Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

They Are Smol: creating a fan community — guest post by TPH.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

The genesis of a community is today’s furry news. TPH (TinyPrancingHorse) asked if I could cover his humorous science fiction series that features several anthropomorphic species. I sent back an offer: Let’s see your own story that covers — (1) The content that makes the community’s backbone — (2) Proof of how it gets support like money or views —  (3) Nuts and bolts of how it got going — (4) Earned experience from doing it. I hope this inspires YOUR creation. (- Patch)

They are Smol has a main page here, and the first chapter can be found here.

What’s it about?

When people think of their favorite series – be it Star Wars to Tolkien, Discworld to Dune – there’s always a sense of mystery and nobility to how those series began. It starts with Men and Women, taking their life experiences, war stories, deep thoughts and desperate hopes, and pulling from that mysterious aether of the “could be” and bringing it into the real world.

Then there’s my series, Smol.

They are Smol was not created out of the desperation of homelessness, the pain of war, the desire to preserve culture, or any other number of excellent and moving reasons. They are Smol was created during a mental breakdown at work, where the author – on a throwaway reddit account – ended up tapping into something interesting in the human psyche.

All too often, in popular media – games, movies, books – humanity is depicted as this ascendant demigod given form, and they often have a cute sidekick character to play off of and highlight these traits. Think Rocket Raccoon, or if you’re in the Monster Hunter universe, the Palicoes. Something cute to headpat, something small to protect, yet noble in their own right.

Make our species that cute.

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#DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster — A fight with furry fandom influence.

by Patch O'Furr

I LOVE THAT SONG

First published in 1983-1987, Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger fantasy series struck a chord for a burgeoning fandom. It features a law student, Jon-Tom, with janitor work and rock and roll dreams. He wakes up in a strange land after smoking something weird to escape mundanity, where he meets a rabble-rousing otter (Mudge) and turtle wizard (Clothahump). His new talking-animal world sets a stage for learning to channel magic with music… but only once per song. Playing Pink Floyd’s Money on his “Duar” guitar can solve a problem once… if he even gets it right.

Loaded with epic fantasy, humor, cartoonish characters, and even moments to make an imaginative reader read extra hard (hot tiger-women and gay unicorns!) — It was the right kind of story that reached the right fans at the right time. The animals weren’t just for kids; they drank, stabbed, screwed, and swore! It made me a 90’s furry before I knew there was a fandom for it.

Foster’s writing was pure fun, spiked with a threat of apocalyptic invasion and a race to defeat it in classic quest mode. I’d assume this was mid-list bookstore fare; not bestselling but solid original work for a productive author. Bigger pay would come with franchise adaptations — his novels for Star Wars, the Aliens movies, and Star Trek.

Making canon work for such big properties should earn secure income for a challenging career of genre writing. That is, if Disney would honor what Lucasfilm agreed to owe, after they acquired the company in 2012 for several billion dollars.

SOUR NOTES FROM DISNEY

Disney isn’t paying Alan Dean Foster his due. Foster shouldn’t have to sing a magic spell to get what he’s owed. It sounds like plain power abuse because they can afford to run up expenses in court (we’re all familiar with Trumpian bullying now, right?) It’s a story with a roots creator as David vs. a corporate Goliath for the fandom today. This should hit a nerve for anyone deeply in tune with the Furry Thing. (I wish fandom founder Fred Patten was around to comment.)

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Miss shows and music? Melt your face with Algerian Furry Death Metal from GLÒZÓNE.

by Patch O'Furr

In March I had tickets to see Lords of Acid. They’re the industrial-rave act known for their 90’s banger I Sit On Acid. Furries with special taste may know it from the eye-popping video “Sexy male bunny fursuit striptease” from Albany Anthrocon 1997.  (Thank you Silfur Bunny for making furry weird. I love the video so much, and it deserves the fame that John Oliver gave to 90’s rat porn.)

