Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Conventions

The ConFurence Archive: a new resource for fandom history, with Q&A by Mark Merlino.

by Patch O'Furr

Dogpatch Press is honored to host guest writer Mark Merlino.  He’s a fandom founder who helped found the first furry convention (ConFurence Zero in 1989). Mark maintains the Prancing Skiltaire house in So Cal, with fellow fans Rod O’Riley and Changa Lion.  Below is his submission, followed by a part 2 with additional questions I sent.  

Mark is announcing a treasure trove of pre-internet furry lore.  Now you can see stuff like the ConFurence Zero conbook. You may love this if you got involved in the days of trading ‘zines by mail (like me), or if you just want to compare what cons do now to how they did it decades ago.  Now we have a thriving subculture on top of the 1980’s fan ways, with unique features like a cottage industry for fursuiting, dance events beyond compare, and cons every weekend around the world.  But some things never change – this blog is basically my ideal 90’s ‘zine, except I’d love to add more art as it grows. ( – Patch)

Mark in 1989 – and check out the ConFurence Zero Aftermath Report.

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Alamo City Furry Invasion: The Furry Furry West – New con for October 2017.

by Patch O'Furr

Registration is open for the Alamo City Furry Invasion : The Furry Furry West, October 6-8, 2017.  Follow on twitter: @FurryInvasion

Yay for a new frontier of fun in Texas!  The well-established con is Furry Fiesta in Dallas. The new Furry Invasion is a 4-hour drive south, and thoughtfully scheduled 6 months after.  This fandom IS big enough for the both of them.  That bodes well for success, and it already seems to be going great. They sold out their original hotel (the Marriott), and upgraded (with transfer of reservations) to a nicer place.  Now it’s at San Antonio’s El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel.

What’s cool in the southwest furry scene?  Besides cons, I previously posted about independent efforts to start furry dance parties (a small series by Whines, and FurNightATX by Haven, who is also the founder and fursuiter mascot of HavenCon.) Haven is one of the Guests of Honor at the upcoming ACFI, along with Telephone, Omnom, and Thorgi.

Did I say cool? This con is so far south, I think fursuiters will be glad it’s in October.  So mosey on up to their registration page, and get deputized with a badge for fun.  (-Patch)

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The end of Rocky Mountain Fur Con didn’t cure the problem that caused it.

by Patch O'Furr

Article series: 1) Original story about RMFC – 2) A false rumor – 3) Interview with the Chair.

There’s a tumor in the community. It killed Rocky Mountain Fur Con. Look no further than the “Furry Raiders” and their leader “Foxler”, who calls himself “The Hitler of Furry Fandom“.  They hide behind a false front of acceptance, using regular people to help them play innocent while lying about themselves and their beliefs.

There’s a lot of denial about what’s going on.  Recently, that includes a confession that Foxler paid to join a real neo-nazi group, wants to wear a swastika, and threatened RMFC itself. Not-nazis don’t do that. That’s the long and short of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sincere or a game. It makes them either neo-nazis or two-faced liars about it. Either way is indefensible and incompatible with a creative fandom. (Keep in mind how historical nazis were toxic to art).

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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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What’s Yiffin’? – April 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

Greetings, Dogpatch Press readers. We hope you’ve been enjoying the run of What’s Yiffin’? on this website; it’s time for April’s edition! One thing you’ll realize over the course of watching our show is sometimes events happen so close to production time that we can’t include them in the show and they are delegated to next month’s release. The firestorm surrounding RMFC is an example of one such event. Literally a day or two after we wrapped up this episode that whole mess happened, sort of like how the story about 2 Gryphon was pushed back to this month for the same reason. Speaking of 2, here’s the news that’s fit to print!

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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Rocky Mountain Fur Con backs neo-nazis, sex offender to intimidate critic for reporting threat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

A Dogpatch Press exclusive report for community interest.

BACKGROUND: A neo-nazi cult-like group (the “Furry Raiders”) is agitating the Colorado Furries.  They recruit members with gifts, grooming, and manipulation.  It makes a classic appeal to people who are desperate to belong to a group. The Furry Raiders self-create an “us vs. them” situation by provoking others so they can pretend to be treated unfairly.   Their trolling includes assault, spreading hate speech, display of nazi-style apparel, refusing to honor meet rules, posting photos of people against their wishes, doxxing enemies to harrass them on the phone, and persistent straw-man attacks at “SJW’s”. In 2016, they provoked wider attention when they tried to gain power at Rocky Mountain Fur Con by interfering with the hotel room block.  In early 2017, they gained more mainstream news headlines.

