Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: indie

“You let your ghosties get the best of you”- Chatting with comics creator Mark Kalesniko

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with devoted curation by a fan doing exactly what they love. If you like this, give it a follow. And expect more syndicated content reposted here.  (- Patch)

“You can either stay and rot, or you can escape and burn. That’s OK; he’s a songwriter, after all, and he needs simple choices like that in his songs. But nobody ever writes about how it is possible to escape and rot, how escapes can go off at half-cock, how you can leave the suburbs for the city but end up living a limp suburban life anyway. That’s what happened to me; that’s what happens to most people”

High Fidelity- Nick Hornby

Years back, after heavily getting back into comics, I was gifted with the book 500 Essential Graphic Novels and surprised by the breadth and depth of the selection set about bookmarking and ordering a few dozen titles. Amongst them was Mark Kalesniko’s Alex, a character I instantly fell in love with and creator who’s work I quickly consumed. Having moved back to his home town of Bandini in Canada, with his tail between his legs, after abandoning his dream of animation at ‘Mickey Walt’, Alex wakes up on a park bench, groggy from another night of alcohol fuelled self destruction. Hungover, high school yearbook in his jacket and with an expressionistic painting of the town he has no memory of. The frustrated Alex fills his time wrestling with his past, struggling with artists’ block, hard drinking, and Gilligan’s Island whilst avoiding old school friends and facing up to the unthinkable. Having to be an artist, rather than a cartoonist. Freeway, drawn over ten years features a younger Alex in his animating career. Stuck in a seemingly never ending traffic jam he reminisces about his uncertain start in LA , whilst he imagines himself living an idyllic life, back in the golden days of animation.

Although optimistic now, I spent most of my teens and twenties as a shamefully stereotypically moody and sullen sod, even now I’m drawn to characters like Alex. Back then my favourite book was High Fidelity, which is the reason for the quote at the start of the review which pretty much sums up Alex’s story. Both books features a downtrodden lead character, stuck in their ways and unhappy with the way life turned out. Kalesinko’s work is great for wallowing in self pity and misery, in the same way that we’re drawn to sad songs, knowing full well they’ll bring us yet deeper into sadness. Tackling themes of depression, self destruction, inner peace and the death of a dream, they are both hugely moving and funny reads. Kalesinko can tease out the comedy of even the most disastrous and destructive events of Alex’s life, presented with his sparse fine line with the pacing and sense of movement that clearly comes from his own stint in animation.

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Furry Nights movie review – a crowd pleaser for lovers of campy indie horror.

by Patch O'Furr

Do you love trash like I do?  In the 1970’s, exploitation movies became a thing where trash and sleaze were loveable qualities. They had fun doing stuff the mainstream wouldn’t do.  Along with the bad, came good access for audiences that Hollywood didn’t represent, like minorities and subcultures.  Now “Fursploitation” is creeping into popular awareness. I characterize it that way if it portrays “furries” with off-the-rack, poorly fitting mascot costumes and orgy jokes.  That stuff may not play well with furries, but it can.  They’ll probably dislike it if it has low effort at research, or feels carelessly opportunistic or mean, but it helps to be indie and share inside references to laugh together. A success would be CollegeHumor’s “Furry Force”, which the fandom took with good humor.

Furry Nights is an indie horror movie directed by J. Zachary.  It premiered in late 2016 with a theater show in Atlanta. I heard from several very happy furry watchers who attended.  Then Zachary asked me to tell you about it.

Furry Nights is now available on iTunes. Here’s the synopsis from the official website:

“What begins as a carefree weekend amongst a group of camping teens soon takes a strange turn when the gang discovers they are not alone in the forest.  FURRIES have rooted camp just across the nearby lake.  Not worried about the “party animals,” the kids sleep soundly that night, only to be woken by a real life horror — A BEAR!  One of the teens shoots and kills the grizzly monster, but quickly realizes the tragic truth — HE HAS SHOT A FURRY . . . Now, the maniacal furries will stop at nothing to make them pay . . .

CAN THE TEENS SURVIVE THE REVENGE OF THE FURRIES?!”

@KaiWulf said: “Indy film, very campy. We had a good laugh.” And here’s another happy watcher.

