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Tag: fursuit

The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time.

by Patch O'Furr

TROLLING ANTHROCON

The infamous Confederate fursuit got a lot of views on social media. The issue started with complaints during Anthrocon and Midwest Furfest in 2015.  By no coincidence, the symbol was pushed on the fandom at the same time as racist mass murder by Dylann Roof led to taking down Confederate flags across the USA.  Then in 2017, during a huge amount of positive news about Anthrocon, the issue bubbled up again like a turd in a punchbowl.

The fursuiter is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky. He was previously known for causing disturbances by copying the fursuit of Lemonade Coyote¬†to exploit his death for attention. For several years, Magnus was reputedly banned from MWFF and Anthrocon. ¬†He came back to troll with the Confederate fursuit and a Trump sign that violated AC’s¬†Code of Conduct:

Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects Anthrocon’s relationship with its guests, its venues or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of membership.

Harassment includes … Conduct, dress, or speech that targets, threatens, intimidates, or is otherwise intended to cause distress to other attendees, or to members of protected classes (such as those based on race, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual identity).

Magnus chose to bring that suit even though he has many others. There’s no pretending that it was anything but forcing politics on others, since he admits he did it because of¬†“attack” on the flag. According to his helper, he was even ¬†“ghosting” the con to do it. He¬†could have attended like anyone else if he didn’t set out to cause entirely predictable negativity. To be perfectly clear, Magnus was an antagonistic outsider who did not register or support Anthrocon.

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Fursuit theft in San Francisco leads to a lion hunt.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet Clumzy Lion from Toronto. He was one of 5,138 furries who came to¬†Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno on June 1-4, 2017. His trip included a night in San Francisco’s¬†popular Fisherman’s Wharf area¬†before flying home. ¬†That’s where he lost his head. ¬†Clumzy’s car was broken into, and they even took his¬†passport so he couldn’t fly. ¬†Being robbed and stuck is much worse than just a sad feline.

Remember a similar fursuit theft¬†that made local news by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart? More about that below. They’re¬†linked in case they can help.

(Update: thanks to @SFist for sharing the story!)

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EZ Cool Down vests are a major business for fandom and beyond – EZ Wolf tells why.

by Pup Matthias

Thanks to Matthias for¬†writing for our mission: to show¬†that furries don’t just dream, they make things with awesome DIY power. EZ Wolf’s shirt says it all. – Patch

Wearing a fursuit is a pain in the tail. I wouldn‚Äôt know myself, since I would like to have a roof over my head for the next month. However, ask anyone who has had the joy of bringing their amazing characters to life, and they’ll tell you it‚Äôs like wearing your couch. There‚Äôs a lot of sweat and heat that goes into bringing the magic to life. But one member of our fandom has gone out of his way to battle this problem, and has developed¬†one of the most successful fandom businesses. I‚Äôm talking about the EZ Cool Down vests created by well-known photographer and video maker, EZ Wolf. ¬†Here’s what he told me.

EZCD_logoIntroduced in 2013, the vest has become a standard for many Furries to stay cool under their fursuit.

(EZ Wolf:)¬†“The EZCooldown Performers vest is specially designed for actors, cosplayers, LARPers, fursuiters, and other costume performers.

This cooling vest provides hours of cooling comfort and prevention against heat stress thanks to four special PCM inserts which provide comfortable cooling relief for up to four hours, even during strenuous activities in high-temperature environments.

Each vest has four inserts made of phase change material.

The four inserts contain biological phase change material (PCM), which retains cold.

The PCM inserts can be quickly activated in your refrigerator or freezer or by putting them in ice water, and they can be reused over and over again. Once activated, the PCM maintains its temperature for a long period, providing comfortable cooling relief.

The EZCooldown Performers vest is made out of thin yet durable polyester mesh, which won’t add a thermal insulating layer to your outfit.

The four inside pockets can house four PCM inserts: two on your chest and two on your lower back.

Our vests come in three sizes and can be easily adjusted with the six Velcro straps to fit each individual wearer perfectly.”

Unlike fursuit making, this is a step up from the process of custom handiwork.  EZ Cool Down does not make the vest themselves.

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NEWSDUMP: Four cons for Pacific Northwest, history and scandal in the fandom – (9/15/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

FOUR cons for the US Pacific Northwest? (Tip РFuzzwolf.)

apkjwqsxFurvana (2018). Anthro Northwest (November 9-12, 2017). Pacific Northwest Fur Con (Spring 2017). And a rebirth for Rainfurrest (under parent organization RAIN, who actively runs other events year-round.)  All of these are intended for one region.  Amazingly they seem cooperative, with none replacing another.

