Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: anthrocon

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

by André Kon

Greetings, Dogpatch Press readers. We hope you’ve been enjoying the run of What’s Yiffin’? on this website; it’s time for April’s edition! One thing you’ll realize over the course of watching our show is sometimes events happen so close to production time that we can’t include them in the show and they are delegated to next month’s release. The firestorm surrounding RMFC is an example of one such event. Literally a day or two after we wrapped up this episode that whole mess happened, sort of like how the story about 2 Gryphon was pushed back to this month for the same reason. Speaking of 2, here’s the news that’s fit to print!

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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2 Uncool – a furry celebrity’s disgrace is a test of fandom tolerance.

by Patch O'Furr

Remember when Seinfeld was one of the biggest TV shows, and co-star Michael Richards derailed his career with a racist meltdown on stage? It happened at a comedy show, but it wasn’t part of the act. He apologized, and news said “It is actually one of the most honest apologies that a celebrity has ever given for bad behavior.”

It’s rare to see a career implode like that. Now let’s look at a furry happening that’s not so drastic, but more of a slow burn. A prominent performer in the fandom is being examined for poorly representing it, and found unworthy of support by its premiere convention. Bad behavior has been in plain view for years with no apologies. It took this long to accumulate wider attention. Many members say it’s long overdue, and some find it discouraging that it took so long.

“2 The Ranting Gryphon” has a problem.

His George Carlin-styled comedy has earned 24,000 follows on Youtube and audiences of 1000+ at Anthrocon. I’ve seen and laughed at his show there. But they declined to host him this year. His fans are very upset (almost as if he’s a tenured “house comedian of fandom”?)  2 himself appears to be the info source, claiming to be a victim of invalid attacks by over-offended “SJW’s”. There’s only a vague official statement citing declining attendance, so pointing blame is untrustworthy. A con can pick whoever they want, and they just chose not to pick him; friends and fame aren’t supposed to overrule quality or board decisions for approval. (Free speech doesn’t apply because it’s not between citizen and government – the host is a private organization. He isn’t “banned” and can attend the con. )

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Conventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

cw_cover_scConventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker. Foreword by James Wollcott.
NYC, Glitterati Inc., August 2016, hardcover $50.00 (191 [+ 1] pages).

This is a de luxe coffee-table art book of photographs by Arthur Drooker, an award-winning documentary and fine-art photographer/author whose work has been exhibited since 1980, and whose studies have been called “visual poetry”. For ConventionalWisdom, Drooker spent three years up to 2015 visiting “quirky” conventions throughout the U.S. “held by some unusual interest groups”. Each convention has about twenty pages devoted to it.

Drooker claims in his Introduction that a Convention Industry Council study shows that there are 1.8 million conventions, conferences, meetings, and trade shows in the U.S. every year. This book presents some of the most photographically exotic of these. As you have doubtlessly guessed, furry fandom is one of these unusual interest groups. So are the Bronies. Each is covered by Drooker; Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and Bronycon at the Baltimore Convention Center. Each convention has an introduction of about four pages by Drooker.

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A brief history of who ruined furry.

by Patch O'Furr

fritz-the-cat-movie-poster-1972-1010196225Many people are to blame for ruining furry. This list isn’t comprehensive, and some of the jerks on it caused multiple problems at the same time.

1960’s – 1970’s:  Artists ruined furry.

Underground comic artists made a plan to stigmatize fans of funny-animal comics by putting adult stuff in ones like Robert Crumb’s Fritz The Cat and Reed Waller’s Omaha The Cat Dancer.  It worked well enough to keep fans from openly using the “furry” name until the 1980’s.

1985-1988: “Skunkfuckers” ruined furry.

It was just starting to be OK to be furry in public. Then some bad apples got us kicked out of respectable science fiction fandom.  Look at these 1980’s convention room party flyers from Lance Rund and Sy – this is the kind of thing that made furries get isolated apart from other fans, with our own private shame-cons.

furpy3

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NEWSDUMP – Furries In The Media – catchup part 1, (7-20-16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

There hasn’t been a Newsdump in a long time, so expect three updates packed with two months of stuff: 

1. Furries in the Media. 2. Fandom News. 3. Fur-friendly Culture.

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

The media gave warm and fuzzy vibes for Anthrocon.