Covid killed my plan to go fursuiting at the Lords show. It killed the whole club. That was Slim’s in San Francisco, which hosted some of my favorite events. It was in the city’s night life hot spot with DNA Lounge, where furries, raves, drag, and goth all melted together for some of the best times I’ve had. Missing good shows is frustrating, and watching their venues die is a tragedy!

This made me think about hungry musicians needing work. I realized if you aren’t spending money on shows… you can make your own band. Yes, there are musicians who can work with you to infest other people’s eardrums. You can bring the rock like you can be your fursona. That’s how the world has this:

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Joe Biden will bring furries back to the White House.

by Patch O'Furr

There’s an unbelievable memory for Lindz, an inventor in California. Lindz loves the Burning Man event that takes place every year in Nevada. One year he went there with a giraffe suit, which led to building a giant robotic giraffe. They go to special events together. They’ve been to furry conventions, and in 2014, they were invited to a Maker Faire on the White House lawn.

Lindz in 2018: “I still have a hard time believing this really happened, but it did, 4 years ago this week. @.@ How things have changed…” (It’s on video and got a lot of headlines.)

When Obama left office, the changes that came led a poet to write about it:

There’s no art in this White House.

There’s no literature, no poetry, no music.

There are no pets in this White House, no loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat, no kids’ science fairs.

Elayne Griffin Baker’s poem went viral when Bruce Springsteen shared it. (Read the rest.) I don’t think Lindz’s memory is what they had on their minds, but of course it was — that’s the beauty of this humanity thing.

Times are changing again and there’s a new family coming to the White House. President Biden, Madame Vice President Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Second Gentlemen Douglas Emhoff, and Champ and Major.

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Protests in Poland “a premonition for what will happen” if LGBT rights are lost in the USA — Q&A with furry artist Jeanwoof who does charity for rights in Poland.

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 U.S. election is in progress, the future is at stake, and a tipper sent me this story. “It may be a premonition of what will happen here if abortion and LGBTQ rights are suspended by the supreme court.”

Maybe you’re sick of relentless gushing doom about politics. Sorry I can’t make it stop with the fabulous power of furry news reporting. But I can make a story for furries in and out of the U.S., and help you think about protecting rights everywhere. This won’t just tell you to vote, it’s about using fandom power!

Soatok Dhole explains why it matters.

Politics? In My Fandom? 

Soatok says “The furry fandom – which you can think of as the largely queer sector of geek culture – has a problem with negative peace”; and it’s hurt by the Trump administration’s effort to overturn marriage equality plus 33 more steps to push anti-LGBT hate worldwide.

The problem is not just about Trump — it’s about ultraconservative attacks on rights everywhere. You can’t get peace from it by turning off the news, so to make better news, let’s meet a furry who does art charity to advance people’s rights in Poland.

Hi Jeanwoof, can you give a brief bio about yourself?

Hi, I’m a 26 year old woman living in Northern Poland. I’m very active in the fandom — drawing furry art for 6 years, and for 3 years I’ve been doing a small furry convention (Kungfur) with friends. I attend local conventions and sometimes you can see me at Eurofurence in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley. I’m a fursuiter too, but I don’t wear my suit as often as I want to.

by Jeanwoof

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How the furry fandom gained a new artist — Lux Operon, weaver of light

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Lux, with a guest post about what she does when not hosting furry movie pizza parties. – Patch 

On a beautiful fall morning in Reno, the edge of sunrise starts to paint the desert mountains. The color in the sky is just right. I rush to my balcony and put on my glowing pup hood for photos, which I will share to a majority audience of people with fuzzy wolf characters. I am profoundly happy.

Electroluminescent wire is a sister material to LEDs. They look similar, but they’re functionally quite different. An LED is a diode that emits a single point of light, but EL wire works like a capacitor. Since it has no resistance within, it doesn’t heat up when lit. An exposed end might give a small shock if it touches your skin (but it won’t kill you, or I’d be dead). It’s flexible, continuously lit throughout its length, and has many applications to create an amazing glowing costume.

