Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Interviews

“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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How furry animator Jib Kodi found his art: “When I saw that tail move, I was instantly hooked.”

by Patch O'Furr

I’m in love with this exclusive animation that Jib Kodi made for a B&A (Bark & Awoo) with me!  It was so cool of him to put the appeal and personality of his art on display with his words. He caught my eye, as I’m sure he did for many others, with his outrageously cool short .gif animations on Twitter. In a very short time (months) he’s built a massive 14K following based on how infectiously shareable they are. It’s a winning strategy for an artist, and as far as he’s told me, it just happened accidentally out of love for what he’s into. Kind of like furry fandom grew itself. – Patch

Follow Jib Kodi on FurAffinity and Twitter

Hi Jib, can you talk about how you got into furry, and what do you think about it?

Welp, here goes nuthin’.

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“Truly, my life is a low budget horror movie”- Scott Zelman’s Wilde and much missed webcomic

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with the devoted curation of a fan doing exactly what they love. It’s my favorite kind of writing – thoroughly researched, thoughtfully presented, in magazine style long form. I suspect it may be underexposed considering the high quality, so if you like this, give a follow. And expect syndicated content reposted here too.  (- Patch)

“Don’t be scared! He doesn’t bite. That’d be gauche”

Scot Zellman’s Buster Wilde first appeared on-line around the mid-nineties back in the prehistoric days of the internet. Following the exploits of our eponymous hero, lover and maybe most importantly, gay lycanthrope as we quickly discover the he twist in the familiar folk tale and pop culture staple. Sinewy, flamboyant party animal by night at sunrise Buster switches back to his beleaguered alter ego, Bernard. Stressed, uptight and again most importantly, straight. As Buster humorously and enthusiastically throws himself into his new life, navigating the gay club scene with its drama and clichés, Bernard struggles with a double life he doesn’t remember and more often than not waking up in other guys beds. It was among one of the first web comics I discovered when I finally got on-line and I quickly made my way through every strip on the now broken and mostly forgotten geocities site. You heard that right, Geocities. It’s been around fourteen years since the final strip was posted and it’s a testament to both the quality of the strips and Zellman’s considerable skills as a writer and gifted cartoonist that those who saw it at the time still hold it in such high regard over a decade later. Apart from one of two references that date them (Buffy, who Buster declares is a bitch because of her treatment of fellow werewolf Oz) the Buster Wilde strips have a timeless quick paced humour to them that’s still as funny today as when they were first conceived.

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Fred Patten Interviews Rich Hanes – Author of Foxhunt!

by Pup Matthias

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

Back in April 2017, I reviewed Foxhunt! by Rich Hanes, a 2009 337-page science-fiction novel set in a largely-anthropomorphic “Wildstar Universe”. Foxhunt! is primarily about an interstellar nation of anthropomorphic foxes, but it refers to many other species. I was very favorably impressed by it, ending my review saying, Foxhunt! is superior both as space opera and as furry fiction. Don’t miss it!”

Rich Hanes, the author, e-mailed me to thank me for my review. I took the opportunity to ask him about Foxhunt! and his Wildstar Universe; how he came to write the novel in 2009 and why he hasn’t followed it with more Wildstar Universe stories. This has led to this interview, for anyone who is interested in anthro fox Captain Sebastian Valentino’s adventures in Foxhunt!; in Hanes’ larger Wildstar Universe; and in Rich Hanes himself.

FP: Let’s start with some basic information; date of birth, when & why you started writing, and so on.

RH: My name is Rich Hanes, which is my real name. I’m 32, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, earned a degree in Computer Drafting from ITT Technical Institute in Canton, Michigan at the age of 23, then moved to Seattle to work for Boeing on the 787 Dreamliner for 6 years until being laid off. Now I live back with my parents in Detroit while searching for adequate employment, and earn money right now through writing and my YouTube channel,  L-1011 Widebody

FP: Your email address is richard.harlan.hanes, which I assume is your full name. How long has your YouTube channel been going? Is its main focus on your Wildstar Universe?

RH: No, it’s focused primarily on retro-gaming — a lot of it is doing Let’s Plays of games that I owned as a kid and still have the original CD for. But I do have two short videos there that I put together as an ‘introduction’ of sorts to my concept for Wildstar.  About 7 minutes in total. Perhaps that will help answer some basic questions, or if you want to link to the actual videos.

FP: Since this interview is mostly about your Foxhunt! and its whole Wildstar Universe, why don’t you tell us how you came to develop its galactic civilization and the Star Nation of anthro foxes?

