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NEWSDUMP: Four cons for Pacific Northwest, history and scandal in the fandom – (9/15/16)

by Patch O'Furr

Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.comHere’s headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  

FOUR cons for the US Pacific Northwest? (Tip – Fuzzwolf.)

apkjwqsxFurvana (2018). Anthro Northwest (November 9-12, 2017). Pacific Northwest Fur Con (Spring 2017). And a rebirth for Rainfurrest (under parent organization RAIN, who actively runs other events year-round.)  All of these are intended for one region.  Amazingly they seem cooperative, with none replacing another.

On Reddit’s r/furry, a con staffer explains more about all the activity.

In late 2015 Dogpatch Press looked at five regions for “One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.” It was about fan support, competition and cooperation, with questions about how to sustain more than one central event. But four is unprecedented ambition.

It could only come with 2016’s amazing Year of Furry.  From Zootopia’s billion-dollar success, to Fursonas (the first movie about furries with mainstream distribution), to the continued explosion of cons, there’s much more to come.

Furry party posters from the 1980’s. 

In the 1980’s, sci-fi cons gathered fans of funny-animal cartoons for room parties. Mark Merlino and Rod O’Riley have the Prancing Skiltaire furry house in So Cal that has posted some of their party flyer collection.  There was drama about the “furries” being weird, because that stuff isn’t for grown-ups is it?  So in 1989 they got their own con, ConFurence.  Look at how they multiplied like bunnies. Now it’s too late to stop them. Just don’t let anyone with a time machine go back and change the flyers to send them to Floor 13.

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NEWSDUMP: San Francisco Furry Worries – San Diego Chicken Retires (9/14/16)

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com.

In San Francisco, Frolic Furry Dance may lose historic venue… is The Stud saved yet?

Update for “Frolic ‘the original furry nightclub’ to lose historic venue – community responds.”  

lobo-stud3The SF Bay Area is getting so only the wealthiest can afford to live there. It’s one of the worst places for gentrification and rising costs forcing out culture. The pressure has hit The Stud, a historic gay bar and subcultural landmark that welcomes freaks and artists like no other place.

Frolic furry dance was established by their support. It has had wide influence, inspiring other furry dances to start all over the place.  (See the Frolic tag.)

Frolic took years to gain traction.  Now it regularly maxes out capacity and spills out to the street each month. It will be sad if it loses it’s home and has to find a new one.

There may be hope, but it’s complicated. The building is approved for management by a co-op of artists and community members (the first cooperatively managed LGBT club in the country.)

But do they have a business plan that can meet the steeply rising costs of running the place? They have applied for “historic business” status under new local legislation, but will it be enough?  Reports are unclear.

If things don’t come together within a short time, the plans may die.  The building could be knocked down and replaced by soulless condos. NBC News has a video about 3 local LGBT landmarks struggling with this problem, including The Stud.

Frolic founder Neonbunny posted to the Save Our Stud group:

“Furries have always been the outcasts among outcasts. There’s not alot of venues that accept different cultures, new traditions, and just general going against the norms to express yourself in new ways. Drag may have been like this decades ago, but now you have so many options on every night to dress up as a different gender.

But what if you like to dress up as a different species? Not a lot of options… But yet, The Stud has welcomed Frolic with open arms, shown that there can be a home for the outcasts, for those who don’t fit any traditional norms anywhere.

And for this, The Stud will always have a special place in our hearts. You accepted us, and in return we have embraced The Stud in return, you have become our family.”

frolic

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NEWSDUMP: Stolen Fursuit – Secret Furry Patrons – many media mentions (9/13/16)

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com.

Oreo Wolf’s stolen fursuit makes news in Nevada.

KTNV must have been happy to get 200 retweets. How often does that happen for a video clip about a mere $2600 theft, less than a garden variety car accident? Some things are more important than money. And that’s how the station got to share a little of what the furry community is about. Next time a news anchor thinks about laughing at our misfortune, this could help them to understand.


Fandom is big enough to have a few “Stolen Fursuit Alerts” a year. It’s one thing to retweet, but what works best is for locals to search on the street. That’s how Zarafa’s stolen fursuit was recovered in San Francisco. Here’s hoping for good luck for Oreo wolf.

The Secret Furry Patrons Keeping Indie Artists Afloat.

NYMag gives a thoughtful look at the devotion that makes furry fandom thrive. A community that has benefited others as much as received unfair negativity.

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Professional mascots and furries – Q&A with Uncle Kage and Kodi of Midwest Furfest.

by Patch O'Furr

The National Mascot Hall of Fame is coming in 2017.  This mainstream event might deserve furry attention. It’s a series here:

1) The beginning of mascots and fursuiting.
2) Fursuiting crossover with pro sports.
3) The National Mascot Hall of Fame.