A few worth seeing after the con:

  • WTAE video: The Making Of a Furry. “Daisy Ruth set the scene outside the Convention Center with April, a local fursuiter who created her own suit, and Camille of CF Studios, an artist who creates and sells creature and fursuits.”
  • WTAE – Beyond the Suit: The World of Furries.  “Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Beau Berman sat down with ‘Clumzy’ to find out what it’s all about.”
Rika and Rusty.

Rika and Rusty.

Anthrocon news topic – Pets.

PGH City Paper: “It probably comes as no surprise, but furries love their pets“.  Four furs are interviewed.  “Some furries say that getting involved in the community that celebrates anthropomorphized animal personas has helped them become more aware of the needs of shelter animals; understand the emotions of their pets; and strengthen their love of our four-legged friends.”

Anthrocon news topic – “Fursonas” movie.

Post-Gazette: ‘Fursonas’ director takes his Anthrocon ban in stride.

Dominic Rodriguez was banned for breaking Anthrocon’s media policy (filming without permission) in pursuit of unvarnished truth that couldn’t be officially filmed for a documentary.  “Fursonas” showed parts that many furries take very personally or feel shouldn’t be suppressed.  It was divisive.  Some took his movie as undermining good work of the con.  Others took his ban as a politicized penalty for PR control that may be stuck in the past. But furry fandom have been around for decades now and it keeps growing.  When will sensitivities loosen up?

“Fursonas” screened at an independent venue during the con.  I asked Dom if he’s interested in doing a guest post about it. Before his trip, he told me:

“Although I’m banned, I have a feeling this is going to be my best Anthrocon yet. I spent the evening hanging out at the bar across the street and then going over to the river to hang with new and old friends. I go to these things mostly to meet people and have cool conversations. I think that’s more fun than anything they have in the convention schedule, anyway.

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The Great Fursplosion of 2016 is getting near. NEWSDUMP (11/10/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

unnamedNPR interviews Tempe O’Kun, furry favorite author (again.)

Hear the interview on the radio site. Talk to Tempe on his FA post about it.

About a year ago, NPR station Prairie Public’s “Main Street” show interviewed Tempe about cuddly Furry romance writing.  Lucky dog!  It was 23 minutes of super respectful attention.  My notice about it brought Tempe here, to share an exclusive peek at his novel Windfall and work for the Nordguard card game. Thanks Tempe, and keep it coming.

A Zootopia animator “publicly and positively acknowledged furries.” (Tip: Crossaffliction on Flayrah.)

The tweet is taken down.  VERY CURIOUS.  I wonder if Disney is controlling marketing strategy for something they want strictly behind the scenes, to tease but not come right out about it.   This subculture is tiny, but buzz can be mighty.

I sent an interview request to the animator, and told him: “You may be aware that we’re all going NUTS about this movie. Some active areas already have meets organized to wear costumes out to the theater (and I think that’s going to happen everywhere.)”

Some furries have always known that Tony the Tiger is a stud.  Trashy news blogs discovered our crush and went nuts. (They’re late to the party.)

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One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks for help from Poppa Bookworm, and tips from Arrkay (Culturally F’ed) and Fuzzwolf (FurPlanet.) 

The newly established PAWcon is coming up on October 30 – in the same place as Further Confusion.  It made me raise a topic

In the 90’s, ConFurence was THE convention for all furries worldwide.  26 years after ConFurence 0 broke ground, the subculture has gained enough steam for some local populations to get multiple cons.  It’s a sign of a healthy community.  Areas or cities like that make great examples to learn from.  Do they succeed?  What does it say about fan support, and competition or cooperation to grow our awesome fandom?

Five places came to mind:

  • San Jose, CA (Further Confusion and PAWcon, since 2014)
  • Columbus, OH (Morphicon and Furlaxation, in 2012-2014)
  • Toronto (Camp Feral! and Furnal Equinox, since 2010)
  • Boston, MA (Maltese Fur Con and Anthro New England, in 2014)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Anthrocon and Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend)

Healthy growth can bring a downside.  Cons are growing large and well-attended enough to have critical security concerns.  This month, Oklacon and Rainfurrest both announced dramatic cancelations due to misbehavior.  Bad faith can get between organizers and their venues, and that gets bigger than internal fandom drama.  However, it’s also natural for problems to grow when a population does.  Be optimistic with a con every week, some place in the world.

Consider the hard work it takes to organize a con, and draw people to fly in from far away.  Organizing could be a paid profession.  Furries are lucky and loveable because theirs come from volunteering.  This brings a risk of burnout and decline.  It’s important to understand how and why.  The decline of ConFurence coincided with the start of Further Confusion, which may have unintentionally divided the pool of supporters.  16 years after ConFurence 10 ended, multi-con locations can show examples for how to sustain what we love.

There’s much more than conventions in the hard-to-measure Furry subculture.  They can only draw some members.  But they can be considered to lead it’s growth.  Con-goers, fursuiters, and fursuiting con-goers may be the most committed members of furry social life.  They spend the tourist dollars that float Furry’s best public profile.  Anthrocon’s $7 million tourism draw has earned more and more enthusiastic coverage.  In 2015, it achieved a new benchmark, with their first public parade that was cheered on by 5,000 regular people of Pittsburgh.  This is what the public sees.

Let’s look for insight from organizers.  Dogpatch Press sent questions to ten cons in five locations:

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A chat with Uncle Kage about Anthrocon’s amazing achievements in 2015.

by Patch O'Furr

kage

This year, it seems like more great press attention went to Anthrocon than ever before.  Take a look!  (Here’s everything I could find in July.)

Why was there rising attention?  One of the big reasons was the fursuit parade.  For the first time in an almost two-decade history, the con took an amazing spectacle seen in private out to a public street.  A lot of the locals must wonder what goes on behind the doors of the con.  Getting to see it drew an enthusiastic crowd of “normals” almost as large as the convention itself.  Apart from the furry/crowd interaction, this was a big deal because of all the logistics and relationship building behind the scenes.  It promises great things to come.

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Praise for creative expression, and a debate with bomb threats – NEWSDUMP (8/24/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

img_0782“Anthrocon Convention steps out in full fursuits.”

The New Pittsburgh Courier revisits the con with a few nice photos.

Furry creative expression gets praise from an environmental, travel and style writer.

Why Do We Like To Dress Up Like Animals? This introduces furries with much more insight than the usual coughed-up hairball of stuff we’ve seen a million times.  It’s better because author Starre Vartan puts her voice in it as a “furry sympathiser”.  She gives more than boring “whats” and gets into interesting “whys”. Previously, she wrote about the fabulous trend of Merman Hair – “more proof that guys like flair too.”  A+ for this writer’s sense of culture.

A cure for misunderstanding about Furries, gender and kink. Read the rest of this entry »

Anthrocon Anthrocon Anthrocon! Fluffsplosion of hype. NEWSDUMP (7/20/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. “Local correspondents” wanted to talk about your local networks.  

This week’s Newsdump: Everything Anthrocon!  There was SO MUCH of this news, and it was such a busy month, that I will be playing catch-up for a while with it… I’m not able to read all of these links.  Good job catching all this attention, AC!  Has there ever been this much?  Some of it is national (the Onion A.V. Club and NPR notice seems particularly cool.) It was quite a coup to parade outside on the Pittsburgh street for the first time.  5,000 regular public watchers came out to see the furries, and they went nuts for it.  I hope the crowd doubles in the future.  I’d love to interview Uncle Kage about the planning and reception. (Official Anthrocon wrapup report.)

Onion A.V. Club: Watch almost 1500 furries strut their stuff at this year’s Anthrocon.

The official count of members in the Anthrocon 2015 Fursuit Parade Group Photo is 1,460.  This reminded me of a neat aspect of the con.  All that show value!  These costumes represent so much investment… we could do a few estimates to figure out how much.  In a previous post, “$3 million sale raises furry auction topic”, I came up with an arbitrary $2,320.51 per fursuit represented in Anthrocon’s parade.  Multiply by the count of 1,460 members this year to reach a (rough guesstimate) value of $3,387,944.60 in fursuits.

NPR: The Furries Have Landed — And Pittsburgh Is Giving Them A Bear Hug.

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