Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: February, 2018

Mythic Transformations, by Kris Schnee – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Mythic Transformations, by Kris Schnee
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, December 2017, trade paperback, $7.99 (189 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This collection of fourteen short stories by Schnee is about transformations rather than anthropomorphic characters. “In this story collection, people not only encounter these beings but become them.” (blurb)

“Guardians of Mistcrown” is set in a traditional fantasy world. Darius, a young mapmaker, is looking for a new caravan route through the Mistcrown mountains. He finds a cave guarded by Zara, a griffin, who is compelled to kill anyone who comes too close to a hidden source of magical mana. Darius and Zara trade bodies, to Darius’ dismay. But he finds that there are advantages to being a powerful, flying, ageless griffin – if he can just break the wizard’s spell that binds him to the mountain cave with the mana.

“The Petlyakov-15 Amusement Engine” is for video-game geeks.

Devjn, a hard-core video-gamer, finds an old 1980s Eastern Bloc video game in a yard sale.

“He called the saleslady over from her busy work of rearranging battered stuffed animals. ‘Is this some kind of custom case on a Nintendo?’

She shrugged. ‘It was my cousin’s, but then he moved out all of the sudden. Wasted all of his time playing video games.’” (p. 27)

Devin is intrigued by the “PE-15” Cyrillic lettering, and amused by its apparent imitation of old American/Japanese video games.

“The next day he dug up a copy of ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and blew dust out of it. He smiled at the shine of the classic golden cartridge. The PE-15 came on and showed him … ‘The Legend of Svetlana’?” (p. 28)

Devin plays deeper and deeper into the PE-15. Since Mythic Transformations is a collection of stories of “people not only encounter[ing] these beings but become[ing] them”, the only question is what will Devin turn into? Hint: it isn’t a fairy-tale princess.

“Little Grey Dragons” takes place in a classic poor Russian village. Washerwoman Alexi’s brother Petrov, the blacksmith’s assistant, finds two strange warm eggs in the forest.

“They turned at a noise from the egg that Alexi had touched. It was cracking. Alexi stared as the cracks spread for several long minutes, and finally a creature’s head emerged. Grey flesh, a grey snout, and a grey eye watching her. She stood there frightened and confused. ‘Petrov,’ she whispered, ‘what is this?’

Petrov murmured, ‘Not Firebirds. Zmei.’ He stared at the other egg, obviously willing it to crack, and it began to do so.” (p. 37)

Read the rest of this entry »

Fursuiting: A History – a video miniseries by Culturally F’d.

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

Yesterday we posted a sneak peek of our multi-part miniseries. It looks at animal-costume history from the basics of the mask, theatrical outfits, Hollywood rubber-suits, fandom cosplay, and our very own fuzzy army of unique performers.

Now here’s Part 1: Masks. This video explores the very idea of the mask itself and its ancient origins. Of course we focus on animal-masks, since we’re talking about Fursuit History, not just costuming in general.

Read the rest of this entry »

Coming this #FursuitFriday: Animal-costume history that goes way beyond furries!

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

Get a load of this sneak peak for this weeks long-awaited Culturally F’d Miniseries. Inspired by a series of articles right here on Dogpatch.Press, Fursuiting: A History is an expedition straight into the uncanny valley.

This multi-part miniseries will look at animal-costume history from the basics of the mask, theatrical outfits, Hollywood rubber-suits, fandom cosplay, and our very own fuzzy army of unique performers. Stay tuned this #FursuitFriday for the first installment of our 2018 series – and make sure to subscribe to Culturally F’d on YouTube to catch new videos as they come.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 dirty things furries do

by Patch O'Furr

Bear with me, I’m going to mention that old CSI episode “Fur and Loathing” again. Few media portrayals have upset furry fandom so much. A fiction show about murder should get a license to exaggerate for entertainment, but the public somehow took it as a documentary. It made impressions that a furry convention for good natured nerd stuff, like drawing cartoons and getting dinner with friends, is a weekend long furpile for sex-mad fetishists. Other sensational media was even more responsible for spreading the impression. Of course to be fair, so are some furries.

This was on my mind when I found a thread about Fay V’s worst convention ever. It’s a wild trip with 78 tweets about eldritch horror pudding and orgies.

With that in mind, here are some of the more unusual kinks among furries, which I’m totally not making up at all.

Read the rest of this entry »

Raid on Sullin, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Raid on Sullin, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, October 2017, trade paperback, $15.99 (233 [+ 9] pages), Kindle $4.99.

Raid on Sullin is #2 in the Packmasters series. #1, The Relics of Thiala, was reviewed here last April. I concluded that review, “But this is space opera, not hard science s-f. This review covers the first 50 pages of the 190-page novel (cover by Darbaras, a.k.a. Dávid László Tóth). What will Cat, Ferret, Bear, Wolf, and Ana find on Thiala and the sleazy Vandal space station? Since this is space opera, expect mucho dramatic action and weapons fire.”

