Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: August, 2017

Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl “Voice” Hoch – book review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl “Voice” HochDallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, March 2017, trade paperback $19.95 (338 pages), e-book $9.95.

Tarl Hoch states on Amazon that he “is a Canadian writer of primarily horror, mythos and erotic fiction”, with stories of his own in several non-furry horror anthologies. Bleak Horizons is his second book for FurPlanet. His first was the 2014 Abandoned Places, a furry horror anthology. Bleak Horizons is also a horror anthology; “fifteen stories about what horrors lie waiting for those who look to the future.”

Ha! To me, the horror is that most of these fifteen are just funny-animal stories that might as well be with humans. But they are all – well, fourteen of the fifteen — good s-f technological suspense stories.

“Adrift” by Kandrel distinguishes fear, terror, and panic through Evan, an anthropomorphic cat passenger on a starship with his wife Mia and his young son Sammy. There is a disaster:

“The hall is blocked by a family of warthogs trying to drag luggage with them. Stupid, he thinks. You can’t bring luggage into the life pods. There’s no room. This isn’t a time to worry about your things. Leave them. The burly male shouts something as Evan leaps over shoulders and uses the wall to get height. With a bound, he climbs over the unfortunate’s head. A hairy fist swings wildly but misses. He spares no more thought for the warthogs. They’d probably be too slow anyway.” (pgs. 10-11)

Evan, Mia, and Sam make it to the life pod and launch into space. But something goes wrong. Evan wakes from cryosleep in the faulty made-by-the-lowest-bidder life pod while his wife and son are still frozen. Can Evan fix it, or must he watch his wife and toddler die? There are references to Mia’s long horns and muzzle before it’s revealed what she is, but obviously she’s no cat (so what is Sammy?). There’s a plot point to Evan and his wife being different species, which makes “Adrift” more than a funny-animal story.

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Animal Rescues Need Your Help in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

by Pup Matthias

Co written by Pup Matthias and Patch.

Joe Garcia and Heidi. Photo: David J. Phillip / AP

Hurricane Harvey has been one of the biggest storms to hit the US.  As a category 4 storm, it hit Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana over the weekend, filling our newsfeed with stories of tragedy, courage, and sacrifice. It puts us as a nation and people to the test. We’ve heard the stories: from big ones like the news crew finding a man trapped in his truck and flagging down emergency vehicles to help – to smaller personal stories of neighbors helping neighbors.

Outside of the storm’s path, there’s a lot of talk about how the effects impact the country in many different ways. (Our own Uncle Kage addressed evacuation from his experience as an Emergency Manager Coordinator.)  If you can only watch from afar, the most important way to help is by donating. Even now, all emergency organizations, along with groups and personal accounts are asking for donations to combat the damage Hurricane Harvey will leave.

This is a great time to highlight efforts to help animals. Furry news is a good place for it.  The Furry community has always been proud about raising funds for charity, and that isn’t just for cons.

Remember that 250,000 pets were displaced or died in Hurricane Katrina, and some people refused to evacuate without them – it has become an important part of disaster planning, according to this video about saving animals in Hurricane Harvey. 

News stories from PeopleABC News, and NBC have covered more efforts to help animals in need. I’m sure several of you heard or seen the hawk story. Many others will struggle to be heard. Patch has been collecting as many as he can find so we can spread the word and assist with donating what you can.

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Fred Patten asks: are “art of” animated movie books necessary?

by Patch O'Furr

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

In June, my review of The Art of Cars 3 was posted here. In it, I said:

“It has been acknowledged that these “art of” books featuring animated films are money-losers, subsidized by the advertising budgets for those films, made for the promotion of those films and for the morale of the artists and technical crews that produced them. The Art of Cars 3 is full of the art of the animators, layout artists, production designers, story artists, digital renderers, graphic designers, modelers, and others who created Cars 3 .”

I had gotten that information – about the art-of animation books being money-losers that were published for their movie’s advertising and for their production staff’s morale – from a February 2017 story by Amid Amidi on the Cartoon Brew website. It was about Illumination Entertainment’s animated films — the Despicable Me franchise, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing. The pertinent paragraphs were:

“Among the things that Illumination Entertainment does differently from other major animation studios is they don’t produce art-of/making-of books for each of their films.

From a business perspective, it makes sense. Most art-of books don’t make their money back, have limited reach, and add unnecessary costs to a film’s marketing budget. But they do have intangible benefits, like boosting morale among studio employees and helping build stronger relationships with the studio’s most passionate fans. I might agree that it doesn’t make sense to create an art-of book for every film, but perhaps Illumination could publish an anniversary art-of book at some point. Their tenth film is coming up in 2019, while 2020 will mark ten years since the release of their first film. Both of those dates seem like ideal milestones.”

