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Category: Business

Explore “The Depths” adult furry webcomic – interview with the creators.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet webcomic writer Leilani. She’s interested in discussing furry webcomics, experience working with them, and how furry artists can be more successful with them. We chatted together with artists ABlueDeer and Kino Jaggernov about their project.

What is “The Depths”?

The Depths is an adults-only webcomic featuring anthropomorphic creatures in a historical alternate-Earth setting from the 1920s through the 1930s. The narrator is Leilani Perierre, a beautiful, brave, and savage sea otter. The webcomic focuses not only on Leilani’s origins growing up on a remote paradisaical island, but also her tales of romance, mystery, and epic adventure – above and below the deep blue sea. “The Depths” doesn’t just relate to the sea, it also relates to the soul. The cast includes Leilani, daughter of a tribal chieftain in the South Pacific, David (Leilani’s main love interest), Malana (Leilani’s foil), Kalea (Leilani’s BFF), Jamie (antagonist and foil to David), and Thierry as a French detective whose story is mostly unknown.

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A look at furry business with a $17,017 record fursuit auction price, July 2018

by Patch O'Furr

(There are many reasons to give this thoughtful discussion and avoid knee-jerk reaction about cost – it will happen, but please read on! – Patch)

MixedCandy gets fandom’s current highest auction price at The Dealer’s Den.

Congrats to MixedCandy for their successful auction. One of the fandom’s highest-powered creative stars has also raised attention for The Dealer’s Den, an online marketplace for this special niche.

This new record price was set 6 months after the previous one: $13,500 for a commission slot by Made Fur You, sold on The Dealer’s Den with 82 bids on 1/29/18. It was preceded by a record that stood for 3 years: $11,575 for Sniper Angeldragon by PhoenixWolf, sold on Furbuy with 187 bids on 2/14/15.

A few years ago, The Dealer’s Den looked like more or less a ghost town when I looked at its activity. Change of ownership to Vitai Slade brought healthy growth. It now roughly compares to the much longer established Furbuy, offering more options to the fandom. Both are free to use. At time of posting, both have around 350-500 active auctions and 1800 Twitter followers. The Dealer’s Den also has a Telegram group of 3,000 users advertising their goods, while Furbuy is doing in-person promotion with con panels and flyering. I’ve personally had good experiences with both.

A look at this auction and why it matters.

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Furry Socialism: You’re Soaking in It! – by Tempe O’Kun and Dralen Dragonfox

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks Tempe and Dralen for this guest post, a good followup to my “heart of the furry economy“. – Patch

The furry fandom is big and complex. We each have our own groups of friends, and our little sub-fandoms centered around specific shows and interests. It’s easy to not see the fursuit for the fluff.

Once it a while, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at it as a whole.

Furry is incredibly socialist.

This seems like a weird statement on its face. How can a community of people who like cartoon animal media be socialist? Well, we make, buy, and sell things.

“But wait!” you might say. “That’s using money! Furry must be capitalism!”

Socialism doesn’t mean abolishing money, like they do on Star Trek. It just means the economy has to benefit regular people, instead of companies and a handful of the ultra-rich. In fact, since the Furry fandom literally invents itself without some overarching canon coming from any one movie, TV, animation, or comics studio, no one person can ever control who gets paid for their unique creations. This power resides in the creators themselves and the furries who support them. Furry is open source.

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ArtworkTee issues and the heart of the furry economy

by Patch O'Furr

There was a lot of recent drama about Artworktee, an indie operation catering to furries. This video covers how it started, but there’s a lot more to say.

I had mixed feelings on watching it unfold on social media. “But Patch, isn’t reporting not supposed to have feelings?” I’m a fan like any other, and “objective fan” is an oxymoron.  I couldn’t pretend not to be one, or miss the point of having an independent subculture by fans, for fans that’s best written about from inside. For this story, I dug deeper into some of the issues involved:

  • Complaints about underpaid artists.
  • Questionable practices for the business of art.
  • The mission and allegiance involved in profiting from fandom.
  • The stakes of overlooking problems and calling it “just business”, vs. how formal business can solve problems too.

Let me try to bring understanding from several perspectives, including the travails of small-business, and the devotion of grassroots fans. This is a great case for that stuff, because it’s not every day that a business comes from this niche fandom that kind of resembles mainstream startup companies. Until now, the most successful commercial enterprise like that is probably Bad Dragon.

Pro-fans and profiteering

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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.

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Zoion, a magazine to promote furry art, is launching on Kickstarter.

by Patch O'Furr

Postcards handed out at Furry Weekend Atlanta

On Kickstarter: an Anthropomorphic Art Magazine is being launched by Zoion Media and its creator Pulsar. (It ends on April 29, so don’t wait to support.)

Our goal is to create a contemporary, well designed, image-driven magazine focusing on clean, evocative, highly artistic, well developed and well executed anthropomorphic art and themes. We want to make something the average furry is proud to show their non-furry friends to give them an idea of what furry art is all about.

Pulsar talked about inspiration for a print magazine to promote furry fandom creators and artists:

“I’ve always been an artist and I read a lot on contemporary fine art. I remember standing in the bookstore browsing Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose and thinking, ‘there needs to be something just like this for furry art’.”

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A furry look at an abuse story about John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy.

by Patch O'Furr

The animation business joins the  movement, a campaign for awareness of sexual harassment that started with powerful people in Hollywood.

John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren & Stimpy show that gained a cult and influenced many 1990’s TV cartoons, is subject of a report about grooming and sexual abuse of young girls. They were taken under his wing as aspiring artists.

These aren’t just allegations; when he was around 40 he had an underage girlfriend, as mentioned in a book about him, and his attorney admits it was true.

Ren & Stimpy played at the Spike & Mike Animation fest in the 1990’s. I remember getting my mind blown when the fest toured to my town. It inspired me to do indie stuff (like this news site.) There’s more of a furry connection than just fandom, though.

There’s a general industry connection. Since the #metoo campaign came out in October 2017, I’ve been holding on to an animation story by request due to sensitivity about the climate (nothing more than that). Pro talk on a furry site can be a bit tricky because of general stigma.

There’s a personal story too. I didn’t expect this in 2018, because I hadn’t thought about John K. in a while – but I’m not surprised. In the early 2000’s, I saw blog commenters joke about him being a Svengali to pretty young girl artists (I had no idea about the underage part). 15 years ago, give or take, I went to a party at his house in Ontario and saw something myself there.

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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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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.

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