Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: fandom

“We Want Politics Out of Furry Fandom” is a political statement, and here’s a good response.

by Patch O'Furr

“We Want Politics Out” is politics.

It’s a popular complaint. This fan group is supposed to be for interest in anthropomorphic animal media and nothing more. That boils down to lowest-common-denominator consumerism. It’s like everyone is a bottom-feeding plecostamus in their own fish tank, and what they consume is just random scum growing on the bottom. Who cares where it comes from? Just be a dumb fish.

An unpopular fursona.

The problem is, reductionism doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s a community attached to the way members consume things. And the complaint often comes with attacking care about how things work there. (Stop asking questions about the delicious scum!)

Everyone who’s here in good faith has some kind of care beyond themselves. It can range from management of websites or cons, to health and safety, or being a loose support network. You see it whenever a member gets help with money or a place to live, or even with complaints about FA’s management. When it’s time to talk about bigger stuff, complaining against politics is half-baked activism for the status quo. Here’s why.

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Support Furry Nation by Joe Strike, out October 10 – with exclusive offer here for a free comic!

by Patch O'Furr

Previously posted – Review – Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.

Finally, there’s a formally published book about furry fandom and its history. I think it’s overdue by a decade. It comes with excellent cred, being written by long time insider Joe Strike (who joined the fandom in 1989) and published by Cleis Press. Find out more from furrynation.com.

To support the book: sign up to their Thunderclap campaign. Join fast, the launch is approaching!

Signing up concentrates support with one blast on social media.  Why help? Success of the book will support more and better plans. One commenter asked why the book says “America’s most misunderstood subculture.” It has to do with an American publisher focused on domestic readers, and much of the early history is tied to a few American places.  The book had to be kept inside a certain length, leaving wider topics out, but if it does well…

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Review – Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.
Cleis Press, October 2017, paperback $17.95 (288 pages), Kindle $10.99.

Here’s what I wrote for a cover blurb:

Like herding cats, gathering the history of furry fandom has been called impossible.  Furries love impossible things, so this is long overdue.  I’m happy to say it was worth the wait.  Joe Strike puts solid ground under the legs of the Furry Nation – genre, subculture, and yes, even kink – with his experience of watching it grow.  This book is for original 1980’s fans, new ones looking back, and outsiders drawn to the weird coolness of talking animals.  There’s many ways to get into it, but this is a unique view of how furries are breaking out.

Joe’s book isn’t the perfect bible for everyone – but expecting that from one book is unrealistic.  It’s just the kind of book that comes from a devout fan, and that’s why I recommend it.

I’ll summarize some reaction to the news that this book will exist: “It’s gonna suck! Who is Joe Strike?” – I knew who Joe was before I knew he was a furry, from his animation journalism. He does scriptwriting and his own comic too. He brings us a history that can live beyond bit-rot, supported by a firmly established publisher. Cleis has a 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” It’s smart to focus on the word independent, which means open-minded support from the first ones to take the chance.

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Make fandom cooler with local Furry Bazaars.

by Patch O'Furr

Do you like Scooby snacks?  The first time I ate a weed cookie was at a Really Really Free Market. That’s a swap meet seasoned with radical/hippie idealism. People who love principles of mutual aid get together and trade crap they don’t need with others who want it.  It keeps stuff out of the dump and helps people without money. It’s a place to score old books, music or some wiggy threads. They may have potluck food or dumpster dived treasure. Or both at once. (I once lived for two years with Freeganism – oh the stories I have.) And you might score weed (for adults where it’s legal, of course.)

The meet was in a 5th floor artist loft full of good music and fun people. There was a spread of free cookies with a sign to beware of overmedicating. I took one and nibbled a corner. Nothing happened so I went whole hog.  Then it happened… oh boy it happened.

My personal pile of treasure was all donated, so I took the exit to the twilight zone.  On the way down the stairs, I turned a corner and suddenly they weren’t going down… they were going up.  What the heck!?  I continued to fumble my way out while a faint satanic chanting emanated from behind the doors.  Somehow I found the street and got home. I sat down and time-traveled.  When I looked up, I realized that I forgot to shut the front door.  And there was a hooker in my living room (it was that kind of neighborhood).  She asked for a ride, so I told her to try one of those cookies for a real trip.

I wish there was a way to travel to a world full of furries. That would make some amazing blogging for you.  But you can make it happen where you live. The coolest thing about this fandom is how it’s so DIY. It’s like a sandbox for whatever you want to make of it.  If you live anywhere that has furries within petting distance, try getting together with them to throw cool events.

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How furry fandom is rejecting neo-nazis, “Altfurs” and Furry Raiders who target kids for hate.

by Patch O'Furr

Get ready for a big topic about toxic behavior, the cult-like groups doing it, how they’re targeting kids, and how the fandom is cutting ties with it for positive progress.  This is a followup to last week’s article: “The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time“. It focuses on the source of the problem:

  • At Anthrocon 2017, a troll provoked drama with defenders who claimed he was being unfairly censored.
  • The defense missed a basic point – he was an antagonistic outsider who was banned and didn’t register or support the con.
  • It showed how trolls twist facts about consequences for bad behavior, so they can pretend to be the victims.
  • Posing as victims requires a scapegoat (“SJW’s”). The misinformation is being spread like cult propaganda.

