Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Month: May, 2018

Eagle Furdance swoops in with a dance party for Swiss fandom – with bowling!

by Patch O'Furr

Furclub: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth, but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Eagle Furdance in Switzerland, introduced by organizer Avalon Bluejay. Their 4th party happened on April 28, 2018.

Who is involved? 

Read the rest of this entry »

The Wonderling, by Mira Bartók – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The Wonderling, by Mira Bartók. Map, illustrations by the author.
Summerville, MA, Candlewick Press, September 2017, hardcover, $21.99 ([vii +] 450 pages), Kindle $9.46.

The Wonderling is a Young Adult fantasy recommended for grades 5 to 9; ages 10 to 14. It has “already been put into development for a major motion picture,” according to the blurb.

It has been compared to the novels by Charles Dickens about wretched orphans in Victorian England. Think of A Christmas Carol or Oliver Twist, with furries – or at least strange beasts.

“He looked like a young fox but stood upright like a child and had no tail to speak of. His eyes were a lovely chestnut brown and flecked with gold. But there was something about them that gave one the sense that, although he had not been in this world very long, he carried within him some inexplicable sorrow.

He was a creature with an innocent heart. What kind of creature, though, who could say? Despite his fox kit face, his snout was more dog than fox, and there was something rabbity about him too, in the way his nose twitched when he sensed danger, and how he trembled when he heard the loud clang of the orphanage bell. But the most singular thing about him was that he had only one ear.

[…]

But Number Thirteen – one-eared, nameless, and small of stature, for he never grew taller than three feet high – could not remember where he came from.” (pgs. 4-5)

Number Thirteen has been raised from infancy in Miss Carbuncle’s large Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, just outside the large “Great White City of Lumentown”. He is about 11 years old.

“On the front of the Home’s brochure was a happy-go-lucky creature with the head of a rabbit and the body of a little girl, wearing a polka-dot dress and bow, clutching a bouquet of daisies. Beneath the picture, the caption read: Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!” (pgs. 6-7)

Read the rest of this entry »

Vincent and the Dissidents, by Christopher Locke – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Vincent and the Dissidents, by Christopher Locke.
Los Angeles, CA, Fathoming Press, April 2018, trade paperback, $14.95 ([x +] 335 pages), Kindle $3.99.

This is The Enlightenment Adventures, Book Two. When I reviewed Book One, published in February 2015, I said: “And this is only Book One of The Enlightenment Adventures. Those who read it through to the end will not be able to resist going on to Book Two.” Now, after a three-year wait, here it is.

In Book One, Persimmon Takes On Humanity, the raccoon Persimmon leads a tiny group of North American forest animals in an apparently hopeless drama of taking on all humanity to destroy its enterprises that exploit animals: commercial meat farms, fur farms, puppy mills, and especially circuses with performing animals. Persimmon starts out as an indignant but naïve protester against all human callous exploitation of animals for profit or amusement. By the end of the novel, she is a grim militant.

“She looks directly at the Rottweilers with a stern expression. ‘Listen to me very carefully. I want to help you, but there are two of you and thousands of minks, and they’re suffering immensely. I’ve heard horrible things about what they’re forced to endure. Right now some of them have open wounds. Some don’t have any water. And some are going slowly insane because they’re trapped in stifling, barren cages. It’s unbelievably cruel, and we’re here to put a stop to it. You’re either with us or against us.’” (Persimmon Takes On Humanity, p. 146)

Vincent and the Dissidents begins with a ten-page Cast of Characters and Synopsis of Book One, so the reader can drop running into the action. The Cast of Characters says about Vincent:

“VINCENT – A cunning mink whose fur is mostly black with a hint of blue. He lived a hellish life on a fur farm before he finally escaped. He then vowed to himself that he would rescue the minks who were still trapped on the farm. A few months later, he was lucky enough to meet Persimmon and her team. They joined forces and successfully rescued most of the minks. Little did Persimmon know that after she and her team had moved on to their next mission, Vincent began gathering his own army of animals who would rescue other animals using more aggressive tactics against humans than her own.” (p. [iv])

It’s more complex than that. Persimmon originally grandiosely dubs her animal group The Uncaged Alliance. In Book One, she constantly argues with Rawly, another raccoon, as to what tactics they should use and what their next mission should be. They end up splitting, with Rawly leading the remnant of The Uncaged Alliance (including Persimmon’s younger brother Scraps), and Persimmon starting afresh with a new title, The Enlighteners. Vincent has been organizing his own group, the Dissidents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Etienne Willem: Artbook Collection. Illustrated – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Etienne Willem: Artbook Collection. Illustrated.
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, July 2017, hardcover, €20,00 (unpaged [94 pages]).

