Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Conventions

Con Report: South Afrifur 2017 – By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Another milestone of furry fandom has been achieved on 14-17 July 2017, when South African furs held South Afrifur, their first convention.

The size and longevity of furry fandom in South Africa have been difficult to determine, due to the large spread-out size of that country, with apparently only a pawful of fans in any one city. The ZA furs (from Zuid-Afrika, the Afrikaans name – see the history of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek from 1852 to 1902) socialize primarily via the Internet. There are currently about 600+ active through all the ZA furry websites and chat groups. But it is estimated that the majority of them are only casual browsers, and only 200 to 300 should be considered true ZA furs.

As to longevity, that goes back to two previous ZA furmeets. Some claim that they were conventions, but the attendees themselves did not despite their including registrations.

On 12-16 2008, the first national ZA furry get-together was held in the Cape Town suburb of Table View. Dracius was the organizer. He booked “At Cheryl’s”, a self-catering accommodation holiday house including five small buildings; a house, cottage, cabana, condo, and den. (The exact location was At Cheryl’s, 50 & 55 Circle Road, Table View, South Africa.)

There were 16 attendees. At Cheryl’s was primarily a gathering place for daytime socializing and evening activities. Daytime events included wandering into two shopping centers and other places around Cape Town, and a trip up its Signal Hill. In the evening there were films on a projector and the game Guitar Hero.

A second get-together was planned for 2010, but it was not held until 7-15 January 2011, in Port Elizabeth. The organizers were Nanukk, Electrocat, and Cat147. The venue was Nanukk’s grandmother’s house in the suburb of Blue Water Bay. 14 attended.

The meet was very relaxed and informal. It consisted of about an equal amount of time getting to know each other around the house while sketching and gaming, and going out to see various sites in the city. Some of the main events that had been organized were going to a Karaoke bar, car-pooling to a lion park (cut short when one of the cars got a flat tire) and a visit to a museum (with a behind-the-scenes tour), snake park and aquarium.

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The truth about the myth that “Deo Killed RMFC” – guest post by Harper.

by Patch O'Furr

It’s very possible you’ve heard the assertion that Deo (DeoTasDevil) is responsible for the demise of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. There’s been a lot of back and forth about it, and allegedly she’s the main and even sole party responsible.  Let’s put aside the various instances of the fallout and just examine the sequence of events pertaining to Deo’s participation.

  1. In January 2017, Deo tweets “can’t wait to punch these nazis.
  2. She receives a reply from someone that they would be amused if she were shot in response to her purported action.
  3. Deo responds asking if this person was threatening to bring a gun to RMFC.
  4. Deo contacts RMFC security to inform them of a potential issue.

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Get buzzed for Tiny Paws Con, coming to Connecticut in September.

by Patch O'Furr

This con’s theme is “Summer Camp.” Yay for summer camp! How about sweaty, un-air-conditioned bunkhouses? Poison ivy? MOSQUITOS?  Get ready to celebrate NONE of those things at the new Tiny Paws Con. They just have the parts that don’t suck: fun and games, getting together with old friends, and making new ones. If you’re itching for that in September, Tiny Paws has the cure.

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

by André Kon

2017 is officially halfway over, and boy has it been one hell of a year for the fandom. We’ve covered the official demise of Rainfurrest, 2’s fall from grace and subsequent cancellation at Anthrocon, and more than one fake bomb threat being called into a convention… and we still have six months left to go! Fret not, because while we’ve collected four more of the top stories in the fandom to present to you today most of them aren’t that soul crushing. Most.

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The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time.

by Patch O'Furr

TROLLING ANTHROCON

The infamous Confederate fursuit got a lot of views on social media. The issue started with complaints during Anthrocon and Midwest Furfest in 2015.  By no coincidence, the symbol was pushed on the fandom at the same time as racist mass murder by Dylann Roof led to taking down Confederate flags across the USA.  Then in 2017, during a huge amount of positive news about Anthrocon, the issue bubbled up again like a turd in a punchbowl.

The fursuiter is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky. He was previously known for causing disturbances by copying the fursuit of Lemonade Coyote to exploit his death for attention. For several years, Magnus was reputedly banned from MWFF and Anthrocon.  He came back to troll with the Confederate fursuit and a Trump sign that violated AC’s Code of Conduct:

Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects Anthrocon’s relationship with its guests, its venues or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of membership.

Harassment includes … Conduct, dress, or speech that targets, threatens, intimidates, or is otherwise intended to cause distress to other attendees, or to members of protected classes (such as those based on race, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual identity).

Magnus chose to bring that suit even though he has many others. There’s no pretending that it was anything but forcing politics on others, since he admits he did it because of “attack” on the flag. According to his helper, he was even  “ghosting” the con to do it. He could have attended like anyone else if he didn’t set out to cause entirely predictable negativity. To be perfectly clear, Magnus was an antagonistic outsider who did not register or support Anthrocon.

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Harassment in fandom needs to be taken seriously – guest post by Lamar.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Lamar for submitting. His articles on Flayrah include this recommended one: “Furry, not an obscure little fandom any more” – it’s as relevant today as in 2011.

A couple of weeks ago I put out a call via Twitter, helpfully reposted by some high profile people, to see if I could get any first hand reports of how Convention and Security staff handled issues at Conventions.

I had exactly three replies in total. One saying that they had once reported someone vaping inside the convention space. One security staffer who was unable to discuss any details but expressed that incidents of harassment do happen, and have to be handled correctly and with care. And finally, another con staffer who accused me of being on a “fishing expedition” and using rumours to ascribe bad faith.

And outside of twitter I talked to a young member of the fandom, who continues to receive targeted convention related harassment. I’m going to call him Adrian, but that’s not his real name. Adrian shared copies of the messages. They include slurs and rants, including for instance “You ATTENTION seeking c***”. Adrian received this harassment, for speaking out about what happened to him at a convention some years ago. I ask him to talk about it.

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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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