I’m a sucker for good space opera, and The Relics of Thiala is great furry space opera. I’ve been looking forward to the sequel, and Raid on Sullin is not a disappointment. I recommend starting with The Relics of Thiala, but Raid on Sullin has a very good “What happened so far” for those who don’t want to bother. Roughly, Cat (the narrator), Ferret, Bear, and Wolf are four bestiae, bioengineered anthro-animen in a far-future interstellar community. The bestiae are considered beneath contempt by most humans, and were enslaved by a cult called the Packmasters. The Packmasters were apparently all killed by the rest of humanity in a civil war a generation ago. Ana, a mistreated young adopted orphan, escapes with the help of Cat. They gather three other bestiae and discover that Ana has Packmaster powers, but instead of using them to dominate the others, they form a pack of friends with a telempathetic bond under Ana’s leadership, Cat’s guidance, Bear’s piloting, and Wolf’s muscle. They steal a luxury space yacht, the Lollipop, belonging to a corrupt human Senator, Viscount Tomori, and flee to Vandal, a distant space station towards the Fringe of the galaxy that is (what else?) “a wretched hive of scum and villainy”. But Tomori comes after them. The book ends with Tomori and Bear dead, and the others unsure of how Vandal’s laws will treat them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with the CEO of Commiss.io – a service for project management, creators and fans.

by Patch O'Furr

How devoted are furries?  To commission a fursuit, they tortuously wrap themselves in duct tape, pay thousands of dollars and trust a years-long wait before getting something back. Imagine if you had to do that for a new car or stove?

The upside is direct exchange for hand-made goods, but the downside is a clunky process with a lot of invested effort and risk of fraud or failure. It works because fandom is close-knit, but there’s opportunity for better platforms to help buyer and seller. (I was posting about it in 2013). Fursuit makers seem to be niche enough to handle their own business, but freelance artists handle smaller projects much more frequently. Art commissioning sites have started up to help. Achieving scale of users may be a challenge, but they’re in a growing fandom and word is getting out.

Commiss.io first caught my notice with their banner in the dealer’s den at BLFC. Now Hunter, the CEO, joins me to chat about the service.

My impression of Commiss.io is a business aimed at the freelance art marketplace. It was started by furries but it’s for any and all users. Do I have that right? Who’s on the team?

Pretty much! Though most of us have at least some involvement in the fandom, Commiss.io was created for any and all creators. Not just anthro artists, but musicians, sculptors, and more! We’ve really seen a lot of adoption within fandoms, furry and otherwise, and we’re really happy to provide a great place for that!

Right now there are four of us that work on the project. Myself, Mark, Chris, and Nate. There are, of course, all of the great artists and commissioners on the site as well! Right now we all do a little bit of everything, from outreach, marketing, customer support, and coding.

Commiss.io is described as a “place to manage your creative shop” – helping with payments, project management, licensing, asset delivery, and more.  Is this improving on other services?

We saw a niche that needed filling. There are gallery sites, social networks, project management sites, and sites for very small freelance projects and very large ones. Together they all create a very disjointed experience, with little focus on projects in the range that many freelance fandom artists tend to focus on. As a result, creators end up with an uneven experience and the need to manage themselves across a number of platforms, without a central location to track their projects and ensure protection for sellers. When things are messy, it’s easy to get lost.

Our goal is to be a central hub, with the process fading into the background so creators can focus on creating, and clients can have a great experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Legends of Heraldale, by Brian McNatt – book review by Fredd Patten

by Patch O'Furr

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

Legends of Heraldale, by Brian McNatt
Chickasha, OK, The author, January 2017, trade paperback, $13.95 (243 pages), e-book $3.95.

Legends of Heraldale is very much a stereotypical Young Adult fantasy. Its appeal will be to those who want to see a world where all the most familiar animals of mythology – gryphons (griffins), unicorns, hippogryphs, dragons, cockatrices, wyverns, sphinxs, minotaurs, salamanders, and mermaids – live, including some that I have never heard of like a rockodile and zakarians. But there are many curious aspects to it.

A Prologue tells of the last battle of the First Expansion War between the unicorns and the gryphons:

“For a moment, night turned to day, illuminating the two clashing forces. Through the woods to the canyon’s west massed the unicorns of the Avalon Empire, hooves beating the earth and snow as they galloped among the trees. From their horns streaked bolts of red magic at the many-towered fortress across the canyon, blasting chunks of stone from the high walls and tearing through the gryphon defenders.

From the fortress walls and towers the gryphons rained down flocks of arrows and crossbow bolts in return, each weapon striking true.” (p. 1)

Gryphons are usually thought of as quadrupedal. I have a hard time envisioning them shooting bows & arrows, and firing crossbows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prepping for a Furry Convention – guest post by Rune.

