Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: history

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

New episodes from Culturally F’d: Twisted Tempting Furry Demons!

by Patch O'Furr

If culturallyfdyou’re not reading Dogpatch Press, you should be watching Culturally F’d!  It’s the Furry youtube series that asks:

Where does the love of anthropomorphics come from? How far back can we dig in history and mass media to really get to the bottom of it? Why does every culture across the face of the earth have a fascination with animal-people?

Here’s what’s been going on with Culturally F’d in the past month:

Episode 20: Tempting St. Anthony

Read the rest of this entry »

New episodes from Culturally F’d reveal wicked cryptids and fab vocab.

by Patch O'Furr

If you’re not reading Dogpatch Press, you should be watching Culturally F’d!  It’s the Furry youtube series that asks:

Where does the love of anthropomorphics come from? How far back can we dig in history and mass media to really get to the bottom of it? Why does every culture across the face of the earth have a fascination with animal-people?

title_card

Series host Arrkay sent these new episode updates:

Furry Lingo: Part 1

Read the rest of this entry »

EXCLUSIVE: Patreon launch announcement for Culturally F’d, with a new episode and preview!

by Patch O'Furr

In July, Culturally F’d was announced here with an episode list. It’s the Furry youtube series that asks:

Where does the love of anthropomorphics come from? How far back can we dig in history and mass media to really get to the bottom of it? Why does every culture across the face of the earth have a fascination with animal-people?

title_cardNow, host Arrkay shares the latest episode plus a sneak preview made EXCLUSIVELY for dogpatch.press: 

Hey DogPatch readers! Arrkay here with a special announcement from Culturally F’d.

Firstly, we have a new video all about Fursuiting and Drag Queens. The episode features footage from Howl Toronto in July when some friends and I took over the stage in full drag. In the episode we compare the kind of performances put on by Fursuiters and by Drag Queens to find how much they have in common.

(Note: This week’s video features copyright content due to the drag performances. Because of this, the video may not play in all countries or on all devices.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Fred Patten Presents – his articles about Furry publishing, animation, and history.

by Patch O'Furr

Discussion of the history of furry fandom with Fred Patten, at ConFURence 9.

Fred Patten is the most valued contributor at Dogpatch Press.  He came here during editor down time at Flayrah, seeking a stable place for his reviews and history articles.  (For those who aren’t acquainted with Fred’s impressive resume as a fan historian and curator, he has spent a lot of the recent decade in a convalescent hospital.  Writing is a major benefit to his life and a good cause to support.)

The “Fred Patten” tag has everything he has contributed here.  

Without Fred’s guest posts, there would be no five day a week schedule here.  Assisting and formatting his articles takes a lot of work, and five days a week makes a very demanding pace.  But I think the promise of regular content should inspire anyone who contributes.  It makes this the most active “Furry News” source.  It’s all non-profit, so thank Fred for doing what few people can do without being paid – and volunteer helper Poppa Bookworm – and (ahem) anyone else who helps, reads, shares or comments to make this a community thing.

Fred recently shared a bibliography listing an incredible abundance of his book reviews.  It covers years of writing and hundreds of posts.  At the very least, it’s worth browsing to get an idea about the variety of Furry published work.

“What the Well Read Furry Should Read”: All of Fred’s book reviews at Dogpatch Press, Flayrah, and Anthro magazine.

The list doesn’t include Fred’s other amazing articles that aren’t book reviews.  Here’s everything else.  You don’t want to miss these, if you’re interested in learning about anthropomorphic art, how furries came to be, and what they do and like.

FURRY PUBLISHING, ANIMATION, AND HISTORY:

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s the “Idea Channel” for furries – Culturally F’d on Youtube.

by Patch O'Furr

Sometimes the Dogpatch Press tip account gets extra cool messages.  Here’s what new friend Arrkay sent:

We here love what you guys post online and what your content does for the fandom, so we hope you’ll take some time to check out what we’re doing!

Where does the love of anthropomorphics come from? How far back can we dig in history and mass media to really get to the bottom of it? Why does every culture across the face of the earth have a fascination with animal-people?

