Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Movies

Wanted: your most embarrassing Furry Trash for a “Mortified” style article.

by Patch O'Furr

UPDATE: This post was written and scheduled to go out before news of a tragedy this weekend posted above it. Please don’t connect the two stories.

grandpa

Do you know John Waters? He’s “the Pope of Trash” – a movie maker, author, performer and beloved icon of freaks everywhere. In the 1970’s, his no-budget, LSD-infused comedy took John and his cast into Midnight Movie superstardom and beyond.  In 2013, at a stage show, I got him to talk about Furries to the audience. My article about it mentioned giving him an invitation to San Francisco’s legendary Frolic fur dance.

trashThis week, that got attention from another creative force, the organizers of Mortified. They were looking for help to invite John to a project.  They reached out to Dogpatch Press and I was happy to hook them up with info.  I wanted to help (with furry hugs on top) when I saw what they do:

Mortified celebrates stories revealed through the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids.

Witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.”

I’ll bet that might strike a chord with some furry fans. Do you have an old Livejournal you cringe about?  RP chat logs?  A horrible Durrsuit? A story about wanting to marry Robin Hood? Would you share some of it, if we promise to be nice about it or keep it anonymous if you ask?

Please send your submission for an article! Email: patch.ofurr@gmail.com.

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Furries show how a good community is the antidote for soullessness.

by Patch O'Furr

There was a silly post here that mixed politics and the friendly community of furries. I got a little heat from all sides for that. (I wouldn’t have it any other way… whether it’s a controversy or a furry cuddle sandwich, I like being in the middle.) Why do that? Because it’s a group of people just like other people, so they mix it themselves sometimes.  Not my fault for noticing.

It relates to a post by another blogger. Let’s get to his in a minute, but first meet Zachary Byron Helm. He’s a talent I have appreciated since Livejournal, the kind who would be considered some kind of subcultural mogul in a big coastal city.  He has gathered a following of his own from his lair in Colorado. It’s an entirely different subculture, but you might have seen me post about loving punk/goth and industrial music from time to time. (Subcultures are at their best when they mingle and mutate.)

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Fursonas and Furries: A Tail of Two Docs (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

(Continuing yesterday’s Part 1.)

Here’s the thing – most of the anger towards Fursonas is because it wasn’t the doc we expected, or to some, what they wanted.

A lot of that comes with the general history of the fandom. How media took our hobby and portrayed it as a pagan cult of sex crazed orgies, by animal-suited maniacs.  From Vanity Fair, CSI, MTV, etc portraying us as a fetish rather then a community of artists, writers, dancers, and more.  The way they just don’t get what we are about is what many members in the fandom have been fighting to overcome for years.

And it’s been more or less a success, even with the press, as the fandom evolved to what it is today.  To how we see each other, what we believe in, and just enjoying the weirdness that we are.  After newly turning that corner, perhaps Fursonas could threaten to bring back all the negative old things they been working to overcome.

But that’s not what Fursona is or ever tries to do.

fursonas.8649

[DR]: My movie is meant to question what a “negative view” of the fandom is. While furry is definitely an accepting place, I do think that there’s a double standard in this community. People want to be accepted for themselves, but sometimes find it hard to accept things that are outside of their own comfort zone. I see this all the time in communities and I see it all the time in furry. Just look at babyfurs, and how plenty of more “normal” furries don’t want to have anything to do with them.

I love this fandom so much that I want it to be better. I think if we’re going to keep patting ourselves on the back for being so accepting, that means having to ask some difficult questions of ourselves—how much do we accept? What is the price of individual expression in the fandom? What is a “good image” and much is it worth? I still grapple with these questions all the time.

This is something I agree with. Our fandom does have a double standard. I know it because as a gay man I’ve seen how a community that views itself as open minded and accepting of all walks of life is also filled with selfish, shortsighted, rude, or even despicable people. Same with the kink community, with it’s view of itself as open minded and accepting to all walks of life, only to see some sides view other sides as inferior or even taboo.  It’s the very same with the Furry fandom. We’re a community that is open minded and accepting, and guess what I’m going to say next.  We’re also regular flawed humans.  It’s not hard to see a pattern when you’ve seen it repeated many times.

This is what Fursonas talks about, and it’s not what everyone in the fandom wants. Which is why many have seen Furries as the preferred doc, with its more positive view of the fandom over Fursonas criticisms.