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. Welcome Rune! – Patch

22405692_10210424871873189_9106378109974282878_n

This week I will be attending Texas Furry Fiesta 2018. This is my 3rd convention that I have been to, and while I wrote about going to the conventions, fursuiting, and things to do at a convention (etc), I never got around to talking about the ‘prepping’.

Going to a convention takes a lot of planning and preparation. It’s crazy how much time gets dedicated to planning what panels you want to attend, figuring out the stuff you need to bring, and how much money you will need to survive for 4 days. And because I have found myself in several situations that were not exactly ‘ideal’, I figured this is the best time to reflect on the things I have learned so that others might better prepare for their Furry Conventions.

22308639_10210414984066000_5388451798412539593_n

  • A Furry Convention is NOT a necessity! 

I hate that this is something that needs to be said, but it’s best to get it out of the way first. A Furry Convention is a fun break from our day-to-day lives where we can feel free to express ourselves. It’s full of hugs, fun, friends, and fur (literally everywhere), but it’s not a necessity. Things like food, a water bill, a car payment… all of those things come before a Furry Convention. So please be responsible! Do not let the ‘want’ of going to a Furry Convention hurt other areas of your life. We all need to be adults sometimes and that can mean missing out on something fun. But remember… there is another Furry Convention the next year (and maybe another local one later the same year). Save your money, budget, and go to one that you can comfortably afford later. You will have a lot more fun if you don’t have to worry about the consequences of bad spending the minute you get home!

  • Figure out where you are staying & reserve your rooms.

Hotel rooms where the convention is being held go FAST! They are usually sold out within the first week or sooner. So, once you find out about a convention, you need to start researching where you are going to stay. Start planning who you are going with, how many beds you would need… and if the con-hotel is too expensive, then browse hotels within the area. Remember to take into account the distance from the con hotel, the way in which you will get in-between the two, and possible parking costs. Reserve your rooms ASAP!

Remember that some hotels make you pay a small ‘holding’ cost upfront, and also that some hotels do not take out payment until AFTER your stay! So make sure you are budgeting your money accordingly so that you do not get over-drafted. If a friend has reserved the room, make sure that your name gets put somewhere on that room. This way you can not be kicked from the room and/or you avoid any issues if your friend failed to mention more people staying in the room than what is allowed. Telling the person behind the counter that you only have 2 people in your room and then having 2 other people sleeping on an air mattress is a legal issue and an overall safety risk/hazard! So please do not do it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The War for the Planet of the Apes Novels – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The War for the Planet of the Apes novels.

War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations, by Greg Keyes.
London, Titan Books, June 2017, paperback, $7.99 (336 pages), Kindle $7.99.

War for the Planet of the Apes: The Official Movie Novelization, by Greg Cox.
London, Titan Books, July 2017, paperback, 7.99 (318 pages), Kindle $7.99.

Both novels are “Based on the screenplay written by Mark Bomback & Matt Reeves; based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver”. Revelations is advertised as “The Official Movie Prequel”. They were marketed to be released one month before, and upon the release of the movie on July 14, 2017.

It may seem pointless to review two movie tie-in novels months after the movie has come and gone, but the lasting value of literature is whether the novel is still worth reading after its movie is gone. These two War for the Planet of the Apes novels hold up well.

War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations is a bridge between the 2014 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie and the 2017 War for the Planet of the Apes movie – or between their novelizations.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Official Movie Novelization, ended ten years after the Simian Flu has killed almost all humans. The Ape Village of intelligent chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and gorillas that had escaped from San Francisco, under the leadership of Caesar, the chimp, is starting to expand just as the few human survivors in San Francisco are also starting to expand. Their discovery of each other leads to a tense confrontation. Both Caesar and Dreyfus, the human leader, want peace, but they are sabotaged by Carver, a human hothead, and betrayed by Koba, Caesar’s chimp lieutenant who hates all humans. Dawn ends with Dreyfus dead and Caesar barely surviving his fight-to-the-almost-death with Koba, while the Apes are trying to establish a new village while facing a new group of human soldiers coming from a military base with advanced weapons.

Read the rest of this entry »

A deep dive into the Altfurry mission to “redpill” fandom with hate – Part 2

by Patch O'Furr

In their own words.

Part 1 gives background about how the Altfurry hate group works. Now here’s the screenshots.

The source is “Altfurry Mead Hall,” a Discord server that grew after the neo-nazi march at Charlottesville.  It documents months of chat from late 2017, specifically from their private channel for trusted staff. That filters out memes and filler and shows what they’re really about. The server is run by Casey Hoerth/”Len Gilbert”, AKA “The Furred Reich”. These chat logs add to a long mission of hate shown by previous leaks from his Altfurry Discord group.

Screenshots are duplicated in imgur galleries for another reading option. One user named Kilton had their ID blanked when this leaked.

Read the rest of this entry »