Arrkay got me excited to know more. The show summaries are gold… (everything I’d love to expose here.)  Let him explain it in his words:title_card

An all new Furry YouTube show has come on the scene: Culturally F’d.  

Culturally F’d explores the furries of the past and present, climbing the ladder of history through mass media in all the different ways humans have blended the properties of man and animal, and why. From Cave Paintings to Comic Books, and everything in between. Culturally F’d is an exploration of what makes everyone just a little bit furry, and what makes furries especially furry.

Read the rest of this entry »

Did the Axis Have Any Funny Animals? – WWII history from Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

  • SEE BOTTOM: At Fred’s request, a gallery of rare book illustrations from Van den Vos Reynaerde was scanned for this post by the UCRiverside Library.
  • Animal fables traditionally tell morals – this article shows a historically fascinating misuse of anthropomorphism for fascist and Social Darwinist goals.
  • “Dear Patch; This is basically rewritten from my article for Flayrah, Retrospective: Talking Animals in World War II Propaganda.

Did the Axis Have Any Funny Animals?

Yes. Whether the Nazis and Italians did is technically debatable, but the Japanese certainly did.

(Oops! I am reminded that many younger people today do not know what “the Axis” was. “The Enemy” during World War II. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy signed a mutual defense treaty on October 25, 1936 that Italy’s Benito Mussolini described in a speech on November 1 as putting Europe on a Rome-Berlin axis. Imperial Japan joined in 1937. On September 27, 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan signed a Tripartite Pact and formally declared themselves the “Axis powers”. They were joined during the next month by Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. “The Axis” during World War II meant Germany, Italy, Japan, and their allies.)

There were more funny animals assigned to them by American cartoonists for anti-Axis propaganda than there were of their own. The best-known today are probably the Leon Schlesinger/Warner Bros. animated short cartoons The Ducktators and Scrap Happy Daffy, and MGM’s Blitz Wolf.

In The Ducktators, directed by Norm McCabe and written by Melvin Millar, released on August 1, 1942, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis are ducks, Benito Mussolini is a goose, and “the Jap” (a stereotypical “Jap”) is presumably also a duck (although he looks more like a coot).

Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A with Biohazard, artist of the infamous “Too Hot for PBS” auction video.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a followup to a previous article – Exchanging Fluids on PBS: Your eyes will bug out at this WTF furry video from 1992!  The artist Biohazard has more details on his page: “Too Hot for PBS”.

Biohazard answered my request to talk about this crazy subcultural stunt.  Here’s our Q&A:

(Patch:)  The PBS art auction video is epic and classic.  I’m curious how the whole thing went down… beyond the stuff you have already posted, and what you can see in the video.

Can you set the scene to give us a little “furry history”? What was it like to be making naughty furry art in the 1980’s, when that was a more daring thing than now? How did you start making it? How did you start sharing it? Who inspired you or gave you courage to share? What were the reactions? Who were your fans and how did you interact? Was it all by mail or was any in person? How much real-name/real-face interaction was there beyond your fan names? Was there much of a “furry scene”, and did they find you, or did you find it first?

I noticed you said something about donating to that auction for 14 years before they stopped taking the naughty stuff. Was your stuff always cartoony, and did it get more naughty over time? Did you get any funny reactions besides a “tense phone call” with the manager? Any other interaction with “the normals” before they changed their rules to ban your stuff? Did you continue donating tame stuff afterwards, or just move on?

biohazard(Biohazard:) Gallery 33 was not my original foray into TV Land; the first television appearance of my (non-furry) art was at the age of eleven! My winning entry in a 1977 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra poster contest was announced and displayed on the local children’s show ‘Captain Chesapeake’. (I was even invited to City Hall where I met crazy ol’ Mayor Schaefer.) Read the rest of this entry »

Special Features and Top Articles at Dogpatch Press.

by Patch O'Furr

  • Did you hear about President Obama’s meeting with furries?
  • See how our biggest convention draws $7 million in tourist spending!
  • Want to read interviews with movie directors as high as Pixar, as well as the most creative and devoted furry fans?