Anthrocon’s letter recognizes how the troll was pushing a “political message” on others.  It’s an example of recent fandom activity by alt-right altfurs and their enablers.  They do it with a twofaced pose that they want freedom, want politics out of fandom, and are just giving their side. But their side relies on false middle ground. (In other words, saying the earth is round doesn’t require Flat Earthers to give their side.  Newspapers don’t interview vandals to get their side.) The real goal is to exploit and undermine the fandom behind a false front of “freedom”.  That includes grooming and recruiting kids, trolling and harassing, dodging accountability, and worse things like welcoming literal neo-nazis (see below.)

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The ConFurence Archive: a new resource for fandom history, with Q&A by Mark Merlino.

by Patch O'Furr

Dogpatch Press is honored to host guest writer Mark Merlino.  He’s a fandom founder who helped found the first furry convention (ConFurence Zero in 1989). Mark maintains the Prancing Skiltaire house in So Cal, with fellow fans Rod O’Riley and Changa Lion.  Below is his submission, followed by a part 2 with additional questions I sent.  

Mark is announcing a treasure trove of pre-internet furry lore.  Now you can see stuff like the ConFurence Zero conbook. You may love this if you got involved in the days of trading ‘zines by mail (like me), or if you just want to compare what cons do now to how they did it decades ago.  Now we have a thriving subculture on top of the 1980’s fan ways, with unique features like a cottage industry for fursuiting, dance events beyond compare, and cons every weekend around the world.  But some things never change – this blog is basically my ideal 90’s ‘zine, except I’d love to add more art as it grows. ( – Patch)

Mark in 1989 – and check out the ConFurence Zero Aftermath Report.

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March is Furry Women’s Month – guest post by Shining River.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Shining River for submitting this guest post.

BUST: The Secret Lives Of Female Furries “K2 in her fursuit, photo: Derek Jensen”

In the United States in 1980, a presidential proclamation signed by then president Jimmy Carter designated the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.  In 1987, the Congress of the United States passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month.

Here in our furry community, Twitter user @SunTattooWolf began the hashtag #FemaleFursuiterMonth two years ago. Much like the hashtag #furryblackhistorymonth from last month which was inspired by the celebration of National Black History month in the United States in the month of February, #FemaleFursuiterMonth aims to applaud the women of the furry community who make the effort to express themselves and entertain the rest of us with their fursuit awesomeness. #FemaleFursuiterMonth does also include transgender women.

Women who fursuit are also featured on the WordPress blog of Rune, sharing her furry enthusiasm with us.

Female furries do much more! The furry community also has the benefit of some talented and prolific female writers. The membership of the Furry Writers Guild comprises some 165 members, of which approximately thirty-two are women and transgender women. Several are winners of the Ursa Major Award and/or the Coyotl Award. Please visit their site for links to where you may read some stories for free and where you may purchase their works.

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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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More Furries Are Being Featured in the Media, and That’s Good

by Pup Matthias

drakerogers-furries-in-the-media-with-aberguine

Art by Aberguine

Is it me or are Furries popping up in news stories more? It feels strange to bring it up, but I swear the fandom has been getting more media attention and a good amount of it has been positive. Yes, I know, it weirds me out too. The reason I’m writing this opinion piece is, in part, because of my own history in the fandom. I got involved with the Furry Fandom around 2009. If you were a Furry around that time you were under the shadow of, what I prefer to call, the “Vanity Fair Era”. Named that cause of the infamous article published by Vanity Fair titled, “Pleasures of the Fur”, in 2001. Which presented the Furry Fandom as a sexual fetish and only as a sexual fetish. Along with MTV’s Sex2K episode, “Plushies and Furries,” and the famous CSI episode, “Fur and Loathing,” in 2003 that painted a clear picture of the fandom to mainstream audiences. Supposedly we are about sex and only sex.

Of course that isn’t true. It’s a part of the fandom but it’s not what defines the fandom. Furries are people who love walking talking animals and how they show that love depends on the person. It is as silly for people as it is serious. You can have a fursuit or not. You can create artwork in the fandom or be an observer. It can be sexual for you and it cannot. We all have different levels based around that same love and as long as we are respectful and understand people’s different viewpoints we bring forward a beauty of community the Furry Fandom provides. Anyone who has been in or actually explores the fandom understands that, but with stories like CSI that wasn’t what people were seeing. It’s why for the longest time, and still to a degree, Furries don’t talk to the media because the media has done a poor job with representing us.

Which has lead to moments like the Inside Edition undercover story at FC in 2015 or several smaller press organizations trying to sneak in to get the right sound bite that fits into the ‘Furries as only a sexual fetish’ narrative. I remember when getting involved with the fandom watching those Uncle Kage videos about how to interact/ avoid the media or how he responded when the media went to him. There was no question about it. If you were a Furry under the Vanity Fair Era you were one of the lowest of the low. Someone to be openly mocked and ridiculed. Something you had to hide.

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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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