Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Journalism

A false rumor about RMFC is repeating history from the Burned Furs.

by Patch O'Furr

Remember Rainfurrest? Bad behavior was blamed for the con’s demise. In 2015, vandalism caused a fatal economic issue between the con and its hotel. Popular attention focused on fetish activity, but the public didn’t care about it and the media was incredibly positive. That debate stayed between furries, but it was at least based on partial truth. That’s different from dishonesty you can see below. It connects the long-dead 2000-era Burned Furs and the end of ConFurence, with falsehoods that exploit the closing of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. It shows an agenda to divide fandom. (You may ask: why is this still happening in 2017?)

ConFurence, the first fur con, drew criticism about bad behavior. Organizers were blamed for advertising in gay lifestyle magazines to increase attendance, supposedly attracting fetishists who had nothing to do with furry fandom. Then in 2015, a fur dug up the actual 1997 “ad” that people were citing without seeing it.  It wasn’t an ad, and it didn’t come from furries.  The obscure ‘zine publication happened at a time when it couldn’t have influenced anyone. The rumor was a false smear.

The rumor is almost 20 years old now, but it still exists:

“we still hear stories about the early ConFurence when the organizers allowed some BDSM people in to improve attendance, with horrible results” Ask Papabear, 4/12/17 (graciously modified after discussion.)

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Vote now for the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!

by Patch O'Furr

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

419893_189786951121868_189782644455632_235270_39724323_n-e1331832247101Voting for the 2016 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the 2016 calendar year in 12 categories, is now open.  The voting is open from March 13 to April 30.  The awards will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA on June 29 – July 2.

The twelve categories are:  Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture; Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series; Best Anthropomorphic Novel; Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction; Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work; Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work; Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story; Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip; Best Anthropomorphic Magazine; Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration; Best Anthropomorphic Game; and Best Anthropomorphic Website.

Voting is open to all!  To vote, go to the Ursa Major Awards website at  http://www.ursamajorawards.org/ and click on “Voting for 2016” at the left.

You will receive instructions on how to register to vote.  You do not have to vote in every category.  Please vote in only those categories in which you feel knowledgeable.

This final ballot has been compiled from those works receiving the most nominations that were eligible.  The top five nominees in each category are the finalists.  Please make sure that your nominations are only for works published during the calendar year (January through December) in question.

2016 FINAL BALLOT

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture

Finding Dory (Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane; June 17)

Kung Fu Panda 3 (Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni; January 29)

The Secret Life of Pets (Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney; July 8)

Sing (Directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet; December 21)

Zootopia (Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush; February 11)

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What’s Yiffin’? February 2017 edition – now syndicating the monthly furry news program.

by André Kon

Greetings, readers of Dogpatch Press. I am André “Dracokon” Kon. Maybe you’ve heard of me as I’ve made my rounds in the fandom over the past decade.  If not, here’s the fastest crash course I can give you. I began as a purveyor of written reptilian smut, got invited to speak at a couple of conventions, was admin of the late Herpy website, had work read in an NYC art show, was briefly on SoFurry’s staff, joined the musical stage act Attractivision, and became the host of a livestream called Gatorbox.

With Gatorbox, I’ve helped spearhead a new breed of entertainment through Twitch. With the assistance of my long-time writing counterpart Rob “Roastmaster” Maestro, one show we brought to this channel is What’s Yiffin’?. What’s Yiffin’ began as a one-off bit in September 2015.  The viewer response prompted us to bring it back the following month… and the one after that. The show has been a staple of Gatorbox ever since, with a brand new installment rolled out almost every month.  Now I’m honored to have the series syndicated, adding bonus commentary just for Dogpatch Press.

ENJOY THIS MONTH’S EPISODE

We usually don’t lead with self promotion, however since the Ursa Major Awards have just now opened for nominations, this month’s video lets you know we’re eligible for nominations in the “Magazine” and “Website” categories.  For a good many of you this is probably going to be your first exposure to us and I’m simultaneously excited and profusely apologetic for that. In the name of good journalism, I’d like to provide you with the show’s official playlist on YouTube to give you a better idea of our scope and coverage over the past two years.