Dogpatch Press shares hundreds of articles.  Here’s some special ones that got high traffic, drew views for a long time, dig deep to uncover stories, or they’re just quirky personal favorites. They all highlight a thriving subculture.

_______________

THE REGULAR NEWSDUMP:

See the “Newsdump” tag.  These are digest posts of curated links and “list worthy” small stories, from around the web and the border between subculture and mainstream.  They give a look at the state of the community over time. (Lately there’s so much press that these digests are “on paws”. It’s too much to track!)

INTERVIEWS FOR FANS AND FURRIES:

Creators and Doers make a subculture thrive. Whether they build it from grassrootinterviewss, or feed it from outside with stuff we like, they have valuable words to say.

FRED PATTEN PRESENTS:

Check his latest posts.  Fred is our star guest poster, with a long resume as a fan historian and reviewer.

FURSUITING, THE MOST FURRY ACTIVITY.

patch_icon_fursuitIt’s the most original Furry-generated activity, with it’s own coined name.  Nobody does it like us, and nothing else represents us so directly as “ambassadors”. Call it the theatrical soul of furrydom. Fursuiting has a booming cottage industry, and makers are raising the craft until they’re being envied by commercial mascot designers.  It’s true that only 20% own this costly wearable art, and other worthy members might be irked by the scene-stealing glamor, but a picture is worth a thousand words.  It’s hard to deny their huggable appeal (representing the touch-based name of this subculture!)

FURRY DANCE PARTIES – A NEW MOVEMENT:furclub

Since around 2010, furry dance parties are getting established as urban night life.  They bring new partnerships with established venues for support and crossover.  They build on the growth of cons, but take their own direction.  Howl Toronto says – Con dances happen once a year, and “that’s just not enough to fill the need!”  

THE “FURRY ECONOMY”: 

economyFurry creators are working fan-to-fan with an internal economy that even supports some full time careers. Cons are expanding at a healthy rate.  Furaffinity is an independent project acquired by a venture-capital funded company.  It’s rising beyond a full-fledged subculture to possible commercialization.  How will it develop?

“PALEO FURRIES” – ANTHROPOMORPHISM IN HISTORY:patch_icon_history

Hidden threads connect Furry fandom to a rich history of art and performance. A “museum of furry” could exhibit works that look like they’re from a parallel universe. Writer Phil Geusz calls it Paleo Furries. A “Panto-animals and Paleofurs” con panel could uncover hidden depth for what we love.

A THRIVING SUBCULTURE.

ideasThere’s furry houses with multi-generations of fans. There’s a fur con somewhere in the world every weekend of the year.  It brings speculation about future opportunities for new organizations, projects and events.

BAD MEDIA, GOOD MEDIA.

Exploitation makes sensitivity about being in the spotlight, but media and furries can have a chicken-or-egg relationship.  Terms are getting better, and there’s rising recognition for a self-directed community. It brings power to control access for outsiders, or support them to tell our story like we want.

THE FURRY ART WORLD

It’s one of the most creative fandoms because all the content is self-generated.  Sometimes it even overlaps or achieves recognition in the wider art world.

THE NASCENT FURRY MOVIE SCENE.

Film and video can be more challenging than other media where furries thrive.  Other subcultures have developed enough to support independent film making. There have been a few attempts at furry features and some outside ones that come close. There are many fursuiting shorts (especially music videos) and animation student work. The holy grail might be a furry-made animated feature.

“CELEBRIFURRIES” AND STREET CRED:

Furries have more influence than they even realize. Advertisers covet the street cred of subcultures. Disney winked at us with Zootopia.  Are there mainstream celebrities who are secret furries?  How do other subcultures overlap?

ANTHROPOMORPHIC POLITICS.

Think Democrat donkeys, Republican elephants, and “Animal Farm”, the political allegory by George Orwell.

