild: Music to the Ears, the purpose of Tales is not just to have another outlet for Furry stories.

…we want to showcase great furry stories and show what we as a guild support. In addition to that, we want to help fund the guild while paying authors for their hard work. Thirdly, we’re using the anthology to help teach others about what goes into working a slush pile and editing an anthology.

This is what the Furry Writers Guild uses to help support themselves and showcase what they are all about.

In the words of the Guild itself, “The purpose of the Furry Writers’ Guild is to promote quality writing in anthropomorphic fiction and to inform, elevate, and support its creators.” The guild is there for others to come together to learn and support each other in our craft as well help promote our work and what we love about furry literature.

But how did the theme World Tour come about as the next entry for the book?

Because it was the guild anthology, we let the guild help out in choosing what theme to use. We had members of the guild suggest themes and voted on it. It was a very close vote with the runner up being “The Beast Within – Species issues within a modern world” which could be used for the next Guild Anthology theme.

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36 dead at warehouse party fire in Oakland – community mourns, fears backlash.

by Patch O'Furr

Help here: Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire

fireGhost Ship” was the name of the warehouse in the inner city of Oakland, California.  I’ve often visited the neighborhood under the booming overhead trestle of the BART train.  The warehouse was zoned for business, but harbored a live/work space that was built under the radar of building inspectors.  It was funded by parties and rent from people living in RV’s parked there.  It was home for a collective of artists and musicians from the cultural underground of the San Francisco Bay area.  Many were pushed out of previous homes by pressure of rising rents. These most expensive costs in the country are making a crisis for culture.

Friday, December 2, was the date for an electronic music show.  Golden Donna was headlining with the L.A. label 100% Silk.  It wasn’t a rave just for dancing and fun, but a deeper connection of creativity.  Many watchers were themselves into producing music, or making big-scale art for festivals like Burning Man.

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Wishing Season: Holiday Tales of Whimsy and Wonder, by Renee Carter Hall – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

51nkl1nx7zlWishing Season: Holiday Tales of Whimsy and Wonder, by Renee Carter Hall
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2015, trade paperback $7.99 (125 pages), Kindle, December 2014, $2.99.

This little collection presents seven gentle short fantasies “for all ages” about the Christmas spirit. The title implies that these may cover the different holidays of the year, but they are all about either a snowy Christmas, a snowy winter, or Santa Claus – in any case, stories to read while relaxing in a warm home during a snowy December. If you want to read them aloud to small children; why, some of these were originally heard as broadcasts of the Anthro Dreams Podcast. Two tales, “The First Winter” and “Santa’s Summer Vacation”, are written especially for this booklet. Wishing Season itself was published as an e-book for the Christmas 2014 season, and as a trade paperback for Christmas 2015.

Hall’s tales are imbued with a modern Christmas mythology – that of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Grinch, It’s a Wonderful Life, and all those animated movies and TV specials showing Santa’s elves as having automated the North Pole.

In “The Gingerbread Reindeer”, Santa’s eight reindeer are having trouble pulling the sled of presents on Christmas eve because Rudolph has broken a bone and can’t lead the others. Boreas, the spirit of winter, enchants a little girl’s reindeer gingerbread cookie into Cinnamon, a gingerbread real flying deer to replace Rudolph. When the Unmaker, the anti-Christmas, attacks, it’s Cinnamon who saves them all.

“The visitor bore the form of a frost-elf, slender and sharp, with knowing eyes, but his body faded like silver fog at the edges. Boreas was winter given shape, the power by which the run was made each year, by which time was frozen for a single night while magic was worked for the young. It was not often that he appeared.” (p. 11)

Hall’s evocative writing makes you wish that her original characters like Boreas and Cinnamon were permanent parts of the Christmas spirit – though we could do without the Unmaker.

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Here’s why furries are on a secret list at the California DMV.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Pup Nacho for his news tip below.  First, let me ask: Are knots funny? 


If you’re giggling like I did when I posted those, you might be Furry Trash.  And you might appreciate how they only make sense for those in the know.

Having unique language is a mark of a fully-fledged subculture.  They call it slang, vernacular, cant, or cryptolect. Fans of fantasy fiction and role-playing might know about Thieves’ Cant (for criminals, beggars and hustlers, traveling performers, and carnival workers); those who study Queer theory may know Polari. (See Atlas Obscura: The Forgotten Secret Language of Gay Men.)  

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