Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: March, 2018

Fursuit History 2: Skin Parts

by Arrkay

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

It’s #FursuitFriday which means twitter floods with pictures of our fluffy creations. It’s also the time for us at Culturally F’d and Dogpatch to look back at some Fursuit History. Make sure to catch up on Part 1: Masks and start your own exploration of animal costume performance with Culturally F’d.

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“At Home With The Furries” book almost at publishing goal, needs a boost in the last few days!

by Patch O'Furr

Tom Broadbent has been staging creative fursuit photography for many years. I covered him in: Five pro photographers advancing the art of furry documentary. For each I named a signature approach, and to me, Tom excels at “whimsy”. His carefully chosen fantasy scenes show a depth of intrigue and storytelling beyond conventional scenes. Tom takes great care with relationships with his subjects. I think he’s the ideal photographer that furries could ask for.

That’s why I’m rushing out a post on short notice to urge support for his project. Tom has a dream to showcase furry subjects in a photo book, a beautiful archival object. It’s a few days from the Kickstarter deadline, and of course the funding is all or nothing.

There are 124 backers at 70% of the goal – can it get all the way to 100%?

We’ll know on April 4. I usually avoid covering crowdfunding – so this is an unusual request.

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The closing of Pounced.org is a wake up call for fandom attitudes about sex.

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s article covered the closing of Pounced, a long-lived furry dating and personals site, out of fear of legal liability under a controversial new law, FOSTA. A statement on Pounced discussed ill-defined wording that made the law overkill; and how the smallest organizations may face the worst liability. It particularly could require administration that sounds easy on paper, but makes an untenable burden in practice.

FOSTA is meant to protect assumed victims of sex trafficking, but falsely makes “victims” and “sex work” the same thing. My article suggested that nobody wants trafficking abuse, but sex work isn’t illegal everywhere, it exists everywhere and can be called a healthy consenting adult issue. Beyond that is anti-free-speech, anti-business, and intrusive paternalism of a law that has collateral damage on stuff like harmless dating. Here’s some editorial elaboration.

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Pounced.org shuts down – international fans affected by American politics.

by Patch O'Furr

The site was key to starting a convention in Sweden.

Pounced.org, launched in March 2003, was a free, location-based service to help furries meet other furries. This long-time staple of fandom served them anywhere they exist. According to Wikifur, over 71,000 users and 13,000 personal ads were listed in 2016.

Ethan Staghorn, a Swedish furry, told me:

Ethan Staghorn

Pounced was key in making @NordicFuzzCon happen, and in growing the local fandom. Through Pounced, I found my very first local fandom friend, @MrJoelFox. A few years later, we decided to advertise a local furmeet since we wanted to make more local friends. About eight people showed up, among them  and @traxswe, who both were attending their first furmeet. They started talking (and spoke to me) about doing a convention, which became the first NordicFuzzCon a little over a year later. They were the first two chairmen. NFC really did wonders for the local community, too. But I doubt any of this would have happened if I hadn’t seen Joel advertise on Pounced. He’s the only person I ever contacted through the site. I don’t really get personal ads, but his ad was calling out to me “this person is in your town and must be studying the same thing as you; you have to contact them!”  knows the exact dates of many of these occurrences, since he recently did some digging for a wonderful panel he hosted at NordicFuzzCon about the history of NFC.

The site feared legal liability under a controversial new law – Fandom can’t just say no to politics. 

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Australia’s Lucky Dog Fursuits slurps up a job for Schmackos pet treats.

by Patch O'Furr

“Dogs go wacko for Schmackos!” If you grew up in Australia, you might have this TV ad series stuck in your brain. A big reason is the hand-made, stop-motion animation (think Wallace and Gromit, from before everything went CG). These ads have quirky, nostalgic appeal for a long-standing branding win.

North Americans might have no idea this exists. That’s why I’m happy to share it as Furry News, with a bit of animation-nerd interest. Yes, the fandom has become part of pop culture down under. The official mascot for Schmackos pet treats is now crafted by Furry paws.

Schmackos has been made since 1989 by Mars Petcare. That’s the Australian subsidiary of Mars Inc. (a global brand worth over $30 billion and famous for Snickers and M&M’s). In late 2017, they approached Lucky Dog Fursuits to commission a suit for their mascot.

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Discord bans Altfurry hate speech – see what they’re hiding with a leaked organizer phone call.

by Patch O'Furr

(Content warning: antisemitic hate)

Altfurry and the Furry Raiders are toxic trolls on the fringes of fandom. These tiny groups claim to be furries, but they align with alt-right hate groups in the larger culture. Their harassment of a subculture comes disguised with bad-faith claims to support “freedom” and oppose “SJW’s.” Here’s a look behind the false front and a reminder that their hate is like oil and water to this community.