“Etienne Willem is a recognized cartoon author. Author of the semi-realistic crime series Vieille Bruyère and Bas de Soie, from L’épée d’Ardenois, starring animal characters in a medieval context, he is currently directing Les ailes du singe, taking the reader to a new dizzying air universe. A multi-talented author who will still amaze you in this completely new book.” (blurb, machine-translated & corrected)

Dogpatch Press reviewed volumes 3 and 4 of Willem’s 4-volume funny-animal The Sword of Ardenois, set in Medieval Europe, and the first two volumes of his funny-animal The Wings of the Monkey, set in Depression-era New York and Hollywood. (His Old Heather and Silk Stocking, a semi-serious 1920s-‘30s British detective series, isn’t anthropomorphic.)

Now here is a collection of Willem’s work, from rough sketches to model sheets, to parodies of popular dramatic comic-book artists like Frank Frazetta, and one-off drawings like a poster for a comic-book festival in Bastogne, and a beer label for the 2013 Comicsmania Festival in Belfaux-Corminboeuf, Switzerland. (No, I never heard of it, either.) Only about half of these are funny-animal, but his non-animal parodies like a team-up of Doctor Who (“the eleventh Doctor – the best”) and Harley Quinn may be appreciated by some of us, too.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Worst Anthropomorphic Movie of the Decade, Revisited – By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Not quite three years ago, I proposed a poll to pick the worst anthropomorphic movie of the 2011 to 2020 decade. I named five movies to get started.

Check out the Original Worst Movies Post from Food Fight to The Last Flight of the Champion

There are still a couple of years to go, but it seems worth re-posting this now; both as a reminder, and because Hollywood seems to have actually sorta-remade one of these.

Compare Pups United, about soccer mascots protecting a priceless soccer trophy:

Read the rest of this entry »

SonicFox, world record Esports champion: fursuit “a peak thing in life for me”

by Patch O'Furr

It’s not every day that a POC furry pro gamer with 4 Guinness World Records wins a tournament in a fursuit. When I talked to a friend about interviewing SonicFox, I heard he was cool and didn’t have a big head about it. It was true, but the question lots of people are asking is how does he do it in a fursuit head? The best thing I do in mine is fit a beer through the muzzle. And SonicFox isn’t even quite drinking age while earning more than enough to pay for college.

Pro gaming is getting huge, and it has a juggernaut representing furries – but to SonicFox, it seems like the representing and hugeness is no big deal compared to the furry part. It’s like whether he was a rock star or just a guy next door with a cool hobby to share, he’d give it the same attitude. It’s about being friendly and as sincere as you can be in being who you want to be, especially if that’s a cute blue fox. He should win all the hugs.

Thanks to SonicFox for being so prompt and enthusiastic about an interview from a tiny furry blog – it was fast and good like his gaming. (And thanks for question suggestions from Chip, Summer, Matthias, Tempe, Codex and Tex.) Here’s some further reference, then the interview.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Cure for Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube.

by Patch O'Furr

Editorial with Sam Hyena in collaboration with Patch.

Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube

Over the last 2 years with the demise of Vine, many Furries have started to migrate over to YouTube. Many have amassed groups of followers, hold regular livestreams on Twitch, or have Patreons. And some have used this platform as a guise to get away with borderline toxic or outright hateful behavior.

The platform makes every click content-neutral. Getting attention for any reason gets advantage over quality, so being edgy plays to the lowest-common-denominator. Lines get persistently pushed, and suddenly things that aren’t debatable at all get some asshole demanding a debate. Is the earth round, is evolution real, should racist altfurries get kicked to the curb after swatting Califur? Yes, yes, and yes, if we’re all telling the truth.  But unending conflict between “sides” is a substitute for good stories, real jokes or having anything sincere to say. It brings the clicks that raise clout for edgy people.