April Whitney, the publicist at Chronicle Books for The Art of Cars 3, took exception to that statement. She said that Chronicle’s “art of” de luxe animation books, which cover most Disney•Pixar animated features, sell very well and are not, as I implied, subsidized by Disney’s marketing department.

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BioMutant: a fuzzy new RPG experience is incoming!

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. It also covers furry issues and media plus some personal blogging. Rune joins other guest posters to Dogpatch Press like Andre Kon (What’s Yiffin’?) and Arrkay (Culturally F’d). Welcome Rune! – Patch

Originally, when I heard about BioMutant, I wasn’t sure whether or not it should be featured on my Furry Blog or my Gaming Blog— so I just put it on both!

The last time I saw cute, little, fuzzy creatures being the main stars of ANY console RPG, was when I learned about TERA. Did I ever play it? No…

But for those who love the MMO-scene, and especially for furries, this was a huge deal. When it comes to RPGs on consoles, I don’t ask for much. I don’t care the race of my characters so long as there’s a bit of customization involved (even if it’s just a difference in your appearances based on weapon or armor equipped).  If the game has a deep-story, I’m all set.

If I want character customization, I just stick to my PC-MMORPGS like World-of-Warcraft or Guild Wars 2… but I must say that after reading about BioMutant, I’m actually curious to see what more it will offer in the future.  With it being on the XBOXone, I’m actually considering making this a part of my purchase wish-list when it hits the market.

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Furries are winning Emmys and Youtube Creator Awards.

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel.

With all the fire and ‘furry’ in the news, I think we should take a break from the political hardship to look at some awesome positive activity that’s been going on in the fandom. So let’s see what Furry has to celebrate lately:

“Vix N dwnq” reaches 100,000 Subscribers on YouTube

 

A milestone for the fandom. While not the first YouTuber who is a furry to gain the “Silver Play Button”, such as “Your Movie SucksDOTorg” and others, Rika and her channel Vix N dwnq is the first fursuiting channel to gain this level of success on her own merit. She wasn’t raised to this point by collaborating with mainstream YouTuber’s or by an aggressive marketing campaign. Instead her genuine fun in fursuit videos have gotten there organically, and she’s not alone. Majira Strawberry and Kero The Wolf are quick behind her which shows that this isn’t a single one-off event but a trend of rising Furry stars on the YouTube platform. It’s a big win for the fandom, and especially those on YouTube.

 

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The Big Bad Fox, by Benjamin Renner – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Big Bad Fox, by Benjamin Renner. [Translated by Joe Johnson.] Illustrated.
NYC, First Second, June 2017, trade paperback $15.99 (187 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Benjamin Renner is a French animator and cartoonist. He first became known in America as the co-director of the 2012 Belgian animated feature Ernest & Célestine, released in America in 2013. That was an adaptation of Belgian children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, and featured Vincent’s art style. It was an international animation festival favorite, winning many awards, and was a 2014 Oscar Best Animated Feature nominee.

In 2015 Renner began to develop Le Grand Méchant Renard, a cartoon idea for a series of three French half-hour TV specials in his own art style. He wrote and drew his own cartoon-art book to promote them, published by Delcourt in January 2015. The TV cartoon specials grew into an 80-minute theatrical feature, Le Grand Méchant Renard et Autres Contes … (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales …), released in France on June 21, 2017.

Now Renner’s French book has been published in English as a trade paperback by First Second Books, an American publisher of literary graphic novels.

The main characters in The Big Bad Fox are the title fox, a wimpy loser; the fearsome Mr. Wolf; what Amazon calls an idiot rabbit, a gardener pig, a lazy guard dog, and a typical hen who organizes the other hens into The Fox Exterminators’ Club; and the three little chicks that the fox becomes the Mommy of.

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Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, Dogpatch Press linked the alt-right of furry fandom with a violent neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. It came on a wave of fandom news, synched with the even bigger one in the mainstream.  There’s too much for one update (more is coming.)

Open neo-nazi marching led to nationwide pushback.  It included hate groups being kicked off of many services, from Paypal to Discord. The Altfurries saw it coming in their own Discord group, and soon their group was gone. (Keep in mind that’s not a government act.)

That was a signal for inside leaks to be exposed.  I had access for months but couldn’t talk about it before.  Months of altfurry private communications are now here for anyone to see; what we’ve been saying all along wasn’t exaggeration.  Altfurry really does represent neo-nazi activity they are trying to push into the fandom. It was a huge blow to their pretense of just having different opinions.  The dust will be settling for a long time.

Altfurrydiscord logs get viral sharing and media coverage.

Flayrah covered some of the happenings: ‘Alt-Furry’ suffers blowback after Alt-Right rally leads to death of citizen.

