Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: interviews

Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.

Special Features and Top Articles at Dogpatch Press.

by Patch O'Furr

Updated Feb 2017 – this page is out of date and due for an overhaul soon.

  • 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 has over 700 articles, publishing every week day.  Here’s some special ones that got high traffic, drew views for a long time, dug 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:

Interview series: Movie directors, animators, artists, event builders, superfans, and more.

by Patch O'Furr

Creators and Doers make a subculture thrive. Whether they build it from grassroots – or feed it from outside with stuff that furries like – they have valuable words to say.  I didn’t plan to build a collection of interviews – it grew naturally from one. It will get updated often.  Let’s start with a great top example:

Michel Gagne is one of the giants of the animation world. You may have seen his work on movies for Don Bluth, Warner, Pixar, and more. He was Guest of Honor at Anthrocon 2004. In 2012, Kickstarter backers pledged $57,875 towards his own animated movie, The Saga of Rex. The result was a 4:00 teaser video, released in 2013 as progress towards producing the Rex movie.  What’s he up to since then?

Read the rest of this entry »