But here’s the other thing, Furries wasn’t made for the fandom. Let me ask you a question: if you’ve seen Furries and are a member of the fandom, what do you learn from it?  What information does it provide that hasn’t already been discussed time and again from other members of the fandom?

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Fursonas and Furries: A Tail of Two Docs (Part 1)

by Pup Matthias

(Note from Patch: thanks to the site’s valued long time contributor, Pup Matthias. As site manager, I don’t put a leash on writing, and this came from his self-motivated effort. Therefore, I’ll add a disclaimer that Matthias is sole author, independent from my previous posts and relationships or understandings with others. I had considered doing a followup about poorly-done mainstream Fursonas coverage called “furry is not a cult,” but then decided that enough conversation was already happening.  Uncle Kage, Dominic, Eric Risher and Matthias are all friends to me and all of them are doing great things for this community. If you only get to hear part of the story, let that say the rest. – P)

1462807202946This has been an incredible year for the Furry Fandom. Zootopia crossed over a billion dollars, fur con attendance continues a healthy rate of growth, more positive news about the fandom has been coming out, and Furry Network has entered the Furry website game. And we’ve got not one, but two documentaries exploring the fandom made by people inside the fandom itself. Yet it’s the last part that has brought on some of the biggest debates in the fandom.

Since the release of the two documentaries, Fursonas and Furries, there has been a lot of praise and criticism towards both, although Fursonas has been getting the more vocal criticism of the two.  Which isn’t surprising.  Fursonas features a lot of topics that depending where you stand, can be seen as exposing an issue most would rather hide, or a sensational attack that continues the negative image of the fandom we’ve been working for years to get over.

The reason?  In the second half of Fursonas, we see director Dominic Rodriguez get pulled over by Anthrocon staff, and he was subsequently banned from Anthrocon for breaking their media policy. The rest of the doc then paints the con chair, Uncle Kage, in a negative light criticizing his practices both with media relations, how Furries should interact (or not) with the media, and the way he “censors” certain figures and topics to make the fandom more acceptable to the mainstream.

Now to make things clear, I like Fursonas. I like that it brings forward issues I believe we should discuss and come to terms with. I think some of the criticism doesn’t come so much from the film itself as that it’s a film the fandom didn’t expect. I’ll go into detail about that later, but this article is not a Fursonas defense piece.  It’s about exploring the topics and reactions that have become clouded with all the drama surrounding the two films. I love that we have two Furry docs that explore two different aspects of the fandom. I’ve even talked to both directors, who wish to express their own thoughts about everything going on. This isn’t trying to end the conversation. It’s to add more and make sure what we debate about is what needs to be debated about.

So let’s first examine the main issue, Dominic Rodriguez being banned from Anthrocon. This bit of information alone has been the deal breaker on whether people should watch the doc. It’s as if because Anthrocon saw fit to ban a film about Furries, then it can’t be worth watching in the first place. When you watch the film, you see the topic of being banned brought up, but also the main reason for them to be banned was because they didn’t agree to a Production Agreement, which would have given some form of creative control over the film to Uncle Kage.

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Interview with a Secret Furry animator inside a top movie studio.

by Patch O'Furr

zootopiaRemember when everyone went nuts about Zootopia’s animators talking to furries, and even nutsier when it came out that they were intentionally marketing to us?  They noticed us!  

But could the conspiracy go even deeper?  Have you heard other furs wondering if we have insiders in the media (even celebrities), or Secret Furry animators making movies we love?

Here’s an interview with one of those animators. For obvious reasons, identifying details are protected.  I can’t reveal where they work, but I can tell you that they have animated characters in some of the biggest movies ever, as well as having a quiet presence on popular furry sites.  If I told you more, it could make your eyes pop out.  Please excuse me for keeping things vague and teasing you about juicy secrets for me to know and you to find out.

(Patch:) What’s your job like, and how do you like it?
(Secret Furry:) I love what I get to do for a living. It’s hard work and long hours at times, but each project brings new challenges and opportunities that keep things fresh, and help me better my skills. For as long as I’ve been at it, I still feel lucky and appreciative to get to do this every day.

Can you share a favorite movie, and a favorite furry artist?
Pinpointing a favorite movie is too hard for me. I’m an action, sci fi, and horror junky. Some films that I love include Die Hard, Aliens, Predator, Starship Troopers, and Hellraiser. I could go on and on, but you could probably see the direction I tend to lean. On the animation side, Aladdin, Lion King, Spirited Away are some of my faves. As for particular artists I can’t say I have a favorite as of yet. There’s so much great work floating around out there in so many varied styles.