Newsweek interviewed some involved people including Deo, and from the altfurries, Casey Hoerth and Nathan Gate. The journalist is a freelancer who did a previous piece on the alt-right, whose previous experience was writing for Heat Street (a conservative site that recently shut down). I spoke to his editor about reporting with false equivalency. And I spoke to another media source for coverage that isn’t open to talk about yet. Those articles are forthcoming.

Work begins for sorting info.

Confidential volunteers are tracing connections and identities in the altfurry logs. A few sample contents include:

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Les Ailes du Singe. T.2, Hollywoodland, by Étienne Willem – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Les Ailes du Singe. T.2, Hollywoodland, by Étienne Willem.
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, June 2017, hardbound €14,00 (48 pages).

The Lex Nakashima-Fred Patten plot to make American furry fans read the best of new French-language animalière bandes dessinées strikes again. This is the second album of Étienne Willem’s over-the-top thriller Les Ailes du Singe (The Wings of the Monkey), set in a funny-animal America during 1933, the depths of the Depression. Things got so desperate at the time that there were serious worries about a Communist revolution. That’s one theme of this album.

The stars of Les Ailes du Singe are Harry Faulkner (macaque monkey), a top pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I, and the owner of his own barnstorming and movie stunt-flying Jenny biplane; his mechanic-friend Lumpy (pig), apparently Italian since he regularly swears in Italian; and his girlfriend Betty Laverne (deer), a newspaper reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune. In t.1, Wakanda, Harry gets involved in and prevents the skyjacking of the U.S. Army’s zeppelin Wakanda by unknown enemy agents led by a sultry night club singer, Lydia Lessing (jaguar). However, Harry could only prevent the enemy from unleashing poison gas over NYC by crashing the Wakanda into the Hudson River. He is blamed for wrecking the zeppelin and, to escape warrants for his arrest in New York and New Jersey, Harry and Lumpy flee to Hollywood where Harry becomes a stunt pilot for Paramount. (In real life I think he could be extradited – isn’t it illegal to cross state lines to avoid arrest?)

Hollywoodland contains so much hugger-mugger that, frankly, it destroys the suspension of disbelief for me. The Depression has gotten so bad that the South is threatening to re-secede, setting off a second Civil War – or, as Harry finds out, that’s what Communist agents are trying to make the public believe. There’s a plot to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt that only Harry, Betty, and Lumpy can foil, in stolen Paramount stunt planes. There are lots of real famous people as funny animals: FDR is a goose (Willem seems to show him as unparalyzed, as he was popularly believed to be at the beginning of his administration; but take a close look at the bottom panel on page 46), Howard Hughes is a Doberman, Cecil B. De Mille is a Boston terrier, Douglas Fairbanks is a – cougar? (A Big Feline of some kind.) Marilyn Monroe wasn’t a star yet, so Hollywoodland substitutes a fictional Clara Palmer – that’s her on the cover. (There’s a nude shot of her in the story.) Willem takes advantage of the urban legend that Howard Hughes may have been a spy for someone, or at least working against America’s best interests, to put him into suspicious situations. There are car chases all over Los Angeles, gunfights, a major character is killed, and Harry’s & Friends’ pursuit in old World War I warplanes through the New Mexico desert of the presidential streamlined train to prevent the president’s murder

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Review – Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.
Cleis Press, October 2017, paperback $17.95 (288 pages), Kindle $10.99.

Here’s what I wrote for a cover blurb:

Like herding cats, gathering the history of furry fandom has been called impossible.  Furries love impossible things, so this is long overdue.  I’m happy to say it was worth the wait.  Joe Strike puts solid ground under the legs of the Furry Nation – genre, subculture, and yes, even kink – with his experience of watching it grow.  This book is for original 1980’s fans, new ones looking back, and outsiders drawn to the weird coolness of talking animals.  There’s many ways to get into it, but this is a unique view of how furries are breaking out.

Joe’s book isn’t the perfect bible for everyone – but expecting that from one book is unrealistic.  It’s just the kind of book that comes from a devout fan, and that’s why I recommend it.

I’ll summarize some reaction to the news that this book will exist: “It’s gonna suck! Who is Joe Strike?” – I knew who Joe was before I knew he was a furry, from his animation journalism. He does scriptwriting and his own comic too. He brings us a history that can live beyond bit-rot, supported by a firmly established publisher. Cleis has a 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” It’s smart to focus on the word independent, which means open-minded support from the first ones to take the chance.

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Altfurry supports neo-nazi violence, with member Nathan Gate on camera in Charlottesville.

by Patch O'Furr

Altfurry is the term used by a tiny fringe of hateful bigots in the furry fandom.  (It’s accurate to replace “alt” with “anti”, as you can see below).  Last week they encouraged members to attend the “Unite the Right” rally where neo-nazis attacked and killed protesters. (archive)

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