There is a spotlight on furries and the subculture they love. This report, with participation of many concerned Colorado furries, is not to sensationalize the fringe so media can mischaracterize the rest. Their message is that they care enough to oppose malicious behavior, so protecting a superficial image is less important than making a good community.

Deo, a steelworker in the midwest, was upset about the trolls.  They were ruining what the furry community represents to her.

It made her connect current events to the problem.  She tweeted about punching Nazis.  It was a rhetorical comment in line with the patriotic spirit of entire generations of Americans since WWII.

A troll answered to threaten her.  It involved Rocky Mountain Fur Con.  Deo had never gone and wasn’t planning to go, but cared enough about other furs to notify police and hotel security. Deo says: “It started when a Furry Raider member @Oliviameles threatened to bring a gun to RMFC – I contacted RMFC con security to warn them.  I never received a reply to my email.” 

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Reviewer slams furries for infesting her hotel – you’ll cry when you see the Manager’s epic reply.

by Patch O'Furr

Fiesta or infestation?

Texas Furry Fiesta was awesome for most everyone who was there. But one irate hotel guest had a nasty attitude towards the cute fuzzies breathing her air. On Tripadvisor, Nasty Nicola really let them have it:

Sounds terrible. Maybe next time she WOULD even bother if the hotel didn’t have such an BAD manager. He didn’t give a warning about the fluffballs trying to get away with heinous activity like hugs, making art, or getting treated with basic common decency.  Who could be worse than dirty furry trash? (I resemble that remark…) Well, I’ll tell you: Someone who’s racist against furries and a cheapskate jerk to service workers too. That’s an worse person.

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2 Uncool – a furry celebrity’s disgrace is a test of fandom tolerance.

by Patch O'Furr

Remember when Seinfeld was one of the biggest TV shows, and co-star Michael Richards derailed his career with a racist meltdown on stage? It happened at a comedy show, but it wasn’t part of the act. He apologized, and news said “It is actually one of the most honest apologies that a celebrity has ever given for bad behavior.”

It’s rare to see a career implode like that. Now let’s look at a furry happening that’s not so drastic, but more of a slow burn. A prominent performer in the fandom is being examined for poorly representing it, and found unworthy of support by its premiere convention. Bad behavior has been in plain view for years with no apologies. It took this long to accumulate wider attention. Many members say it’s long overdue, and some find it discouraging that it took so long.

“2 The Ranting Gryphon” has a problem.

His George Carlin-styled comedy has earned 24,000 follows on Youtube and audiences of 1000+ at Anthrocon. I’ve seen and laughed at his show there. But they declined to host him this year. His fans are very upset (almost as if he’s a tenured “house comedian of fandom”?)  2 himself appears to be the info source, claiming to be a victim of invalid attacks by over-offended “SJW’s”. There’s only a vague official statement citing declining attendance, so pointing blame is untrustworthy. A con can pick whoever they want, and they just chose not to pick him; friends and fame aren’t supposed to overrule quality or board decisions for approval. (Free speech doesn’t apply because it’s not between citizen and government – the host is a private organization. He isn’t “banned” and can attend the con. )

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What’s Yiffin’? – March 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

Good afternoon, Dogpatch Press readers. Last month was pretty big for us – it had our news satire show What’s Yiffin’? debut on this website. Nobody tried to kill us or call us mean names or whatever, so I guess that means it was well received. If that’s the case, then today ought to be a great day for some of you, because we’ve got the March edition of the series ready to go. Thank you for making What’s Yiffin’? a part of your entertainment routine.

AND NOW THE NEWS

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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Fred Patten’s new book is a first for fandom: Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015.

by Patch O'Furr

51561577Fred Patten‘s Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 is out.

Until now, if you looked up “furry” at a mainstream book store, you might find a tiny handful of drawing, costume making or novelty books, but little about the fans themselves. You would have to sift the sands of the internet. This kind of recognition has been a long time coming. (We had TV specials in the early 90’s!)

Fred says:

“This is the first study of furry fandom published by a publisher outside of the furry specialty press itself. It indicates that furry fandom is becoming an accepted subject for academic study. Dr. Kathy Gerbasi of the IARP introduces it (she wanted to write a Furword rather than a Foreword.) I worked on this for more than three years.”

Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 is from McFarland, a well-known publisher of histories and academic reference books.  It’s $39.95, with 242 pages, illustrated in black-&-white and 8 pages in color, with an index and over 50 illustrations of furry con graphics.  It covers all furry fandom conventions around the world, from the first in January 1989 to the end of 2015.

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