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Furry Drama(tic Arts) – The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical, Part 1: Yiff!/< furReality >

by Patch O'Furr

Article submitted by guest writer Duncan R. Piasecki. (Part 2 is here).

Let’s face it: we furries are a pretty theatrical bunch. Fursuiting is, in itself, a form of performance art, dramatic and striking, and probably the most visible aspect of our culture to anyone looking in from the outside. (It’s certainly what is talked about the most in the media).

None of this should surprise anyone here, even those of you who stumbled into the furry internet after straying off the normal path. In fact, it’s not even that surprising to the outside world. One need only look at, say, ultra-successful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, or the stage musical version of The Lion King, to see that the visceral drama of humans performing as animals is widely acknowledged the world over.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. No, actually, we’re going into a deeper rabbit hole (har), one that many of you probably didn’t even know about: the furry musical.

No, not the ones with furries as the characters in focus. One with furries in focus. As in, us. As in, fursuiting, going to conventions, role-play, yelling at people online, and that sort of thing. More surprising to all of you, perhaps, is that there wasn’t one, but actually at least two musicals about furries being our regular old selves… both written by people not entirely within the fandom.

In Part 1, we’ll look at a musical where our request for documentation yielded a generous response by the director.  In Part 2, we’ll look at one that seems to be a fading memory with no record to be found – as well as an exciting happening to come in 2018.

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Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl – book review by Fred Patten

by Dogpatch Press Staff

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

Seven Deadly Sins Cover

Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl. Illustrated by Joseph Chou.
Knoxville, TN, Thurston Howl Publications, January 2017, trade paperback $16.99 ([4 +] 411 pages).

The seven deadly sins are Lust, Wrath, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, and Pride. This anthology presents 27 stories divided into those seven deadly sins. Each sin is introduced by an Interlude by Thurston Howl in which three punk youths, Derek (German shepherd), Zinc (tiger), and Barba (horse), tell stories about those sins in a ruined church. They suspect that one of them is a demon…

An advisory usually fits an entire book, but the stories in this anthology are so widespread from G to NSFW that I’ve put my own advisory on each story.

In “Don’t Judge Me” by Sisco Polaris (Lust), an unnamed human man goes to a mixed human-animal gym, steamhouse, and sauna that is a gay hookup spot. He spends an evening playing enthusiastic submissive slut to the male dom anthro-menagerie that passes through, to get into the mood to go home and do his sexual duty to his wife. Very NSFW.

“Down in the Valley” by Billy Leigh (Lust) is narrated by Ralph Walter Travers, a Fennec British civil servant posted in Kenya at the beginning of World War II. He is invited to a dinner party of upper-class Collies, Foxes, Cougars, and others that turns out to be a wildly degenerate orgy, with excesses of drink and sex. There is a death. The police investigate. To tell what happens would give away a spoiler. PG for the orgy and some mild gay romance in a British early-1940s setting.

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Foreign animated movies released direct-to-DVD in America – by Fred Patten

by Dogpatch Press Staff

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

Woody Woodpecker PosterAre you going to see Woody Woodpecker: The Movie? It’s coming out on October 5th.

In Brazil.

But it’s a Universal movie. Or at least Universal is distributing it there.

The American public may not have noticed it, but one of the cinematic trends of the 2010s has been the production or subsidizing by American movie companies of movies featuring their famous cartoon stars, for theatrical distribution worldwide by those companies – except in the U.S. We get them as direct-to-DVD children’s movies.

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The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon, by Lowell H. Press – book review by Fred Patten

by Dogpatch Press Staff

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

The kingdom of the Sun and Moon CoverThe Kingdom of the Sun and Moon, by Lowell H. Press. Maps.

Bellevue, WA, Parkers Mill Publishing, September 2014, trade paperback $11.99 ([xv +] 297 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $0.99.

This Young Adult fantasy (winner of a 2015 Benjamin Franklin Award, for Teen Fiction (13-18 Years), of the Independent Book Publishers Association) is set in Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, home of the Habsburg monarchs of Austria, about 1820. In those days almost all royal palaces had large populations of mice (so did the average citizens’ houses), so the 19th century map of the palace and its grounds is accurate as to the location of the fictional mouse Kingdom of the Double-Headed Eagle.

The König is a tyrant.

His subjects are starving.

And all-out war is fast approaching.

Will a pair of young, courageous

Brothers save their kingdom? (blurb)

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A furry’s brush with fascism – authorities “don’t understand the seriousness of the threat.”

by Patch O'Furr

(Comment from blog linked below.)