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Q&A with Sherilyn Connelly, author of Ponyville Confidential: the History and Culture of My Little Pony, 1981-2016.

by Patch O'Furr

ponyvilleRecently, I posted “The history of My Little Pony and thoughts about growing up with cartoons” to prepare for chat with Sherilyn Connelly.  Sherilyn is a journalist local to the San Francisco Bay Area Furries. (She has given them notice in publications like SF Weekly.) Her first book is out this April: Ponyville Confidential, a pop culture history of the My Little Pony media empire. (Please like the book’s Facebook page!)

Hi Sherilyn, thanks for talking about Ponyville Confidential!  Let me start by asking – who needs to read it? Will it be manely for fans?  Will there be parts to tempt furry readers?

“Manely!” I see what you did there. Obviously everypony needs to read it, and it’s by no means intended just for My Little Pony fans; I hope that people who are interested in pop-culture history in general will give it a look as well. And there are many references to the Furry fandom, including shout-outs to Frolic, Further Confusion, and Anthrocon.

I know you as a committed, active fan who comes to Furry events and writes journalism about them (and movies, and more.) Can you give a brief intro about your background and writing?

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was old enough to want to be anything at all. I started writing professionally for SF Weekly in 2011 — within a few months when I started grad school and began watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, so it was a momentous year in retrospect — and wrote quite a lot about the the local Furry scene at the time. I began contributing film reviews to the Village Voice in 2012, and became the Weekly‘s permanent film critic in January 2013.

I hear this is your first book, congrats – how excited are you? Would anything surprise you about how it might be received?

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EZ Cool Down vests are a major business for fandom and beyond – EZ Wolf tells why.

by Pup Matthias

Thanks to Matthias for writing for our mission: to show that furries don’t just dream, they make things with awesome DIY power. EZ Wolf’s shirt says it all. – Patch

Wearing a fursuit is a pain in the tail. I wouldn’t know myself, since I would like to have a roof over my head for the next month. However, ask anyone who has had the joy of bringing their amazing characters to life, and they’ll tell you it’s like wearing your couch. There’s a lot of sweat and heat that goes into bringing the magic to life. But one member of our fandom has gone out of his way to battle this problem, and has developed one of the most successful fandom businesses. I’m talking about the EZ Cool Down vests created by well-known photographer and video maker, EZ Wolf.  Here’s what he told me.

EZCD_logoIntroduced in 2013, the vest has become a standard for many Furries to stay cool under their fursuit.

(EZ Wolf:) “The EZCooldown Performers vest is specially designed for actors, cosplayers, LARPers, fursuiters, and other costume performers.

This cooling vest provides hours of cooling comfort and prevention against heat stress thanks to four special PCM inserts which provide comfortable cooling relief for up to four hours, even during strenuous activities in high-temperature environments.

Each vest has four inserts made of phase change material.

The four inserts contain biological phase change material (PCM), which retains cold.

The PCM inserts can be quickly activated in your refrigerator or freezer or by putting them in ice water, and they can be reused over and over again. Once activated, the PCM maintains its temperature for a long period, providing comfortable cooling relief.

The EZCooldown Performers vest is made out of thin yet durable polyester mesh, which won’t add a thermal insulating layer to your outfit.

The four inside pockets can house four PCM inserts: two on your chest and two on your lower back.

Our vests come in three sizes and can be easily adjusted with the six Velcro straps to fit each individual wearer perfectly.”

Unlike fursuit making, this is a step up from the process of custom handiwork.  EZ Cool Down does not make the vest themselves.

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Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour is OPEN FOR SUBMISSION

by Pup Matthias

tales-from-the-guild-music-to-your-ears-edited-by-anthroaquatic-67102“Our world is one rich with diversity and culture, but how would civilized animals change that?”

That is the question Ocean Tigrox asks for you to write about in the upcoming anthology, Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour. Building from Tales From the Guild: Music to the Ears, the purpose of Tales is not just to have another outlet for Furry stories.

…we want to showcase great furry stories and show what we as a guild support. In addition to that, we want to help fund the guild while paying authors for their hard work. Thirdly, we’re using the anthology to help teach others about what goes into working a slush pile and editing an anthology.

This is what the Furry Writers Guild uses to help support themselves and showcase what they are all about.

In the words of the Guild itself, “The purpose of the Furry Writers’ Guild is to promote quality writing in anthropomorphic fiction and to inform, elevate, and support its creators.” The guild is there for others to come together to learn and support each other in our craft as well help promote our work and what we love about furry literature.

But how did the theme World Tour come about as the next entry for the book?

Because it was the guild anthology, we let the guild help out in choosing what theme to use. We had members of the guild suggest themes and voted on it. It was a very close vote with the runner up being “The Beast Within – Species issues within a modern world” which could be used for the next Guild Anthology theme.