Could a full time mascot-based tourist attraction include furries somehow?  Maybe they will indirectly benefit.  Imagine an exhibit dedicated to hobbyist costuming, and how it’s an institution in places like Pittsburgh.  If that happened, Uncle Kage would surely be one of the first asked to help connect furries and pro mascots. And it’s interesting that the NMHOF is close to Midwest Furfest (imagine an exhibit coordinated with the con.)

I contacted Kage and MFF about this. Here’s followup to the stories above.

From Raymond Entertainment Group

From Raymond Entertainment Group

Mascot Boot Camp is run by NMHOF founder Dave Raymond (the original “Philly Phanatic”).   It’s in Kutztown PA- 3 days for $399.  Fursuiters, check that out.  And you can hire it to come to you (wouldn’t it be amazing to have such a workshop hosted by a con? Although cost per person would be huge.)  Check Dave Raymond’s group of companies for a look at professional mascot building and more – Raymond Entertainment Group.

Furry sports fans on national TV – have you seen this going around as a popular meme? (Tip: Chakat Shorttail.)

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Frolic ‘the original furry nightclub’ to lose historic venue – community responds.

by Patch O'Furr

The future is as dim as the lighting at The Stud, one of San Francisco’s most loved dive/gay bars.  The property is being swept up in a wave of real estate speculation and gentrification that shows no sign of ebbing.  Some luminaries of local culture are just treading water, while many are sinking under. They just can’t afford to live in their own city any more.

One by one, the lights of San Francisco night life are going out.  Now the Stud is set to close.

On every second Saturday each month, furries flock there for Frolic dance party.  It’s the premiere event for their thriving local scene.  The venue loves furries as much as they love each other, so Frolic has been steadily supported since 2010. Their success bore a litter of furry club events across North America that look up to it for inspiration, from Foxtrot in Denver, to Suit-Up Saturday in Minneapolis.

Calling it “the Original” furry dance party may be debatable (credit may be due for a few rave-type events outside of North America) – but there’s no debating its influence.  It will be very sad if Frolic loses it’s home.

It’s a local story, but in spirit, it touches furries anywhere who love to dance and have their own paw-hold in the nightlife.  Having their own established club doesn’t happen easily for an isolated niche of maligned yet super loveable young people.  Frolic set the bar high for that.  It isn’t your average family-friendly daytime convention – its power comes after dark.  Talking animal-people look and feel better to dance with in the magical murk of a club from an alternate fantasy dimension.  Have a drink and hug one for an experience better than drugs. Or pick one up.  Say: “knock knock” – “who’s there”? – “knot me…” Read the rest of this entry »

Who runs furry fandom? Check this list of cons with formal corporate structures.

by Patch O'Furr

All hail Uncle Kage, Dark Lord and Master of Furry fandom… nah, he’s just one very visible and committed fan who wants to set an example for how to run a good con.  The real power is with many con leaders who form a shadowy, secret cabal whose name cannot be spoken.

JL Martello/ New Pittsburgh Courier

They’re watching me. (JL Martello/ New Pittsburgh Courier)

It’s called the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable.  And now I’m in biiiiig trouble.

I’m sharing a big list of cons below.  Compare it to the participants on the FCLR website – nearly all (with just a couple of exceptions) overlap with the formally incorporated portion of the list below.  It seems like incorporation is for cons that Have Their Shit Together.

Thanks to Fred Patten for assembling and researching the list.  He did it when I asked: is there one resource to show which cons have what structures, and when they started or ended?  It would be interesting to look at their growth over time and learn about defunct cons.  There’s a whole topic about what happens when it’s time to transfer or disband, and why. (With all the drama RainFurrest caused, everyone could learn something from it.)

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Suit Up Saturday – Minnesota’s Furry Club night gives a Q&A for the Furclub Survey.

by Patch O'Furr

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Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.It’s a New Thing that’s been spreading since the late 2000’s. This kind of dance party is independent from cons. This builds on the growth of cons, and takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than events that happen once, house parties, or informal meets. Those can stay inner-focused for friends who already know each other. This brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new supportive interest in the kind of events they host. It crosses a line to public space. A stranger may walk in off the street to discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood, and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

See the list of parties at The Furclub survey.  Any party that gives a Q&A will get a featured article. Featured here is a new event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s yet another one inspired by Frolic in San Francisco, the seed for many new ones across the USA. Organizer Rachel introduces the party:

Suit Up Saturday (2016)

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My name is Rachel, that’s my real name and furry name too. I’ve been a furry for about 15 years now, and I recently moved back to Minnesota from San Francisco, where I lived for 10 years and went to college. When in San Francisco I frequently went to FROLIC, which is run by some friends of mine, and I began to miss it.

