Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

The Spectrum: Fursuiting with Autism (Part 2) – Guest post by Enjy

by Patch O'Furr

Guest author Enjy shares a three-part story about the history of Autism research, its place in fandom, and interviews with 3 furries who give their personal insight.

== DOC FOX – ASPERGER’S SYNDROME ==

 

Doc Fox (@Doctor_Red_Fox), real name Ted, is a 27 year old man born in Chicago, now living in Utah and attending college at the University of Utah. He is studying information systems. Doc Fox has the Autism Spectrum disorder known as “Asperger’s Syndrome,” sometimes referred to as “High Functioning Autism”. This can manifest as lack of social awareness, inability to infer the thoughts of others, sensitivity to noises or touch, and/or over-adherence to routines. He was diagnosed as a freshman in high school in the year 2006, but became a furry in the year 2004. However, his fear of being judged due to people’s negative perception of Autism, mostly people using it as a slur or insult, made him afraid to visit any furry meets until he tried his first one in 2012, at a local Illinois bowling alley. Having purchased his fursuit in 2014, Doc is very proud of his life now, and hopes that his story here can make Autism more visible, because he thinks that being public about your diagnosis can be scary.

Enjy: What does Autism mean to you, personally? How would you describe it, from your own point of view?

Doc Fox: For me, like, I’m aware I’m human. But I kinda feel like I’m always a stranger or an alien. I struggle to read other people, and sometimes, to understand other’s emotions. I’ll miss social cues that other people just take for granted. I really care a lot about if my actions hurt other people though, and I’m always afraid that people just tolerate me because I’m “weird.” It’s really hard sometimes to even talk to other people about these things too. Things people just understand like “folkways” aren’t always apparent to me and others often assume you’re acting out or in bad faith because they just take understandings of these concepts for granted.

Enjy: That was a very well thought out answer. Do you think the furry fandom has been better at coexisting with and understanding your condition than the rest of the populace?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Spectrum: Fursuiting with Autism (Part 1) – Guest post by Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Inspired by the above Twitter thread, I proposed doing a whole article. Guest author Enjy took it on and delivered far more than expected from a one-line topic. A lot of the content comes from interview subjects, as Enjy said: “I wanted to stray away from brevity and let them speak naturally to help neurotypicals understand how autistic people formulate their thoughts, that they might consider it when interacting with them.”

Thanks to Enjy for hard work (and thank-you tips are now being paid for article submissions too. A site sponsorship is coming soon to make it even easier with a PBS-like model.) Thanks to Patreon patrons for helping to fund this and to @Deotasdevil for supporting Enjy.

Parts 2-3 will post later this week. Enjy continues. – (Patch)

Thanks to Doc Fox, Heathen (fursona Manik), and Pluma for doing interviews.

 

== A (Very) Brief History of Autism ==

 

Autism.

It is a word that is scary for some, misunderstood by most, and impossible to pin under a single definition. Due to it’s prevalence today, with new technologies allowing easier and more thorough evaluations of a child’s health, you may be under the impression that autism is a fairly new disorder. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Read the rest of this entry »

The impact of Dogbomb on the furry fandom and charity to cure ALS.

by Patch O'Furr

Coming soon: inspired by Dogbomb, ALS advocates will join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade.

Ask any furry fan to name a fandom saint. Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) didn’t carry a cask of brandy on his collar, but you can picture him with a halo and a beer.

On this site, the Dogbomb tag is probably the most positive representation of the fandom. He raised awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his impact with outsiders got a look with the latest story in May 2019: Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

Fundraising in his honor includes walks, art and pins for sale. