Dogpatch Press

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Tag: animals

Animal Rescues Need Your Help in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

by Pup Matthias

Co written by Pup Matthias and Patch.

Joe Garcia and Heidi. Photo: David J. Phillip / AP

Hurricane Harvey has been one of the biggest storms to hit the US.  As a category 4 storm, it hit Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana over the weekend, filling our newsfeed with stories of tragedy, courage, and sacrifice. It puts us as a nation and people to the test. We’ve heard the stories: from big ones like the news crew finding a man trapped in his truck and flagging down emergency vehicles to help – to smaller personal stories of neighbors helping neighbors.

Outside of the storm’s path, there’s a lot of talk about how the effects impact the country in many different ways. (Our own Uncle Kage addressed evacuation from his experience as an Emergency Manager Coordinator.)  If you can only watch from afar, the most important way to help is by donating. Even now, all emergency organizations, along with groups and personal accounts are asking for donations to combat the damage Hurricane Harvey will leave.

This is a great time to highlight efforts to help animals. Furry news is a good place for it.  The Furry community has always been proud about raising funds for charity, and that isn’t just for cons.

Remember that 250,000 pets were displaced or died in Hurricane Katrina, and some people refused to evacuate without them – it has become an important part of disaster planning, according to this video about saving animals in Hurricane Harvey. 

News stories from PeopleABC News, and NBC have covered more efforts to help animals in need. I’m sure several of you heard or seen the hawk story. Many others will struggle to be heard. Patch has been collecting as many as he can find so we can spread the word and assist with donating what you can.

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April is Furry Poetry Month – guest post by Shining River.

by Patch O'Furr

In the United States and Canada, the month of April is celebrated as National Poetry Month, a tradition in the United States since 1996 and in Canada since 1998. Many literary magazines, libraries, authors, schools, and websites participate in this in a wide variety of ways. Since 2015, writers of the furry community have been celebrating their own version of this, which we may now call Furry Poetry Month.

The writing of poetry by furries, whether they be dedicated writers or occasional writers of poems, is not just a recent development. Poems can be found online in the Usenet newsgroup alt.lifestyle.furry, of the 1990’s. A once-active site that featured furry literature was Anthrozine. Starting as early as their second issue in 2005, twenty-six furry poems were published over the years that the site was maintained by Michael Bard and Quentin Long.

Poetry probably appeared on Fur Affinity user pages soon after it’s beginning in 2005.  Over the years, approximately eight groups have been created to feature poetry and other writing. Most of these groups have had little activity in recent months, some of them not for several years. The Poets Guild began in 2009 features two poetry anthologies and four dozen individual poems that are posted on the site. Their activity declined for a year or so but has recently had an increase in posting. The most active FA group for poetry at this time is Poetic Furs. Begun in 2015, they have featured an interview with a different poet each month.

Over the years there have been some printed versions of furry poetry. This writer still has his copy of the 1999 Conifur NorthWest furcon con book and we find on page 41-42 what might best be described as a rap, but it’s still poetry, titled “I Am The Very Model Of A Furry Individual” by Mee-Shee.  Another example was the first volume of Allasso in 2012, edited by Brian Lee Cook, which contained seven poems along with fiction short stories.

More recently, poetry has been featured on Adjective Species.  Their first publishing of a furry poem, “Whiskey Sour”, by Lunostophiles, appeared in 2013.

In March of 2015 an essay written by this writer, titled “Finding the Animals in Modern Poetry”, was followed by the creation of the “Inaugural Adjective Species Poetry Collection”. It was curated by Lunostophiles. This featured original animal themed poems from thirteen writers of the furry community. The following year in April, Adjective Species published another essay by this writer, “Finding the Animals in Cowboy Poetry”, which was soon followed by the “Second Adjective Species Poetry Collection”, with nine poems contributed. This was curated by a prominent furry writer, Poetigress.  Also at that time seven original poems written by Poetigress were published over three days.

The Furry Writers Guild was founded in 2010 to be a group for writers to share their experiences and to provide information about writing and publishing. In April of 2015 on their site forum, a new discussion board for poetry was created.  Also at this time, Laura “Munchkin” Govednik and Altivo Overo developed the idea for a book of poetry featuring animal themed poems from Furry Writers Guild writers. The sales of the book would be donated to an animal charity.  This successful project, titled “Civilized Beasts”, appeared in December 2015, published by Weasel Press.

In 2016, the project was begun again, as reported here on Dogpatch Press. Poem submissions are closed at this time and the release of the new book has not yet been announced.

Finally, the enjoyment of poetry does not have to be just a solitary, silent, experience. There are many un-traditional ways of creating and experiencing poetry. Recitation and performance of poetry occasionally occurs in the furry community. Fursuiter rap performances on Youtube are a good example, and this writer enjoyed poetry readings by two furry writers at Rainfurrest 2015.  You might find a way to poetically express yourself with some of these activities: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/30-ways-celebrate-national-poetry-month

Poetry comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, much like the fursuits of the furry community. Poetry written by others can put into words the ideas and emotions that we ourselves may not have the skill to express.  Poetry that we write can be a way to gather together our thoughts and emotions and get a clear look at them.  Somewhere out there in the world there is a poem, or maybe many poems, that is good for each one of us.

– Shining River

Snow White vs. All Dogs Go To Heaven: A Look at How Kid’s Movies Encouraged the Founding of the Furry Fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

 Here’s a fantastic guest post by Amanda Riesling. Her blog’s recent post about Furries is highly recommended. – Patch

Note: This article concerns itself exclusively with fully animated feature films produced in America and released prior to 2000. The article’s scope is limited so narrowly mainly because it is a blog post and therefore too short to cover a wide range of media. If you care why the parameters were chosen, there’s a note at the bottom of the article.

Cartoons are a fantastic storytelling medium because all you need to do is make sure your story can be translated into visual images. That’s it. Once you tick that box, you can cast off the confines of reality and tell whatever story you want.

tumblr_mhhr8dPvpq1rmnmfuo1_250However, despite the visual freedom, a good storyteller still needs to tell a story the audience can relate to. In my opinion, this is the real key to why anthropomorphic stories encouraged the furry fandom.

An audience needs to see themselves in the hero. They need to be able to project themselves and relate to that character. If they can’t bond with the main character somehow, they won’t enjoy the movie. If your main characters are human, half the battle is done for you. In fact, the blander, more generic your human hero is, the easier it will be for the audience to relate. You can have the goddamn Matrix going on, but as long as your main dude is an expressionless white guy with a vague backstory, people can pretend to be him. For a more pop-culture version of what I’m saying, watch Cracked.com’s video.

If your main character is a human, this is great news for your film. Your character can be bland, and your story can be as shallow as a Petri dish, and people will still relate because they see a human face. (Not that all human-centered movies are shallow. I said can be. They don’t have to be.)

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Mordrude’s Monster Manual hits funding goal, and aims higher.

by Patch O'Furr

What’s that I hear… a bunch of furries celebrating? Mordrude’s Monster Manual hit it’s goal this week.

Learn more in my previous story – A once-a-decade publishing event, for fursuit builders.

Why celebrate yet another crowdfunding plug? As my article mentioned, there aren’t a lot of permanent resources to promote the art of making fursuits. That gap has stayed open for a long time. There’s still only one formally published book: Critter Costuming. The subject is just so specialized, that it isn’t economical to publish to a fan market that’s small – but fiercely devoted. That devotion is what Mordrude brings. It’s a labor of love to publish a reference of low commercial value – but high, long-lasting benefit to suit-makers and their fans.

I agree with her description: it’s “a documentary book that will inspire costume builders for many years to come.”

Chance to pitch in ends on Friday, September 5. Here’s what Mordrude offers those who help now:

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A once-a-decade publishing event: “Mordrude’s Monster Manual”, for fursuit builders.

by Patch O'Furr

Enjoy a visit to Mordrude's gallery of suits - I'm quite partial to Totes McGoat!

Enjoy Mordrude’s suit gallery – I’m partial to Totes McGoat!

For many years, there’s only been one Fursuit-making book in formal printed form fit for a reference shelf. That’s Critter Costuming, by Adam “Nicodemus” Riggs. Since it came out in 2004, the art has really raised it’s bar. (I can’t believe how appealing all the fluffballs at the cons are!)

Flayrah shared reviews of Critter Costuming here. It was considered basic (though very usable), and suitable for an update. I’ve actually asked around about funding a new edition; Nicodemus is warm to it, but says he lacks time. It’s a usual reason that niche interests don’t easily sustain themselves… the book has modest demand, but couldn’t repay much investment. Making any such book is a labor of love.

Now, Furstarter reports a new costume-making book is up for crowdfunding – “Mordrude’s Monster Manual”.

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