Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Art

Call for artists – be paid and featured as Dogpatch Press Artist of the Month.

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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The Zaush Issue – leaked private messages make a public discussion.

by Patch O'Furr

(CONTENT WARNING – discussion of sex and abuse.)

Zaush is one of the bigger stars of furry fandom. He’s one of the top most followed artists, who cranks out copious amounts of porn. It’s drawn to a pro level and earns him a full time income on Patreon, with high demand from an audience of furverts who couldn’t find it at a friendly neighborhood porn shop. It’s a perfect niche if that’s what you’re into. Or maybe it’s a dark corner Zaush has painted himself into – judging by concerning practices that have come to light.

I’m not that familiar with his stuff. Personally, I’ve avoided it because that kind of porn turns me off. That’s not because of being judgemental to fetish. In my critical opinion, it’s more like cute cartoon animals doing sticky gang bangs could use all the cute and not so much sticky. And I wish established Disney characters weren’t getting bent out-of-character. But my main dislike is for the stories and power dynamic in them. I love furry art for showing more warmth and feeling than live human actors; but this art gives me bad feelings. The stories seem to reward bullies taking sex from prey like taking candy from a baby.

This brings up common jokes about his characters getting younger and younger over time.

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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.

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Jack Wolfgang T.1, l’Entrée du Loup, by Stephen Desberg and Henri Reculé – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Jack Wolfgang. T.1, l’Entrée du Loup, by Stephen Desberg (story) and Henri Reculé.
Brussels, Les Éditions du Lombard, June 2017, hardcover €13,99 (62 [+ 2] pages), Kindle €9,99.

Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.

The Jack Wolfgang series looks like it’s designed for the Blacksad market. The main differences are that John Blacksad is a private investigator, and his cases are crime noir with excellently drawn anthropomorphic animals. Jack Wolfgang is a C.I.A. secret agent, and his adventures are, well, too light and too exaggerated for the James Bond market. Say they’re Kingsman clones, with a mixture of funny animal and human secret agents saving the world from megalomaniac funny animal and human villains.

The introduction states that the four Brementown Musicians in the late Middle Ages were the first animals to be recognized as having human intelligence. “They were the first animals to receive a charter from the local authorities guaranteeing their autonomy and freedom among humans.” (my translation)

 

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Furry artists among top highest-paid Patreon creators, but face threats to their livelihood.

by Patch O'Furr

This article went out in January 2017 titled “Yiffing for Dollars”. Here’s a re-edited update a year later, to coincide with a bump in notice and a concerning situation. 

Furries have built their own small industry on creativity worth millions. Their membership is rising and it’s likely to see the “furry economy” grow with it. You can see what’s up by watching the small slice who are devoted enough to make a living in the fandom – Profans.

Adult art can have an edge in dollars because it has more of a niche quality. Clean art is perfectly valid, but perhaps the mainstream is where it succeeds most – making an apples/oranges comparison. This look at indie art business will focus on the naughty stuff, but doesn’t exclude other kinds, and it applies outside of fandom too.

Check the list of top creators on Patreon and play Find The Furries!  

When first looked at in January 2017, fandom member Fek was earning $24,000 per month for making furry porn games. (Quote: “Ditch the dayjob and live the dream.”)  He had the stat of #2 best-paid per-patron on all of Patreon.  (See his art on Furaffinity.) Others were in or near the furry ballpark (dogpark?) Most of the NSFW entries in the top 50 had furry content. #12 was the Trials in Tainted Space NSFW game, earning $27,000 per month. #30 was the kinda-anthropomorphic-NSFW artist Monstergirlisland, earning $20,000 monthly.

I haven’t checked these numbers since early 2017, and I think the list changed from “amount of money” to “number of patrons” which knocks furries down the list, but… Artists are getting rich from this, no joke.