Sugar-coating helps fascism worm its way inside a community. Even with cartoon animals when Altfurry brings Trojan-horse hate to furry fandom. See tagged stories here.

A regional furry organizer shared this story.  ID is withheld so their job can be discussed. They’re an airport terminal worker.

“Just encountered something that I never expected to see.

A line of badged, patched, and uniformed fascists just came through my airport. Like any other passenger group, I was assisting them. Noticing their crossed hammer imagery in red and white, I thought… maybe I was mistaken.

I asked them if they were Pink Floyd fans (imagery from The Wall). I got blank stares, followed by laughter.

“No” one of them said, “We’re humanitarians, on our way to go clean up Puerto Rico!”

Laughter from the others.

“We’re plumbers too, and carpenters, gonna rebuild this place!”

More chuckles.

Noticing the very particular tattoos a few of them bore, I knew. Still, I asked. “Oh cool, glad you’re reaching out, what organization are you with?”

One of them winked at me. Pointed at his patch. “How about you look this up. We’re doing great work”.

Fair enough. Finished helping him and the five others. And then researched the image they bore.

Hammerskins. A white supremacist group that’s been planning a rally in the area.

I just came face to face with hate. And. I still feel uneasy inside. Especially as they found it amusing that I politely pretended not to recognize what they represented.

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The Animal Guild Series – Book Reviews by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The Animal Guild Series

The Animal Guild, by Jennifer Sowle. 2nd Edition.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, May 2015, trade paperback, $11.97 ([5 +] 307 pages), Kindle $0.99.

Monsters in the Territory, by Jennifer Sowle. 2nd Edition.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, February 2015, trade paperback, $12.99 ([5 +] 340 pages), Kindle $3.99.

The Marrhob War, by Jennifer Sowle. 2nd Edition.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, February 2015, trade paperback, $12.47 ([5 +] 320 pages), Kindle $3.99.

The Nhorn, by Jennifer Sowle. 2nd Edition.
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, March 2015, trade paperback, $11.97 ([5 +] 278 pages), Kindle $3.99.

Sowle’s Amazon “About the Author” says that she has been writing this Young Adult series since the age of 13. (Wikipedia says she was born in 1977.) Book 1 was published by CreateSpace on August 22, 2012, with this Second Edition on May 13, 2015. Book 2 was published on August 15, 2013 with this Second Edition on February 8, 2015. Book 3, March 6, 2014 and February 26, 2015. Book 4, June 8, 2014 and March 10, 2015. Book 5, January 26, 2015 and April 13, 2015. Further books are first editions.

What is the Animal Guild, and who is in it? The story is deliberately murky at the beginning:

“Corto dove between the mesquites and just missed the spiny cholla they cosseted under their branches. It was exactly how he’d cut his forepaw an hour ago and started the blood trail. Drok take every piece of cactus in this desert and chuck it over the white gates of Hell.

He didn’t continue the puerile curse because coyote scent wafted toward him again, stronger and closer. He hadn’t shaken his pursuers, attracted by the blood, and until he could hole up and stop the bleeding, he wouldn’t. The cairn terrier ran past the offensive cholla, which had been lurking in wait behind the mesquite, and wished again that he was a bit taller. […]” (The Animal Guild, p. 1)

In the opening pages the reader learns that Corto is a cairn terrier fleeing from coyotes through a desert. He is on a lone-dog mission, but he is resigned to being eaten by the pursuing coyotes, until he is unexpectedly saved by a fox. But wildies don’t associate with guilders like Corto, do they?

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“Suburban Jungle: Rough Housing” – Comic review by Ace.

by Patch O'Furr

Review: Suburban Jungle: Rough Housing
Guest review by Ace

Suburban Jungle was a web comic done by John “The Gneech” Robey that started on February 1, 1999. It starred a young tigress, named Tiffany, who is trying to make a career of acting and modeling while holding down numerous temp jobs. Along the way she meets the Kurt Russell-esque Leonard Lion, Leona Lioness (no relation to Leonard), and many others such as Drezzer Wolf and Conrad Tiger. It was slice of life with the characters residing in the fictional city. It was light, campy and a general good read.

It was the web comic that made me become a furry.

When Suburban Jungle ended in November 6, 2009 it felt like a giant punch to the gut. I had only been in the fandom ten years in the fandom because of Suburban Jungle. I loved the characters, especially Tiffany, Leona, as well as Leonard, Conrad and everyone’s favorite gay uncle, Drezzer. It was hard to fill those holes. I had never gotten to the opportunity to read Never, Never (which I found out actually came before SJ in terms of production) and while I liked other web comics, they didn’t hold my attention like SJ did.