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More Furries Are Being Featured in the Media, and That’s Good

by Pup Matthias

drakerogers-furries-in-the-media-with-aberguine

Art by Aberguine

Is it me or are Furries popping up in news stories more? It feels strange to bring it up, but I swear the fandom has been getting more media attention and a good amount of it has been positive. Yes, I know, it weirds me out too. The reason I’m writing this opinion piece is, in part, because of my own history in the fandom. I got involved with the Furry Fandom around 2009. If you were a Furry around that time you were under the shadow of, what I prefer to call, the “Vanity Fair Era”. Named that cause of the infamous article published by Vanity Fair titled, “Pleasures of the Fur”, in 2001. Which presented the Furry Fandom as a sexual fetish and only as a sexual fetish. Along with MTV’s Sex2K episode, “Plushies and Furries,” and the famous CSI episode, “Fur and Loathing,” in 2003 that painted a clear picture of the fandom to mainstream audiences. Supposedly we are about sex and only sex.

Of course that isn’t true. It’s a part of the fandom but it’s not what defines the fandom. Furries are people who love walking talking animals and how they show that love depends on the person. It is as silly for people as it is serious. You can have a fursuit or not. You can create artwork in the fandom or be an observer. It can be sexual for you and it cannot. We all have different levels based around that same love and as long as we are respectful and understand people’s different viewpoints we bring forward a beauty of community the Furry Fandom provides. Anyone who has been in or actually explores the fandom understands that, but with stories like CSI that wasn’t what people were seeing. It’s why for the longest time, and still to a degree, Furries don’t talk to the media because the media has done a poor job with representing us.

Which has lead to moments like the Inside Edition undercover story at FC in 2015 or several smaller press organizations trying to sneak in to get the right sound bite that fits into the ‘Furries as only a sexual fetish’ narrative. I remember when getting involved with the fandom watching those Uncle Kage videos about how to interact/ avoid the media or how he responded when the media went to him. There was no question about it. If you were a Furry under the Vanity Fair Era you were one of the lowest of the low. Someone to be openly mocked and ridiculed. Something you had to hide.

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Artists and authors, be in the book Furry Nation – January 6 deadline!

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a special announcement from Joe Strike.  Joe’s a writer and reporter about animation for the New York Daily News and Animation World Network. His website shows work with TV cartoons you may know. He’s a first-wave furry “greymuzzle.”  And he talks like a velvet alligator on the phone.

Joe has an incredibly exciting book coming out.  He’s putting the story of furry fandom in print from an established publisher.  He wants your help.book

I want to tell your story in Furry Nation.

I’m in the final stages of writing Furry Nation, the first book to chart the birth and growth of furry fandom and its relation to the anthropomorphic instinct that’s been part of civilization from prehistoric cave paintings of animal people and animal-headed Egyptian gods to the modern day. Furry Nation will be published fall 2017 by Cleis Press. To learn more visit www.furrynation.com

Furry Nation will include a handful of profiles of furry artists, published authors and craftspeople. (Furry sculptures, clothing, accessories, etc.) If you’d like to be in the book, please contact me by December 26 at info[at]furrynation[dot]com. I want to hear about your work, your first interest in anthro characters, and how you found the fandom; please include links to your work. (Sorry fursuiters but that section of the book has already been written.)

Thanx much!
– Joe Strike

Write to info[at]furrynation[dot]com, by January 6.

 

Personally, I have been urging the creation of a coffee table furry book for years – from the history and graphics, to fursuit fashion photography.  Like the kind of beautiful but info-packed bibles that Taschen is known for.  (I even outlined such a book – but what a big project that is!)

Now I’m delighted to hear that Joe has a contract with Cleis Press to publish Furry Nation in fall 2017.  Cleis has an eminent 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” Don’t get too mad about being grouped with erotica; emphasize independent.  It’s a chance-taking, open-minded platform that can do justice to an alternative subculture.  They explain on LinkedIn:

Cleis Press publishes provocative, intelligent books across genres. Whether literary fiction, human rights, mystery, romance, erotica, LGBTQ studies, pulp fiction, or memoir, you know that if it’s outside the ordinary, it’s Cleis Press.