Older news:

  • Cracked – We Draw Furry Porn: 6 Things We’ve Learned On The Job. “Every artist agreed it would have been impossible to make a living doing this as recently as 10 years ago. But today they constantly have multiple projects going and portfolios with hundreds of completed works, and they find themselves in ever-increasing demand.”

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Scurry: The Doomed Colony, by Mac Smith – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Scurry: [Book 1] The Doomed Colony, by Mac Smith. Illustrated.
Vancouver, WA, Easy Prey Entertainment, November 2017, hardcover $30.00 (unpaged [104 pages]), softcover $20.00, Kindle $11.99.

This is the first collection of one of the best, largest (13.7” x 8.3”), and most beautiful anthropomorphic-animal comic strips on the Internet. Mac Smith, a graphic designer in Portland, Oregon, began Scurry: A Post-Apocalyptic Mouse Tale on January 17, 2016, and has been posting about two pages a week. The Doomed Colony contains Part I, Lingering Light, Part II, Beasts of Winter, and Part III, Grim Shadows. These add up to 84 pages, and an Afterword, an extensive Cast of Characters, and samples of Smith’s working process bring The Doomed Colony up to 104 pages.

Smith ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,000 to publish this book. He got $101,230 from 2,129 backers in a month. Smith says in his Afterword that he has not read any of the anthro-animal books that readers have been recommending to him. His influences are 1980s movies like The Secret of NIMH, The Dark Crystal, and The Neverending Story.

Scurry is set in a “post-apocalyptic” world in which the humans are dead or gone but their cities are undamaged. There has been no explanation yet of what happened to the humans (despite the book’s cover, no bodies or skeletons are around), or whether what happened is responsible for the animals’ intelligence (although probably this is just a talking-animal fantasy). The mice in the colony wonder whether the humans could return, or whether there are still some left elsewhere. The setting could be Smith’s Pacific Northwest; the fauna and flora fit it. The rusted and decayed look of the buildings and vehicles, and the overgrown lawns implies that humanity disappeared about a year earlier. Food in the houses has run out. Pets like cats have turned feral and hunt the mice for food.

The Doomed Colony is that of the mice in a house in an unnamed suburban neighborhood. They have eaten all of the food that they can find in their own and other nearby homes. The local ex-pet cats are growing increasingly dangerous. Feral wildlife is moving in; some like beavers and moose are harmless, but others like hawks, wolves, snakes, and owls eat mice. The colony is divided between those who want to stay put and explore farther for food, and those who want to move the whole colony into a nearby city where there may be more food and shelter from wild animals.

Politics makes the debate more convoluted. The mice have been ruled well by an Elder Council, but the Council is literally dying of old age. Is the Council’s preference to stay put based on wisdom, or a refusal to consider new ideas? Is Council Leader Orim’s wish to be replaced by his daughter Pict, whom he has trained to replace him when he dies, a good one, or is it pure nepotism? Is Resher, who leads the faction to move into the city, really working for the colony’s benefit, or does he plan that the colony’s upheaval will give him the chance to take over its leadership?

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“We’d forgotten what it was like to be kings”- Emily Rose Lambert’s ‘Dreamscape’

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with devoted curation by a fan doing exactly what they love. If you like this, give it a follow. And expect more syndicated content reposted here. (- Patch)

Emily Rose Lambert, is an illustrator and first class graduate from Loughborough University who works as a greetings card designer. Her work encompasses comics, design and illustration, often featuring repeating patterns, showcasing a preoccupation with indigenous American culture, nature and animals.

Dreamscape is the lovely, achingly cute story of two adorable animal characters travelling through a series of dreamlike vignettes that evokes the ephemeral nature of dreams and conveys that sense of disjointed dreamlike logic as the characters drift between seemingly disparate situations and emotions. The story floats effortlessly from the fantastical, one of the figures breaking into fragments, one lovingly patching up the other with clay and leaves to the more everyday, as the dreamers enter a birthday party late and unable to sing along with the other revellers. From the small embarrassments that gently gnaw away at us in the night to the gentle sense of dread as an unknown figure watches us from afar, each instance captures the moments in dreams where feelings seem always just a little too close to the surface, more immediate and raw.