On Reddit’s r/furry,¬†a con staffer explains more about all the¬†activity.

In late 2015¬†Dogpatch Press looked at¬†five regions for “One Town, Two Cons: Let‚Äôs compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.”¬†It was about¬†fan support, competition and cooperation, with¬†questions about¬†how to¬†sustain more than one central event. But four¬†is¬†unprecedented ambition.

It¬†could only come with¬†2016’s¬†amazing Year of Furry. ¬†From Zootopia’s billion-dollar success, to Fursonas (the first movie¬†about furries with mainstream distribution),¬†to the continued explosion of cons, there’s much¬†more to come.

Furry party posters from the 1980’s.¬†

In the 1980’s, sci-fi cons gathered fans of¬†funny-animal cartoons for room parties. Mark Merlino and Rod O’Riley have¬†the Prancing Skiltaire furry house in So Cal that has posted some¬†of their¬†party flyer collection.¬† There was drama about the “furries” being weird, because that stuff isn’t for grown-ups is it? ¬†So¬†in 1989 they got their own con, ConFurence. ¬†Look at how they¬†multiplied like bunnies. Now it’s too late to stop them. Just don’t let anyone with a time machine go back and change the flyers to send them¬†to¬†Floor 13.

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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 ‚Äėthe original furry nightclub‚Äô to lose historic venue ‚Äď 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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Furries show how a good community is the antidote for soullessness.

by Patch O'Furr

There was a silly¬†post¬†here that¬†mixed politics and¬†the¬†friendly¬†community of furries. I got a little heat from all sides for that. (I wouldn’t have it any other way… whether it’s a controversy or a furry¬†cuddle sandwich,¬†I like being¬†in the middle.) Why do that? Because it’s a group of people just like other people, so they mix it themselves sometimes. ¬†Not my fault¬†for noticing.

It relates to a post by¬†another blogger. Let’s get to his in a minute, but first meet¬†Zachary Byron Helm. He’s¬†a talent I have appreciated since Livejournal, the kind¬†who would be considered some kind of subcultural mogul in¬†a big coastal city. ¬†He has gathered a following of his own from his lair¬†in Colorado. It’s¬†an entirely different subculture, but you might have seen me post about loving punk/goth and industrial music from time to time. (Subcultures are at their best when they mingle and mutate.)

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Interview with Cornbread Wolf, the super fursuiter of Georgia Tech games.

by Patch O'Furr

From Cornbread's photo gallery

From Cornbread’s photo gallery

Sports fans are notoriously devoted.  Fursuits are incredibly photogenic.  Mascots and fursuiting make a powerful crossover when they meet.

It happens at games when fursuiting fans get noticed for national TV.  Sometimes a furry gets to be a mascot with the sweet moves and personalities that seem to spring naturally from our cons.  There are even official, high-profile team characters commissioned from fursuit makers.

That’s all covered in the article series continued in the recent¬†Q&A with Uncle Kage and Kodi of Midwest Furfest. ¬†It started with¬†1) The beginning of¬†mascots and fursuiting,¬†2) Fursuiting crossover with pro¬†sports, and¬†3) The National Mascot¬†Hall of Fame.

Cornbread Wolf¬†brings the voice of a¬†true furry fan to this story. ¬†This isn’t about ordinary furmeets, or a safe way to support teams like everyone else. ¬†He stands¬†out in the crowd in a super powerful way¬†by following two passions to the same place. ¬†It’s a great¬†example of my favorite thing, Street Fursuiting. ¬†Find him on Furaffinity, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Marta the River Otter – the adorable fursuit mascot of King County, Washington.

by Patch O'Furr

water-safety

This otter does public service in a proper fursuit, commissioned by local government. (Tip: Zeigler Jaguar.)

kingKing County has two million people in the region around Seattle. ¬†Their Department of Natural Resources and Parks has a new mascot who’s a uniquely Furry example of public funding for art and education.

On Twitter, Chrissy B asked who built the suit. ¬†They answered: “Beetlecat Originals helped create Marta for river safety public outreach.”

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Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

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Pic: UltraGor

There was¬†a hunt for a missing giraffe…

Zarafa is a furry superstar lately. ¬†But he didn’t go looking for notoriety. ¬†It happened one night after a show when his treasured purple giraffe fursuit was stolen from his car. ¬†It led to community-wide support, and miraculous recovery of the suit. Now people recognize him on the street.

Credit is due to Neonbunny, the show DJ, for pounding the sidewalk to spread flyers.  How many promoters would do it for one show goer?  Dedication like that built a local scene for furry dance parties.