While the line-pushers thrive on conflict, faux-“centrists” tag along and enable them, trying to play all the sides and turning definitions to mush. They do posing about freedom, but really have no side except mercenary selfishness. It’s a cooked-up conflict between people who act in good faith vs. people with none.

In this barrel-scraping free-for-all, there’s many examples of people doing it and it goes way beyond just furries. Let’s name names.

In 2017, JonTron did a livestream with right-wing commentator SargonOfAkkad in support of Donald Trump, which continued on social media and this video, where he promotes reactionary “white identitarianism” while denying that’s what it is. (They love disguising it as “both sides” centrism to cook up a “debate” that spreads the racist side no matter who “wins”.) The first step is calling white a race, for false equivalence between an arbitrary label and specific conditions – like being redlined or arrested for sitting in a Starbucks while black. It’s as disingenuous as saying that incident wasn’t racist because they served black coffee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, December 2017, trade paperback, $19.95 (293 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Camouflage is a spinoff of Kyell Gold’s popular five Dev and Lee novels. It features tiger footballer Devlin Miski’s cousin Danilo in a very different plot. That puts Camouflage into Gold’s Forrester University world.

Danilo is an adolescent English 19-year-old white tiger, currently studying at the Student Center of the Université Catholique in Tigue, Gallia, on the Saône River.

“Tigue, like many Gallic cities, contained many identities within her borders. The main campus of the Université Catholique lay on the edge of one of the newer parts of the city, a small suburb that had been built up twenty years ago, stretching sleek glass and elegant steel skyward. Old photos of the Université’s stately limestone buildings from before the expansion showed their red clay roofs over grey-white arches amidst of modest forests and fields. In the Presqu’Ile campus in the heart of old Tigue, ancient limestone and red clay dominated, broken up by cold grey churches, and through them, modern cars honked along the rain-slick street, though down on the riverbank, the babble of the crowd faded next to the light hiss of rain into the river.” (p. 13)

“Currently” is the year 2008, when Dev has just had his press conference in the States announcing that he’s homosexual. Danilo is much more private and withdrawn, and he’s not interested in sports. He hasn’t announced his homosexuality yet, although he does have a gay lover; Taye, a mouse Romany fellow student. (Actually he’s bisexual, but he doesn’t realize that yet.) Readers of Out of Position, the first Dev and Lee novel, will know that Dev was forced to “come out of the closet”. Danilo resents the notoriety-by-association that makes it harder to conceal his own sexual orientation.

“Gah, this was going to drive Danilo crazy. All because some cousin he’d only met a couple times decided to make his sexual preference public. Who did that, anyway? There was a question he could ask: why would you do that, declare that you’re gay in a big spectacle for everyone to see? Nobody needed to know. Maybe when you were a big football star, you lost sight of the fact that not everyone cares about your private life. Maybe you didn’t stop to think about the other people who would be affected by your actions, like your cousin across the ocean who had used you as a shield because he couldn’t play footer, and nobody in this country wanted to play cricket.” (pgs. 14-15)

Danilo’s sister Lena is thrilled by the news (“He’s the first professional athlete to come out. He’s a homosexual. Isn’t it wonderful?”), and is determined to tell everybody, which makes him feel even more exposed. He tries to get away from his classmates by retreating to a private spot he’s found, underneath an old stone bridge across the Saône.

And then suddenly, impossibly, he’s transported back in time to 1508 A.D.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song, “Naughty Bits”, that playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks, but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Backbone – a pixel art detective adventure game.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Here’s the Kickstarter for Backbone. I’ll save you reading the article. Go check it out. I am more than impressed; I am excited.

Still here? Okay fine, I’ll elaborate.

Backbone, by indie developer Eggnut, is a “pixel art cinematic adventure with stealth and action elements” set in a dystopian retro-future Vancouver, filled with the sounds of Jazz, the scents of Anthropomorphic Animals, and murder.

Read the rest of this entry »