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Furry literature: Advertising it outside of furry fandom – with Fred Patten and Phil Geusz.

by Patch O'Furr

WPbanner1(Patch:) The Furry Writers’ Guild Coyotl Awards have just opened for voting by members.  This is a good occasion to talk about furry publishing.  Committed operations are putting out a regular stream of content by fans, for fans – but is it healthy enough to support professionals? Can any of them smoothly transition between this niche and the mainstream, to be as well-rounded as they can be? Here’s a look that builds on past stories like:

Let some of the most experienced voices in furry tell you more.  Here’s Fred Patten, with comments by Phil Geusz.

(Fred:) Watts Martin’s January 2017 novel, Kismet, is being published under two imprints: at FurPlanet Productions, as furry fiction for the furry market, and Argyll Productions, as science fiction for the larger s-f market or mainstream sales; with two different covers, both by Teagan Gavet, tailored for those markets.

This sounds ambitious and imaginative. But how well will it work in practice? The record isn’t encouraging.

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Yiffing for dollars: Furry artists among top highest-paid Patreon creators.

by Patch O'Furr

The planet is in trouble and every species has a complaint these days, so let a dog bark about politics.  If I had a crystal ball to see into the coming Trump years, I bet there would be nothing but murk with occasional mushroom clouds.  The power-hungry pumpkinhead will bring isolationism, extreme nativism, and turmoil for international relations.  He gives lip service about bringing back jobs, but with no plan beyond drunkenly slashing and burning everything: Regulations, facts, the social contract. Don’t be surprised if work involving foreign trade vaporizes with no replacement, leaving only burger-flipping and a Limbo game for wages.  (Burgers will be a nice memory while gnawing rats in the rubble.)

But if the Doomsday Clock stays at a minute to midnight, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Maybe business will have a bounce.  Not in the old economy way before they had robots do the work, but if they aren’t hiring, what’s better than making your own career?

Look at what’s up on the indie level. And this caught my eye: “Can This Startup Reinvent How Doggie Portraits Are Sold?

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Tip Your Makers! Why to pay more for art to improve commissioning and spread the love.

by Patch O'Furr

Missing, flaky commissions suck. it’s a chronic problem that’s only modestly addressed by small watchdogs like the Artist Beware community.

Things should be smoother.  But there’s a reason why commissioning is unpredictable. Things are dragged down by underbidding among artists. Nobody becomes an artist to get rich, and many don’t charge enough for the service they’re doing.

Why ask a customer to fix problems of a business?  I get it… if someone promises something, they should deliver without expecting more than they earn.  But give me a minute… if this is a passion-driven fandom and not a cut-throat market, maybe there’s a little room for common problem-solving and partnership.

Assume good faith.  Give credit to artists for being full of love for what they do.  But it’s awfully hard to get good and be competitive.  That’s how so many of them plan to get things done on a thin margin and tight schedules.  It’s easy for plans to go off the rails, people get sick, there’s unexpected mistakes or accidents, and burnout is common. Then commissioners are left waiting for extra weeks, months… or nearly forever.

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October 2016 is Furry Book Month!

by Patch O'Furr

Huskyteer of the Furry Writers’ Guild sends a super cool announcement for fandom book lovers.  Furry Book Month is an initiative to promote anthropomorphic literature. Please give some love to the authors and publishers of the fandom – not just established ones you know, but also newer ones like Thurston Howl and Weasel Press.  Learn more in Fred Patten’s recent article, The State of Furry Publishing.

fbm

Furry Book Month logo by Ultrafox

October 2016 is Furry Book Month!

This October, we’re raising the profile of anthropomorphic literature and bringing it to a wider audience.

The Furry Writers’ Guild has joined forces with some of our fandom’s great authors and publishers.  They will offer special deals during the month, from free shipping and discount codes to free books.

Even if you don’t read furry fiction yet, try the special offers for a furry book in October.

Already a reader? Give a book to a friend, try a new author, or write a book review!  Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads can be short, and really help authors. Got lots to say? Submit a review to Flayrah, Dogpatch Press, or Claw & Quill.

What will you do this Furry Book Month? Please spread the word on social media using #FurryBookMonth!

Visit furrywritersguild.com/furry-book-month/ for the list of offers.