Can you tell the coolest or most silly thing you have seen at work?
I can’t get specific here, but occasionally a celebrity will waltz though. I always kind of geek out when that happens. As for the “silly things,” they happen all the time.  It’s part of what makes the job light and fun even when the pressure and deadlines are on.

Can you tell the coolest or most silly thing you have seen in furry fandom?
I love walking around the open areas of cons, and just people/furry watch. There is always something funny going on, be it a furry on the ground covered in doughnuts, or furs doing fun a creative and spontaneous mini skits to entertain. At this years BLFC there was a guy walking around with a giant die, handing out prizes. Two thumbs up for that!

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NEWSDUMP – Fur-friendly culture, mascot boot camp – (7/25/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Mascot Boot Camp in the Washington Post.

They sent a reporter to Mascot-Boot-Campattend Mascot Boot Camp. It’s run by Dave Raymond.  “Dave was the original Phillie Phanatic — the first to inhabit the green costume in 1978. In the mascot community, he is something of a founding father.”

Dave is also founder of The Mascot Hall of Fame. It’s scheduled to open in Indiana in 2017.  They said that he has run the Mascot Boot Camp for more than 20 years and it will continue at their new venue. Here’s a video for the 2016 camp.

In 2015 I did a series about crossover of fursuiting and professional sports mascots. Look for update articles next week with a Q&A from Uncle Kage, an MFF organizer, and Cornbread Wolf (who fursuits for fun at sports games.)

Frog and Toad are a proto-furry relationship story.

The New Yorker covers the beloved classic children’s book series by Arnold Lobel. “During his career, he worked on dozens of children’s books, both as a writer and as an illustrator… His specialty was animals and their misadventures.”

According to his daughter:

“Adrianne suspects that there’s another dimension to the series’s sustained popularity. Frog and Toad are ‘of the same sex, and they love each other… It was quite ahead of its time in that respect.’ In 1974, four years after the first book in the series was published, Lobel came out to his family as gay. ‘I think ‘Frog and Toad’ really was the beginning of him coming out'”…

frogIt’s interesting to look at how anthropomophism, character and sexuality came together in simple friendship stories. You don’t need to know about the author for the stories to be just as good, but the writing is very personal.  These are mainstream children’s books, but I might dare to say that the hidden meaning gives them more in common with furry fan fic than anyone but us would understand.

“Furlesque” at Cincinnatti Fringe Fest.

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NEWSDUMP – Fandom News – catchup list part 2 (7-22-16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

There hasn’t been a Newsdump in a long time, so have three updates packed with two months of stuff: 

1. Furries in the Media. 2. Fandom News. 3. Fur-friendly Culture.

Furscience.com releases ebook of furry research.

Furscience-FurbookThe International Anthropomorphic Research Project has a shiny new website since earlier this year.  Here’s a good reason to check it out – a 174-page ebook full of 5 years of data about furry fandom, for the low price of free.  Download it here.

Fred Patten interviewed by Yiffytimes.com.

“My interview with Fred Patten” by Ahmar Wolf and Greyflank. With Fred’s history as a founder of Furry (and anime) fandom, it’s really interesting to hear this:

“Q: Where do you see the Furry Fandom headed?

A: Furry fandom is already a lot different than it was in the 1980s. There is much more emphasis on wearing fursuits, adopting fursonas, and embracing and publicly exhibiting a furry identity. There is also a furry literary community now, which is what I’m active in. A few furry fans who are publishers or fursuit makers or artists are able to make their living in furry fandom instead of it only being a hobby for them.”

Furries at San Francisco Pride.

New furry Whup stepped up in a big way to organize a booth.  (He’s yellow dog in the first pic).  Apart from a big “Bay Area Furries” banner, it was a very informal base for breaks from the sun.  There was a huge crowd to prowl around with on a hot day.  Street Fursuiting is my favorite thing, and street fairs are my favorite place for it, and Pride in SF is one of the most fun and accepting times. (It’s far from the only one – a furry in Edmonton talks about their float full of furries in “A big thanks to the furries out in pride festivals this month!“)

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NEWSDUMP – Furries In The Media – catchup part 1, (7-20-16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

There hasn’t been a Newsdump in a long time, so expect three updates packed with two months of stuff: 

1. Furries in the Media. 2. Fandom News. 3. Fur-friendly Culture.

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

The media gave warm and fuzzy vibes for Anthrocon.