51561577Don’t overlook more cool books! Dogpatch Press’s own star guest poster, Fred Patten, has Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 from McFarland Press.  (That’s an academic/reference publisher where you’d find the book in a library.  So you might consider Joe’s the “first” as a narrative history on the shelf at an indie or alternative bookstore.)

Fred’s Publishing for Furries article helps to show how special these are in the publishing world.  Until now, there’s been almost nothing at book stores.  Whatever you’re looking for in a furry book, these are extremely cool happenings.

And I can’t wait to see more. Grubbs Grizzzly (of Ask Papabear) has The Furry Book on the way, too.

Book by Grubbs, cover art by Charleston Rat

Book by Grubbs, cover by Charleston Rat

36 dead at warehouse party fire in Oakland – community mourns, fears backlash.

by Patch O'Furr

Help here: Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire

fireGhost Ship” was the name of the warehouse in the inner city of Oakland, California.  I’ve often visited the neighborhood under the booming overhead trestle of the BART train.  The warehouse was zoned for business, but harbored a live/work space that was built under the radar of building inspectors.  It was funded by parties and rent from people living in RV’s parked there.  It was home for a collective of artists and musicians from the cultural underground of the San Francisco Bay area.  Many were pushed out of previous homes by pressure of rising rents. These most expensive costs in the country are making a crisis for culture.

Friday, December 2, was the date for an electronic music show.  Golden Donna was headlining with the L.A. label 100% Silk.  It wasn’t a rave just for dancing and fun, but a deeper connection of creativity.  Many watchers were themselves into producing music, or making big-scale art for festivals like Burning Man.

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SITE UPDATE – The first fursuiter, and Otaku Trucker: Furry Road.

by Patch O'Furr

You might see less posting here for a week – I’m busy writing for a book. That’s Furries Among Us (part 2) from Thurston Howl Publishing. (The Ursa Major Award went to Howl’s first book of essays about the fandom, so they made a new “nonfiction” award.)

My chapter is “The Furclub movement – independent furry night life is thriving!” Furry dance parties happen around the world, so if you see new dances start anywhere, please send info for the list.  (To San Francisco furs, I can’t say anything now, but expect some good news soon.)

It’s Furry Book Month, so check out some more of the fandom’s awesome creativity. Flayrah finally started approving new posts about that. Their slowness might have to do with a big rise in great reader comments here.  And so does this…

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A welcome new category for the Ursa Major Awards: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction.

by Patch O'Furr

WHY DON’T FURRIES RECOGNIZE GOOD JOURNALISM?

 

This topic has come up before: “Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism(see some good articles within) – and – “VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.”

The simplistic answer is – back around 2001, this little fan group was mistreated by Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI.  Forevermore, “The Media” was a thing to hate.

But it’s not so simple. In a chicken-or-egg way, “The Media” deserves some credit for creating furries. (It’s a FANdom!)  That usually means fiction media, but there’s much more than that. There’s the “science” part of science fiction; transhumanism, animals and nature, and anything about growing a self-defined subculture. There’s info coming from the Anthropomorphic Research Project.  A top selling nonfiction book (from Thurston Howl publishers) is the fandom-essay collection Furries Among Us.

Nonfiction is a big deal in fandom for anthropomorphic animals.

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Is this news editorial cartoon about furries making fun of a tragedy?

by Patch O'Furr

Please help children of the tragedy in this post: Support the Yost family and In Loving Memory Of Billy Boucher.

News tip thanks to Spottacus.  Below is his post about an editorial cartoon in the OC Weekly about a triple homicide in Southern California.

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Spottacus Cheetah: “Making fun of murdered family is so offensive.”

“…I imagine the family, somewhat devastated by the murder, seeing two people in costume speculating with happy smiles about what the killers were wearing. That just seems to belittle the tragedy.

In contrast, consider the post-massacre Hebdo cartoon, of a saddened Muhammed grieving over the deaths there.

(Paris, 2015: “4 Cartoonists Killed In Attack On Charlie Hebdo Newspaper“.)

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Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.