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Furry YouTube, and Previously on “Culturally F’d”.

by Arrkay

Hey there! Arrkay here from Culturally F’d with a special guest post. I want to open right away with a new T-Shirt design poll, closing on Sunday Nov. 29:

Culturally F’d giving some Sh**ts away

SHIRTS that is! Sign up to our newsletter to enter into a draw for the winning design. Here’s what Rusty has to say about it:

Vote here: https://goo.gl/forms/9NJxjVg11GUq7lqy2

Subscribe to Culturally F’ds newsletter at www.culturallyfd.com to enter the draw to win. If the shirts end up in a tie, then both will end up going to print.

Previously on Culturally F’d

Over on my channel, we discuss how we define our community and how a fur might describe it themselves in: Hobby, Lifestyle, Fandom: Defining Furry.

Bandit from The Raccoon’s Den came onto F’d to discuss how he got started, what it takes to become a YouTuber and conquering social anxiety.

Still bummed out about the US Election? Maybe these 19 unlikely cartoon candidates will cheer you up:

A regular YouTube feature – call for submissions

Do you have a YouTube channel?  Right here on Dogpatch Press, we’re looking to fill in a new monthly guest post.  It will feature all the current and best YouTube videos that furries are producing. The primary goal is to expose more YouTube creators from our fandom to more furries. The secondary goal is to create a video creator network to encourage more collaboration between Furries on the video platform. Please message me (Arrkay at culturally.fd@gmail.com) if you have a channel you want us to include or at least investigate. We are looking for YouTube channels that are up to date and posting new content regularly.

Here are some fine channels that you should subscribe to in the mean time:

Betsy Lee – An animator with an ongoing fantasy series “No Evil”. A very impressive production for a small crew, the story reminds me very much of a dungeons and dragons role-play campaign. You may need to watch the back-log of episodes to figure out what’s going on with the cast of characters right now.

Blü – Blu The Dragon is an australian dancer/performer/choreographer, and does profanity infused vlogs about life and furries.

Culturally F’d – Hey that’s my channel! Every other week we discuss anthro animals in culture and mass media. Everything from cave paintings to what the furry fandom might look like tomorrow. The F’d stands for Furry. We also have regular “F’d Up Dates” with Rusty Shacklefur, a rabbit from the moon. I should also mention we have a Patreon and as of Dec 1 2016, a merch store!

EZ Wolf – Professional quality photography and videography. They are responsible for many music videos, dance videos and dramas starring fursuiters that have gone viral.

Furries in the Media – Aberguine carefully dissects instances where furries are represented in news reports or fiction, and grades them on Accuracy and Spirit.

Majira Strawberry – This fursuited vlogger is probably the most popular furry YouTuber with over 44,000 subscribers. Majira specializes in comedy skits, Q&A’s, and collaborating with other fursuiters in his area and at cons.

The Raccoon’s Den – The Docu-Dramadey of the fandom, Bandit and friends explore furry parties of California and dramatizes furry-life outside of the parties. They also have vlog style “Drakes Corner” videos and they produce a podcast “Pawesome”. Check out Patch’s article on them!

Furry.Today – Not a YouTuber, but a great resource for finding new fluffy videos from all sources.

Interview with #FurryBookMonth Creator Huskyteer

by Pup Matthias

fbm-logo-800Through out the month of October you may have been seeing a special hashtag around twitter of people talking about Furry books more then usual. That is because we are in our first official Furry Book Month. A way to both celebrate the Furry writer community as well as promote just how diverse the community has gotten. You would be amazed how some people still only view the fandom with only three publishers: Sofawolf, Furplanet, and Rabbit Valley. But we have expanded to around eight with newcomers like Thurston Howl Publications, Goal Publications, and Weasel Press; bringing with them new voices and new stories with the same fluffiness or scales or feathers we love.

The Furry we have to thank for getting this event off the ground is Husykteer, a well-known and active member in the writer community since 2010. She began by posting stories on SoFurry, but by 2012 got published in both Roar 4 and Heat 9. Since then she has continued to put out quality work.

So far, I’ve had short stories and poems published in a number of anthologies; most recently Gods with Fur, Claw the Way to Victory and Inhuman Acts. My short story ‘The Analogue Cat’, which appeared in The Furry Future, won the 2015 Ursa Major and Cóyotl awards for short fiction.

I’d love to get some books out there with my name, and mine alone, on the cover! A novella, Peace & Love, should be coming out from FurPlanet soon.

But how did the idea of Furry Book Month come about? Anyone who has been around the FWG forums knows that the writer community, while growing, is still under appreciated in many aspects. So there has been a growing want to promote the community more to get people to check out their work.

In 2015, Furry Writers’ Guild member Rechan challenged the FWG forum to read a furry book, or several, during October. This grew into the idea of promoting books in the wider furry community during October 2016.

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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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