LIMITS AND LIBERTIES – HOW A HOBBY BRINGS FREEDOM:

protestAcceptance is a big feature of furry subculture. It draws interests together, but nothing represents every member, because membership is self-defined by anyone who claims it.  Some interests get conservative disapproval. It makes tension between freedom and collective interest. It can involve prejudice, laws, and times for a hobby social group to stand up for itself.

WHEN FURRY MEETS FURRY – INTIMACY AND “THE TOPIC THEY LOVE TO HATE”.patch_icon_furry_love

It’s not an urban legend – some furries get wild. But sex isn’t a definer.  It can be a family friendly hobby too.  Media hypes sex, but romantic themes are part of being human, and furries are just regular people with extra rich imaginations.  Being unusually open and expressive is required for an interest spectrum beyond the default.  It can cause controversy. It also makes first-time visitors call them the most friendly people you could ever party with. This blog is anti-prude and not shy about sex-positivity.

FURRY TRASH!

Sometimes it’s fun to mix satire with news.  Keep Furry Weird.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH FANDOM:

Furries have been punching-bags for sensational media exploiting them as freaks.  It comes from bias to only look for the worst in people.  There’s stigma, shaming, scapegoating, and a streak of homophobia.  There are even enemies within who are motivated by authority or insecurity.  But dogmatic negativity doesn’t build anything.  That’s why it’s losing power with time. If you hear of “inherent” problems, especially from insiders- it calls for pointing out the positive, expressive nature of the group.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT:

Crime happens in any community.  Sometimes it overlaps with furries.  Most everything they do is harmless and positive, but rare and marginal problems can get sensationalized.  It calls for an eye on biased judgement.

SPECIAL GUEST POSTS BY PUP MATTHIAS:

MORE SPECIAL GUEST POSTS:

French Anthropomorphic Animal Animated Features, part 1 – by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer. There will be four parts.

French (meaning French-language, whether produced in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, or the French-speaking part of Switzerland) anthro theatrical features have been in the news since the subtitled 2013 U.S. release (English-language dub in 2014) of the 2012 Belgian Ernest & Célestine, about the forbidden friendship between a mouse and a bear in a civilization of both. Right now, there is also Yellowbird.

French-language anthro theatrical features are older than most Americans think. Here is a chronological annotated list.

First, some rules. This list consists of those French-language theatrical features (no shorts or TV animation like the 1987 Moi Renart) that feature anthropomorphic animals as the only or majority of the cast. It does not include those featuring mostly humans with only one or two anthro animals, such as the Lucky Luke Westerns with Jolly Jumper, Luke’s talking horse; even when the animal(s) is the main star, such as the 2008 Fly Me to the Moon (three housefly astronauts meet Buzz Aldrin; ho ho) or the 2009 La Véritable Histoire du Chat Botté (The True Story of Puss in Boots) or the 2012 Sur la Piste du Marsupilami (On the Trail of the Marsupilami). It does not include any movies about living toys, fairies, gremlins, elves, or Smurfs.

Le Roman de Renard (The Story of the Fox), directed by Ladislas Starevich. 65 minutes. April 10, 1941.Roman_renard

This is a dubious “French” film with a dubious release date. Starevich (or Starewicz) began making stop-motion films in Russia in 1911. He emigrated to escape the Russian Revolution, and only happened to be in Paris during 1929 and 1930 when he and his wife Irene animated Le Roman de Renard. The animation turned out to be easier than the sound track, which was finally funded in Germany and premiered in Berlin as Reinicke Fuchs on April 10, 1937. The French edit, which is the best-known today, was released exactly four years later on April 10, 1941.

The film is presented as “the oldest and most beautiful story known to us animals”, as narrated by an elderly monkey dressed as a Medieval scholar. The scenario is credited to Irène Starevich, but it is essentially Le Roman de Renart as finalized in literary form by the Renaissance, especially in Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1794 Reineke Fuchs epic poem. By the 1920s almost every standard edition of Goethe’s poem had the 1840s illustrations by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, and the Starevich’s stop-motion models look very similar to these. If you know the 12th-century animal folk tale about Baron Renard the Fox at the court of King Lion, you know the plot of the movie.

Read the rest of this entry »