Like any wearable electronics, EL wire has limitations and can be finicky. Its battery packs (drivers) are each rated for a different length of wire. Knowing how to troubleshoot your costume is integral to being a fiber artist with this material. It’s easy to learn but very hard to master.

The technology has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the late 90s and early aughts when the folks at FunHouse productions in Oakland, California decided to really develop the platform. EL wire is the unofficial signage of the Burning Man event, where you can often find people in these costumes wandering around the playa as strobing neon silhouettes in the dark.

This art was largely contained to their scene in Black Rock City until dance troupes started popping up on America’s Got Talent. For the 2012 season, Team Illuminate put together dance routines and nearly went all the way. By weaving EL wire and using the interplay of darkness to create floating shapes and coordinated blinking, they made the world aware of wearable neon, including me.

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Monster Force Zero: loads of fun and furries in a movie out just in time for Halloween.

by Patch O'Furr

You’ll want to show Monster Force Zero at any furry party night if you love midnight movies. This new release went through a few years of production with crowdfunding and shooting in Colorado at Galaxyfest. Furries are included briefly, but with love. Catch it on Amazon or other services above.

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Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

by Patch O'Furr

There’s an island off the southern tip of India, with a small furry animal on it, looking out for who else may share the same fandom. Through the internet, other creatures reach across the ocean and an international fandom works its magic. They may not all speak the same language, but they can share the art and everything else that furry fans call theirs.

Previous stories here have found furries in places like Iran. Today, meet a furry from Sri Lanka. A species so rare, there may only be one. The story tip about Unid came from Zinger, who wanted to share a friend’s wish to singlehandedly bring the fandom to his country. In return, we can learn what it’s like to live there.

Furries contain multitudes. If a fandom is a Venn diagram of overlapping interests, it looks plaid. So let’s find out more of what Unid is into. Are there Sri Lankan nerds? If a con happened there, what would everyone eat, hear or see? How about a heavy metal show?

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The Dealers Den plans to rebuild with unprecedented features and Blockchain technology

by Patch O'Furr

Help vote for success for the only furry auction site!

For over 20 years, furries have had their own specialized auction sites serving the “Furry Economy”. In 1999 there was Furbid and Furbuy. In 2015 we had Furbuy and The Dealers Den. Now only the last one is standing — and thriving. It may be poised to leap ahead of big corporate sites with an ambitious plan.

The Dealers Den is a furry-owned marketplace that brings outsized benefit to sellers and users. They don’t have to use Etsy, Ebay or Amazon. They can efficiently reach each other within their own niche. It keeps things in the “fandom family” without corporate middlemen and control. Ask users what the site does for them. (“Very surprised and very grateful”: fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 sale.) It makes big support for independent art.

But for any niche community, there are downsides. Keeping things personal and relying on trust can be risky. Anywhere in the fandom, scam sellers can come back under new names, or good sellers can be hurt by false bidding or cheating on pay. It’s hard to scale up for new features — like a verified purchase review system, payment processing, or escrow protection.

Enter the Dealers Den rebuild plan.

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Q&A with Finn, founder of the Fuzznet Music netlabel for furries.

by Patch O'Furr

“World’s first furry-centered, full-service music distribution netlabel.”

A new netlabel for furry music has been announced! When I think of a label, especially on the small indie side, I think of curation for a certain sound or scene. (Example: a Q&A is coming soon with a fur from Sri Lanka where I asked about Goa Trance.) Here’s one I’ve been enjoying: Numero Group is a reissue label. Imagine digging through thrift store junk and finding a weird one of a kind record that sounds amazing — that’s everything they put out. They specialize in the history of unsung niches, local scenes and their heroes. It makes richer music history than the well-worn stuff on classic rock channels.

Specialty and indie labels make diversity. With that in mind I talked to Finn.

A music style for furries? 

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