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NEWSDUMP – Fur-friendly culture, mascot boot camp – (7/25/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Mascot Boot Camp in the Washington Post.

They sent a reporter to Mascot-Boot-Campattend Mascot Boot Camp. It’s run by Dave Raymond.  “Dave was the original Phillie Phanatic — the first to inhabit the green costume in 1978. In the mascot community, he is something of a founding father.”

Dave is also founder of The Mascot Hall of Fame. It’s scheduled to open in Indiana in 2017.  They said that he has run the Mascot Boot Camp for more than 20 years and it will continue at their new venue. Here’s a video for the 2016 camp.

In 2015 I did a series about crossover of fursuiting and professional sports mascots. Look for update articles next week with a Q&A from Uncle Kage, an MFF organizer, and Cornbread Wolf (who fursuits for fun at sports games.)

Frog and Toad are a proto-furry relationship story.

The New Yorker covers the beloved classic children’s book series by Arnold Lobel. “During his career, he worked on dozens of children’s books, both as a writer and as an illustrator… His specialty was animals and their misadventures.”

According to his daughter:

“Adrianne suspects that there’s another dimension to the series’s sustained popularity. Frog and Toad are ‘of the same sex, and they love each other… It was quite ahead of its time in that respect.’ In 1974, four years after the first book in the series was published, Lobel came out to his family as gay. ‘I think ‘Frog and Toad’ really was the beginning of him coming out'”…

frogIt’s interesting to look at how anthropomophism, character and sexuality came together in simple friendship stories. You don’t need to know about the author for the stories to be just as good, but the writing is very personal.  These are mainstream children’s books, but I might dare to say that the hidden meaning gives them more in common with furry fan fic than anyone but us would understand.

“Furlesque” at Cincinnatti Fringe Fest.

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A complaint: Furry fan publishing is overlooked – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

I feel like complaining, and I’m not sure who to complain to.

It’s about the review of the recent FurCon in Science Fiction/San Francisco #161, (PDF), Spring 2015, “Furries in the Fog: Further Confusion 2015” by Christopher Erickson, reprinted in the DP newsdump of April 16. It’s a typical review today of a furry convention for the general public, both accurate and highly favorable. But Erickson said, “I was also able to see all of the dealer room. There was a lot for sale. There were numerous artists to choose from. There were also dealers selling ears and tails. There was a stand with puppets. One stand was selling custom collar tags and license plate covers. Others were selling artisan crafted soaps and lotions. I purchased a few pieces of badge art from one dealer that featured various fandoms.”

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Furries get best seat in the house for MC Crumbsnatcher’s toilet rap.

by Patch O'Furr

Nerdcore rap and furries: it’s a match made in the demented mind of MC Crumbsnatcher, a guy who taught me a thing or two about how to rock out and be silly.  That’s what I did for his disgustingly catchy song, “Boy I Don’t Think It’s Sleazy (Cuz We’re In a Bathroom).”  The new video is fourth in the ultra-gay, only-from-San-Francisco series that you definitely shouldn’t watch if you’re easily offended.

Fursuiters included Neonbunny, and me as a blinged-out Husky, complete with gold grill.  Todd wore the toiletsona suit.  (Shhh, don’t tell… at 3:09, I got caught drinking from the bowl. Bad dog!)  This video finally lets Crumby marry his penguin boyfriend.  Is that a tear in my eye… or just backsplash?

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The History of Furry Publishing, Part Two: Current Publishers – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer. Continuing Part One: Beginnings.

Sdownload (4)ofawolf Press, founded by Tim Susman and Jeff Eddy and currently run by Jeff Eddy, originally from his homes in East Falmouth, Massachusetts and later St. Paul, Minnesota, and now from a warehouse in the latter, was the first really successful furry publishing company in the U.S. Sofawolf became official in October 1999 as a sole proprietorship, with its first publication, the furry general fiction magazine Anthrolations #1, in January 2000.   Anthrolations was originally scheduled for semiannual publication in January and July, but it soon ran into the drying up of submissions – except for furry erotica, which Susman & Eddy did not accept for Anthrolations. #7 was published in July 2003, and #8, the final issue, was not until November 2006.

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