A few worth seeing after the con:

  • WTAE video: The Making Of a Furry. “Daisy Ruth set the scene outside the Convention Center with April, a local fursuiter who created her own suit, and Camille of CF Studios, an artist who creates and sells creature and fursuits.”
  • WTAE – Beyond the Suit: The World of Furries.  “Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Beau Berman sat down with ‘Clumzy’ to find out what it’s all about.”
Rika and Rusty.

Rika and Rusty.

Anthrocon news topic – Pets.

PGH City Paper: “It probably comes as no surprise, but furries love their pets“.  Four furs are interviewed.  “Some furries say that getting involved in the community that celebrates anthropomorphized animal personas has helped them become more aware of the needs of shelter animals; understand the emotions of their pets; and strengthen their love of our four-legged friends.”

Anthrocon news topic – “Fursonas” movie.

Post-Gazette: ‘Fursonas’ director takes his Anthrocon ban in stride.

Dominic Rodriguez was banned for breaking Anthrocon’s media policy (filming without permission) in pursuit of unvarnished truth that couldn’t be officially filmed for a documentary.  “Fursonas” showed parts that many furries take very personally or feel shouldn’t be suppressed.  It was divisive.  Some took his movie as undermining good work of the con.  Others took his ban as a politicized penalty for PR control that may be stuck in the past. But furry fandom have been around for decades now and it keeps growing.  When will sensitivities loosen up?

“Fursonas” screened at an independent venue during the con.  I asked Dom if he’s interested in doing a guest post about it. Before his trip, he told me:

“Although I’m banned, I have a feeling this is going to be my best Anthrocon yet. I spent the evening hanging out at the bar across the street and then going over to the river to hang with new and old friends. I go to these things mostly to meet people and have cool conversations. I think that’s more fun than anything they have in the convention schedule, anyway.

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Furry fans of indie animation, the Animation Show of Shows deserves your attention.

by Patch O'Furr

Co written by Patch and Fred Patten.

Happy Pride month!  Check out this short animation, Flamingo Pride.  It screened in the 2012 annual Animation Show of Shows, an international touring festival. Read on about why the festival deserves your attention, and what this means to furries.

Ron Diamond, producer of The Animation Show of Shows, contacted Fred Patten:

Dear Fred, I want to thank you for the great write up on The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows. I was delighted about the kindness you extended to me and the filmmakers in covering an otherwise unorthodox medley of quirky international animated shorts. I’d be grateful if you can share this with your readers, to help build awareness of alternative animation that has a message that pleases and inspires. Warm regards, Ron

The 2016 Animation Show of Shows will be the 18th annual edition.  Fred has previously reviewed it for various animation websites (here’s reviews from 2013 and 2015.) Diamond is president of Acme Filmworks, an animation studio in Los Angeles that produces animated TV commercials in a wide variety of styles. His curation of the Animation Show of Shows is well known. It consists of about a dozen short films, some from big studios like Disney and Pixar, but most by independent animators and students from colleges around the world. Most or all are prize winners at international festivals.  Many have gone on to win next year’s Academy Award Oscar in the Short Film (Animated) category.  They show Diamond’s stellar record for predicting success.

Up to now, Diamond has shown this festival at major animation studios and animation colleges mostly in North America, but also in some other countries with large studios or chapters of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation; the International Animator’s Association). Now Diamond is trying to raise enough funding through a Kickstarter campaign to get it into theaters where it can be seen by the public.

What does it have to do with furry fandom?

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Zootopia: “A Call For Balance” – guest post by Alex Reynard.

by Patch O'Furr

Zootopia’s Blu-ray/DVD release is June 7, 2016.

Zootopia_Lionheart_and_Judy_pose

Dogpatch Press welcomes Furry fanfic writer Alex Reynard.  See also Inquisitr.com: “Is Zootopia a modern version of Animal Farm?”  

ZOOTOPIA has been out for a while now.  In that time, I cannot count how many times I’ve seen it called “propaganda”.

Left-wing propaganda, right-wing propaganda, commie propaganda, gender propaganda, race propaganda.

It’s ridiculous. And it’s unfair to what the movie actually is.

I’m gonna assume that we, being furries, have all seen the film a kazillion times by now. If not, then this is me HONKING THE SPOILER HORN. TOOT TOOT. I want to start this with a synopsis, so I can talk about how the themes of this cute animated children’s film are really really important.

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