Finding the suit flipped around the loss to amazing extremes beyond Zarafa and a circle of furry friends.  The support drew notice from local media, and they found it irresistible to share:

The San Francisco Bay Area Furry scene drew a journalist from New York.

A new surprise came two months later.¬†¬†Another news¬†article¬†covered¬†Zarafa’s night out and loss of his suit. ¬†The journalist had been¬†on the scene, but not¬†with¬†intentions to write about drama like that.

Whitney Kimball originally contacted me through Dogpatch Press. ¬†She was looking for leads for a story about older people who may have discovered Furry fandom in later life. (I told her the word was “greymuzzle”). I pointed her to Zarafa, Neonbunny, and Spottacus.

After my introductions,¬†they handled the rest.¬† Whitney learned about Neonbunny’s “Furries vs. Drag Queens” dance party. ¬†Soon she was¬†flying from New York to San Francisco to be there. ¬†(That’s dedication, right?) ¬†I had nothing else to do with the resulting article (although I’m told the main¬†graphic seems to show me in the background. Nice!)¬† It’s exciting to share it:

How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head Рby Whitney Kimball.

It’s a kickass article, according to the feedback. ¬†Have you read many others that talk about the “lightning bolts” you get from wearing a fursuit? ¬†(It invited more interest too – Zarafa was then contacted by¬†Zoomin TV, a euro outfit doing video news for niche channels.) Spottacus said:

‘This is wonderful… it sets the right tone, weaves several threads into a great story with exactly the right feeling, and captures the essence of what is going on inside the head inside the fursuit.”

One furry friend (and journalist in real life) had an interesting comment:

Why don’t we have an award?

The Ursa Major award seems to be all for¬†fiction, even if there’s an “other” category. Fred Patten is a member of the¬†award¬†committee. ¬†He told me:¬†“what to do about non-fiction works with regard to the Ursa Majors is being discussed.” ¬†

Everyfur knows how the furry community regards the dreaded “THE MEDIA”. It¬†starts with¬†supersensitivity, and maybe a¬†hate/hate relationship. ¬†Attention from them¬†seems to cause a defensive crouch with claws out.

But furries are in many ways created by the media. It’s an internet-based subculture of fans. With “The Year of Furry” happening, and furry movies blowing up the box office, I think it’s a good time to stop dancing around this frenemy.

The quality of Whitney’s article makes me want to do more than share. It made me talk about establishing an award because of the story.¬†Whitney¬†liked that:

“WOW, I think that is the most flattering feedback I have ever gotten in 6 years of writing!! Thank you for featuring the story, Patch, I really appreciate it! And I’m happy to hear that the news coverage is improving in general. That Vanity Fair piece was just godawful.”

If “the media” is mostly bad, reward it when it’s good.

If they’ve spread negativity before, it’s part of notoriety that now draws them back. ¬†That’s a monster they helped to create. ¬†Now the more interest grows, the more¬†you have power to say “no” if they ask for access. ¬†Making them¬†work to do¬†better would flip the dynamic. ¬†It would be smart to own that power and¬†award good attention.

Well written articles are¬†coming with growing frequency.¬†It¬†makes me want to¬†start a short list of the best. Here’s a few¬†that I would list¬†for special recognition:

What do you think about an award name?  How should it be organized?  Who could pitch in? 

Look for a second article here soon about more spotlight on Bay Area Furries.

 

 

Positive news for furries but they can’t be tamed – NEWSDUMP (4-21-16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Boston Globe: Furries are finally having their moment.

It was originally titled “Revenge of the furries.”¬†The revenge is on¬†haters who should accept Furry¬†as something that’s always been around, and not exotic weirdness. “Finally” is a good word to see¬†about¬†one of the most genuinely loveable subcultures of the internet age.

At FWA.

At FWA- photo by Maura Friedman.

Furry Weekend Atlanta: Journalist gets it.

“I was fascinated to meet people who are so invested in a niche, often ostracized interest. It’s hard, emotional labor to love anything society labels uncool ‚Äď teens everywhere can attest. But thousands of those people ‚Äď fursuit fans ‚Äď were coming together, and I got to be a respectful witness to their community.”

That’s beautiful. ¬†Thanks,¬†Maura Friedman. ¬†And there’s also this:¬†Furry Weekend Atlanta takes over Downtown.

Escapist Magazine:¬†COSPLAY DOSSIER –¬†Why I Love Furries. ¬†A wonderfully positive piece – there’s a lot of those lately, and who’s complaining?

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