So imagine my surprise when found out that The Gneech did another SJ comic starting in 2016. This one was a sequel but didn’t feature the same characters. Instead, the main character was a cheeger (the hybrid result of a tiger and a cheetah, in this case Comfort Tiger the sister of Suburban Jungle star Tiffany and her husband the code speaking Dover Cheetah), named Charity Cheeger.

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The Student, Vol. 1, by Joe Sherman – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

The Student, vol. 1, by Joe Sherman
Covington, OH, Joe Sherman publishing, May 2017, trade paperback, $15.95 (284 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $2.99.

Readers had better consider this to have a Sex Lovers Only rating.

The date is 2290, fifteen years after the Kaspersky foundation developed the first successful human-animal person. That was a dog-man they named Furton Kaspersky. This was almost unnoticed by the public because of the simultaneous announcement that humans had been accepted into the Galactic Trade Federation. But as soon as the excitement over that died down, there was plenty of social questioning and panic over letting “animal people” into society. However, by the 23rd century there was enough acceptance of the concept of intelligent non-humans that the anthropomorphic animals couldn’t be suppressed. A compromise was reached: to construct a domed city for the scientists and the hybrids where the research could be continued “in safety”, until the general public was convinced that the animal people were safe. The scientists ensured that the steel-&-glass-domed city, also dubbed Furton, would not become a slum. Furton was built twelve years ago.

Teenager Chris Tailor is the first human to be accepted into Furton University (although its professors are humans). Chris has always been fascinated by the hybrids, and he had been sending questions to the Kaspersky foundation via computer for a decade. The foundation had usually ignored him; but apparently someone has recently decided to let a human into the animal student body as a social experiment, and Chris’ pro-hybrid interest plus his genetics major has made him stand out. Chris is incredulous but delighted to be invited inside the domed city to become a student at Furton University.

This is described in the short Introduction and first chapter. Sherman has an unusual style of huge paragraphs with justified margins, but the reader quickly gets used to them. Here he meets one of the Kaspersky professors during a subway ride inside the dome to the University:

“‘I am Professor Meyers,” The scientist introduced himself as he studied the nervous young man. ‘You’re wearing generics. New to the city I presume?’ he observed in a gravelly voice. ‘I just got into the city less than an hour ago. I’m a new student at the University,’ Chris confirmed with a nod, grinning foolishly in his excitement. ‘Ah, I’m an instructor there myself. What is your major?’ Professor Meyers inquired as he brightened up slightly. ‘Genetics… I’ve been fascinated by the hybrids ever since I watched the news feed of their first creation. I’ve been looking forward to coming here for years to learn how they are created,’ Chris answered proudly. ‘Well then, I suppose I’ll see you in my class. Genetic engineering and hybrid biology are the courses of study, which are my responsibility,’ Professor Meyers announced once he recovered from the surprising answer. He lifted and cocked his head a bit as a tone sounded down the subway tunnel. After a moment, the recorded voice signaled the arrival of the next train. Well here we are. Do you know where you’re headed? I can show you to the dormitories once we arrive at the University, if you’d like,’ he offered.” (p. 14)

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Good news from Tiny Paws con, and a look at Spalding’s furry art.

by Patch O'Furr

Two furry things happened in Connecticut the other week. One was sad – a politician lost a job for being too open minded about furry stuff. And one was happy: Tiny Paws con happened, giving love to that very same politician and raising money for the Humane Society too.  Whenever there’s a setback, look for how this cool fandom keeps moving forward.

Tiny Paws is made by former staffers of Furfright, and you’ll definitely hear more about it here.  It’s very special to me, because oh my gosh, they invited me to be Guest of Honor in 2018!

I’ll have to work hard to earn that. Meanwhile, let me tell you about a hard working artist.  When the con started talking to me, they asked if I wanted an ad in the con book. That’s why Spalding lent a paw to draw this fabulous cartoon ad:

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Aquatifur is making a splash with the first waterpark furry con, October 2017.

by Patch O'Furr

Who else loved going to Biggest Little Fur Con at a resort with go karts, mini golf, bowling and more?

For finny friends and everyone else too, here’s a new one.  A fur con at a water park is such an amazing idea, the fun is rubbing off on me vicariously.  I’m happy for everyone who gets to go. I love swimming and fursuiting – what could be better than enjoying both at the same place? Maybe not at the same time though, unless you don’t mind a little lawn sprinkler action.  Stand back!

Here’s the info for you, courtesy of con chair Treble Vandoren:

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