Racist hostility can’t coexist with a group full of queer nerds that’s based on tolerance and creativity. This makes altfurries uncomfortable about their alt-right associations, especially when they try to recruit – making them do two-faced, propagandistic denials that they’re “diverse” and not actually hateful. The denials are contradicted by how they look, talk, and act.

The denials are also contradicted by ban after ban for abuse on the platforms that they use for organizing. From early 2017 to February 2018, altfurries relied on Discord servers that hid behind layers of secrecy. Then on February 28, Discord kicked them out along with numerous other alt-right servers. I’ve been in contact with company reps about their investigation. What they found was as extreme as groups being responsible for murders – but Altfurry and the Furry Raiders weren’t let off the hook for the coordinated bans. They were all violating terms of service against hate.

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Call for artists – be paid and become Dogpatch Press’ Featured Artist

by Patch O'Furr

Imagine if every Google search was measured in sweat. In the 90’s, dead-tree newspapers were the place for movie listings, job ads and more. Delivering them was my first job. The Sunday paper was the size of a log, and it hurt to climb hills on a bike with a sack full of them in the middle of a blizzard or blazing heat. Relaxing afterwards with the comics was a treat, and there used to be a lot of good strips. Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite.

Furry has had zines, newsletters, comic books, strips, and webcomics. But I’m not aware of any fandom news publication with a regular comics or art feature adding to commentary. Dogpatch Press Patreon subscriptions are almost at the goal for that. It asks why furries don’t use the political cartoon format – (Wikifur says it had “some of the earliest anthropomorphic or funny animal art.”) Maybe they need a news source to host it? Doesn’t it seem like a worthy match?

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The Furry Library Archive Presents: Rabbit Valley’s February Lootbox

by Summercat

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Rabbit Valley is the oldest fandom publisher and one of the “Big Three” (with Furplanet and Sofawolf.) It’s been covered here in Furry Publishers – A Resource for Artists and Authors, and: The State of Furry Publishing – Fred Patten gives the inside story of eight groups.

The folk at Rabbit Valley also distribute books and comics by others. A fun way to try some is a “Buy It By The Box” deal: a pre-packaged box of merchandise pulled from back stock for just $25 (plus shipping). I’ve found it contains comics, books, dvds, cds, and one time even a shirt, a combined value of more than $25 when they packed the box.

Once again, I’m sharing what I’ve found in the The Box.  It’s about the only form of gambling I let myself enjoy, and as Rabbit Valley has been in the Furry mail-order business since 1987, they’ve got quite an interested selection of things in here! So what does the box look like?

In the background you can see I shop at Costco

Now admittedly, Rabbit Valley does open up the box and consolidate the contents with the rest of your order. So they see what’s in the box when they ship it to you, but it also saves on shipping and the number of suspicious packages being left on your doorstep by a rabbit when it’s not even Easter.

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Ursa Major Awards get matching donations from Anthrocon, help wanted from other cons.

by Patch O'Furr

For 15 years, the Ursa Major Awards lacked resources. Costs came from organizer pockets.  This year they tried a GoFundMe, and it’s getting close to the goal!

Here’s some good news courtesy of Fred Patten.

At a recent Anthrocon Board of Directors meeting, it was approved for Anthrocon to match up to $350 in donations received in the UMA’s GoFundMe campaign to cover trophy manufacturing and costs.

The donation is viewed as a way to support writers. Many publishers release new works at Anthrocon, and the con has a substantial writing track which doesn’t cost much to run. Anthrocon spends a lot to support fursuiters (they can get special souvenir tags, for example), but the writing track has never asked for more.

During the discussion, it was noticed that the ALAA hasn’t gotten other cons to donate yet. It was suggested the ALAA use this opportunity to ask other cons to match a portion of GoFundMe donations too.

There was discussion of making Anthrocon’s donation regular annually – if other cons donate regularly Anthrocon is likely to join in, probably matching their amounts. Now is the time to step up and help.

AnthrOhio has agreed to host the 2019 UMA presentations, and Biggest Little Fur Con the 2020 presentations.

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

The truth behind a famous, misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo.

by Summercat

[Note from Patch:] Thanks to Summercat for this guest post. It’s a follow up to: Ever hear that Altfurries are just trolls? A real Nazi leader is taking them seriously. More than a few commenters had a mistaken impression that Dogpatch Press was original poster for a photo of “nazi furries”. We weren’t. That was a screencap, and it wasn’t posted to endorse the contents. An automatic feed to Twitter made it the cover image there. 

Summercat continues:

We’re creatures of the internet. We all know that images and photos can be ripped from their context and spread around with new interpretations that show them in a different light than intended. Context matters, even for items that appear to be clear cut.

A prior article I wrote about Altfurs includes a photo shared by Neo-nazi Andrew Anglin. It shows three fursuiters posing happily in front of a Nazi flag.

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