Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Mainstream

On February 17, don’t go to work – go fursuiting for a General Strike in the USA.

by Patch O'Furr

Political Animals.

animalfarmWhat does Furry have to do with politics?  Nothing. Or a lot.  (Kinda like kink). It’s up to you. Maybe you just like talking-animal media.  Or maybe you like media that’s inseparable from a culture that’s cracking apart.

This group is about talking animals, but it’s made of people, and we don’t exist in a vacuum. (The vacuum is just there to pick up all the shedding.) So for those who care… Let’s recap some previous stories that relate to this, then see what’s up now.

Start with the San Francisco Bay Area.  It has the world’s most dense population of furries, and it’s the epicenter for a rent crisis. That big trend hit the local group when their premiere monthly event, Frolic furry dance was pushed out of it’s home.

Across the bay, on the day Frolic restarted, the Ghost Ship warehouse fire killed 36 fellow party goers at an electronic music show.  It instigated a national purge of underground cultural spaces.  This blog is written from one of those spaces, and narrowly escaped being forced out in a wave of evictions.  Economic class issues are personal here.

Go back to 2012 and the East Coast.  Money, sex and politics crashed into furry fandom in a mini-scandal of “fake news” with the New Jersey FurBQ Hoax.  Looking back now, you might see some of the sparks that turned into 2017’s political dumpster fire. I’m talking about the way the group was split up by dishonesty and xenophobia, and manipulated as pawns for politics.

Furries got scapegoated for having a harmless party. It made me say: “Fun is serious business because it has to do with liberties.”

There’s some examples of how furries have long experience with fake news, they can be vulnerable as a subculture, and they can share a common cause with other marginal communities. (Don’t forget their sizeable queer membership.) You don’t have to agree about politics, but there are good reasons to pay attention. From anti-mask laws, to anti-LGBT legislation and anti-kink moral panic, furries will be part of many fights to come.

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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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The Furry House – a base for creativity and community.

by Patch O'Furr

Model furry house, the Prancing Skiltaire

The Prancing Skiltaire

Ever been to a furry house

They don’t smell like barns or zoos, with shedding all over the place. But they are full of nerdy games and comics, fursuit parts, and framed animation and fursona commission art on the walls. Sometimes there’s art that might cause awkwardness during a pizza delivery or surprise visit from mom. But it’s not for them. It’s by and for fellow furries when they get together for meets, parties, art jams, and movie screenings as a community.

A furry house is a special place. It’s more immersive than activity by yourself. If you live there, you’ll never get PCD. It’s a dimensional crossroads where the limits of reality dissolve and you can be furry 24/7.

Inside the P.S.

Inside the Prancing Skiltaire.

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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

Here’s why furries are on a secret list at the California DMV.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Pup Nacho for his news tip below.  First, let me ask: Are knots funny? 


If you’re giggling like I did when I posted those, you might be Furry Trash.  And you might appreciate how they only make sense for those in the know.

Having unique language is a mark of a fully-fledged subculture.  They call it slang, vernacular, cant, or cryptolect. Fans of fantasy fiction and role-playing might know about Thieves’ Cant (for criminals, beggars and hustlers, traveling performers, and carnival workers); those who study Queer theory may know Polari. (See Atlas Obscura: The Forgotten Secret Language of Gay Men.)  

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My weird plush commissions: Guest post by Amy Brown of Jumbo Jibbles.

by Patch O'Furr

jumbo-jibbles-giant-carrot-body-pillow-gift-idea-for-her-590x646(Patch O’Furr:) Furries love plush like a fat kid loves cake. My friends do, anyways. That’s how I met Amy Brown, a non-furry crafter who specializes in plush objects on Etsy. I heard that she enjoyed commissions for fursuit props.  It makes me happy when furries make friends like that!  Amy mentioned weirder commissions, and that made me invite her to tell some juicy stories.  (Mmm… carrot juice for everybunny).