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“You can only carry so much”- Kristyna Baczynski’s ‘Vessel’

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with devoted curation by a fan doing exactly what they love. If you like this, give it a follow. And expect more syndicated content reposted here.  (- Patch)

Being of modest means, in the past I have shamefully bought comics due to page count alone. Quantity counts when strapped for cash and I’d usually choose comics with a bit more meat on their bones. Although I’m slowly collecting Hellblazer trades they’d always be at the top of my list when they came out due to their huge wodge of pages and densely written style that would take me a few weeks to chew through. Recently being a little bit more financially relaxed and delving deeper into the small press and independent scene I’m discovering more often that the best comics can be both beautiful and brief. Vessel is an independent comic from Leeds artist Kristyna Baczynski. It stars an unnamed anthro protagonist who completes her education and finds herself immediately stuck in an all too familiar procession of banal and ultimately interchangeable jobs. Baczynski captures the feeling of quiet mundanity here perfectly in a series of repeated patterns, her character stood in the same pose and expression in each and every one, with only the hats name badges changing. She finally realises after what could be years of these jobs that her own inaction, that she has to make her life happen as she rushes out into the world. While the subject matter is as well travelled as her heroine by the end of the comic, Baczynski’s unique voice and artistic style ensures she still has something fresh to say on the matter. It’s powerful and deeply affecting, especially to someone like myself who might be realizing that life doesn’t happen on it’s own.

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“You let your ghosties get the best of you”- Chatting with comics creator Mark Kalesniko

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with devoted curation by a fan doing exactly what they love. If you like this, give it a follow. And expect more syndicated content reposted here.  (- Patch)

“You can either stay and rot, or you can escape and burn. That’s OK; he’s a songwriter, after all, and he needs simple choices like that in his songs. But nobody ever writes about how it is possible to escape and rot, how escapes can go off at half-cock, how you can leave the suburbs for the city but end up living a limp suburban life anyway. That’s what happened to me; that’s what happens to most people”

High Fidelity- Nick Hornby

Years back, after heavily getting back into comics, I was gifted with the book 500 Essential Graphic Novels and surprised by the breadth and depth of the selection set about bookmarking and ordering a few dozen titles. Amongst them was Mark Kalesniko’s Alex, a character I instantly fell in love with and creator who’s work I quickly consumed. Having moved back to his home town of Bandini in Canada, with his tail between his legs, after abandoning his dream of animation at ‘Mickey Walt’, Alex wakes up on a park bench, groggy from another night of alcohol fuelled self destruction. Hungover, high school yearbook in his jacket and with an expressionistic painting of the town he has no memory of. The frustrated Alex fills his time wrestling with his past, struggling with artists’ block, hard drinking, and Gilligan’s Island whilst avoiding old school friends and facing up to the unthinkable. Having to be an artist, rather than a cartoonist. Freeway, drawn over ten years features a younger Alex in his animating career. Stuck in a seemingly never ending traffic jam he reminisces about his uncertain start in LA , whilst he imagines himself living an idyllic life, back in the golden days of animation.

Although optimistic now, I spent most of my teens and twenties as a shamefully stereotypically moody and sullen sod, even now I’m drawn to characters like Alex. Back then my favourite book was High Fidelity, which is the reason for the quote at the start of the review which pretty much sums up Alex’s story. Both books features a downtrodden lead character, stuck in their ways and unhappy with the way life turned out. Kalesinko’s work is great for wallowing in self pity and misery, in the same way that we’re drawn to sad songs, knowing full well they’ll bring us yet deeper into sadness. Tackling themes of depression, self destruction, inner peace and the death of a dream, they are both hugely moving and funny reads. Kalesinko can tease out the comedy of even the most disastrous and destructive events of Alex’s life, presented with his sparse fine line with the pacing and sense of movement that clearly comes from his own stint in animation.

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