While Minnesota has an amazing team running all the PG, all ages events (mnfurs.org, and DRAKE in particular)… There was nothing serving the adult, kink or 18+ community.  Up until that point, any kinky or adult events were held in private homes or we would loosely organize a bar event. Even so, events were sporadic and lightly attended, as there wasn’t even a good way for kinky furs to even connect with each other in this state.

At my current job I do club promotions and events occasionally, so I had a few contacts. I picked a bar that most reminded me of the STUD in San Francisco (where Frolic happens every month), a bar called the EagleBolt here in Minneapolis. I spoke with the owner and manager and they allowed us to throw a trial basis party on January 31st. If that went well, they would be willing to host us every 5th saturday, or more.

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Furry Network’s new content policy gets panties in a bunch.

by Patch O'Furr

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a flippant headline. I’m laughing with the subjects of the story. Some of the crinkly among us will consider panties and similar undergarments to be literally just something to wear. And who am I to judge? It’s not my place to “change” them.

This reminds me of an amusing topic at Reddit’s r/furry community. It asked, if furry fandom had a motto, what would it be? Winner- “Yes, I am into that”.

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There’s an endearingly permissive spectrum of Things Furries Are Into. At the far end is a topic that’s naturally going to be more uncomfortable than any other.  You see, quirky curiosities like Vore aren’t going to happen outside of fantasy and imagination.

voredThis one (let’s name names – “cub”, babyfur, littlefur, AB/DL, age play) is likely to be nothing but consenting role-play.  But people get squeamish.  We’ve all been vulnerable kids or responsible caretakers at some point.  I don’t like slippery-slope overreaction, but it makes an extreme test of the coexistence of two fundamentally different camps.

I call it the Big Umbrella from Disney to Dirty.  Day and Night furs. This shouldn’t have to be said but many furries want NOTHING to do with dirty stuff.  The divide of clean vs. adult is unresolvable with this hobby.  But you have to remember that your parents had sex AND raised kids.  Duality is part of life.  Handling it poorly is a problem with neurotic, puritanical America, where sex is scary and murder is entertainment. Torture-porn is box office gold but a TV nipple-slip is a scandal.

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Ursa Major Awards and a furry fandom game-changer – NEWSDUMP (5-24-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

UMAweb1_2aUrsa Major Awards announced.

WE’RE #2! Awooooo!!!  “Best Magazine” went to Heat from Sofawolf Press. Next year, maybe Dogpatch Press can get #1 with a shameless award campaign with sexy fursuit pin-up poses. (As fursuiter on staff, it’s not that I don’t have standards… I would enjoy it just as much as anyone who wants to see it.)

Congrats also to Furries Among Us, edited by Thurston Howl, a nice success for a new small publisher.  Then there’s the interesting topic of “Best Website” for FurAffinity.

FurAffinity hacked – furry problems reach wider community.

VICE: “Another Day, Another Hack: Furry Site Hacked, Content Deleted.”  Flayrah reported loss of six days of data and how the problem is being addressed.

Source code for the FurAffinity site was gained through a security hole.  The code ended up on flash drives distributed at Biggest Little Fur Con, even left around at random.  Shortly afterward, personal accounts were accessed.  Some people who used passwords in common with other accounts (Google etc.) reported attempts to access those. Password reset was done for all users, locking some users out of their accounts if they weren’t linked to current email addresses.

Dogpatch Press got tips, although the info was already on this gossip forum.  There was also an informative link to a timeline of FurAffinity’s problems maintained by Eevee.

There’s a long pattern of problems.  But then it couldn’t have been easy to build a large fan-based site with a very shaky business model.  In my opinion, it shows outside stigma as much as inside mistakes, and a positive testament to fan commitment.

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After #tonytigergate, companies go Pro Furry and the Daily Show gets involved.

by Patch O'Furr

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The Year of Furry keeps bringing unexpected surprises.  Shortly before 2016’s furry fever explodes with Zootopia, here’s the satirical scandal of #tonytigergate.

Get ready to hack up a hairball about this, if you want furry fandom to get taken seriously without a speck of sexy humor about make-believe mascots.  (Or if you’re prudish and think cartoon kink is worse than ISIS.)  Stuff like this must have Disney’s defensive shields on maximum.

It started with furry flirting at Tony the Tiger’s Twitter account.  In November 2015, news media noticed that he was a long time Furry crush.  The buff, yiffable mascot for Frosted Flakes couldn’t tweet without pleas for his sweet tigermanmilk.  I shared all the news stories I could find about it:

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