Christmas is coming. Need gifts for furry friends who already have every Zootopia tie-in on earth? Commission Amy for props!

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Furries get a look from popular German comic Erzaehlmirnix.

by Patch O'Furr

Want a change from intense American news?  German furry fan Stefan sends a tip (thanks!)  This is very nice to get, since otherwise it would be completely missed by American furs.  It’s from comic site “Erzaehlmirnix”.  It has 80,000 followers on Facebook and over 13,000 on Twitter – but likely no English-only followers for images that won’t translate easily. (Patch)

(Stefan:) A quite popular german comic site just made two furry-related comics in quick order.

First comic:comic1 Read the rest of this entry »

FUTURE FURSUITING: furry’s most original creations and the rise of tech-enabled smart suits.

by Patch O'Furr

The most original creations of furry fandom.

Here’s a fun feature about the future.  But first, let me make a bold claim about fursuiting.

Male-Peacock-displayingMascots and costuming have been around forever. But furries are doing something new. They don’t just play with generic icons from myths and media. They add original fursonas and custom craft for everyone. It makes a subculture with personal expression beyond anything else.

Of course, many furs don’t have (or want) fursuits.  But the ones who do make a photogenic face of fandom. Other groups do art and writing like this one, but I don’t think anyone else does costuming in such a specialized and devoted way.  So there’s nothing wrong with the way the fursuiters stand out.  Everything else is imagination – they bring it to life and help to define the tactile name of “furry”.  And the quality is developing beyond anything you can buy commercially.  Some dedicated makers now have careers by fans, for fans, leading a Furry Economy with an exciting future.  Look forward to amazing things.

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Fandom grows in Southeast Asia – could it bring culture clash with Islam and authoritarianism?

by Patch O'Furr

By Patch O’Furr and Fred Patten, furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Remember the amazing story about Syrian refugee kids at VancouFur?  They were freshly arrived in Canada from a conservative arabic country, and housed in the same hotel with the furries. At first there were warnings and high caution about the situation.  Then the kids went wild about how cool it was. Remember that happened when you read the culture clash topic below!

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NEWSDUMP: San Francisco Furry Worries – San Diego Chicken Retires (9/14/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

In San Francisco, Frolic Furry Dance may lose historic venue… is The Stud saved yet?

Update for “Frolic ‘the original furry nightclub’ to lose historic venue – community responds.”  

lobo-stud3The SF Bay Area is getting so only the wealthiest can afford to live there. It’s one of the worst places for gentrification and rising costs forcing out culture. The pressure has hit The Stud, a historic gay bar and subcultural landmark that welcomes freaks and artists like no other place.

Frolic furry dance was established by their support. It has had wide influence, inspiring other furry dances to start all over the place.  (See the Frolic tag.)

Frolic took years to gain traction.  Now it regularly maxes out capacity and spills out to the street each month. It will be sad if it loses it’s home and has to find a new one.

There may be hope, but it’s complicated. The building is approved for management by a co-op of artists and community members (the first cooperatively managed LGBT club in the country.)

But do they have a business plan that can meet the steeply rising costs of running the place? They have applied for “historic business” status under new local legislation, but will it be enough?  Reports are unclear.

If things don’t come together within a short time, the plans may die.  The building could be knocked down and replaced by soulless condos. NBC News has a video about 3 local LGBT landmarks struggling with this problem, including The Stud.

Frolic founder Neonbunny posted to the Save Our Stud group:

“Furries have always been the outcasts among outcasts. There’s not alot of venues that accept different cultures, new traditions, and just general going against the norms to express yourself in new ways. Drag may have been like this decades ago, but now you have so many options on every night to dress up as a different gender.

But what if you like to dress up as a different species? Not a lot of options… But yet, The Stud has welcomed Frolic with open arms, shown that there can be a home for the outcasts, for those who don’t fit any traditional norms anywhere.

And for this, The Stud will always have a special place in our hearts. You accepted us, and in return we have embraced The Stud in return, you have become our family.”

frolic

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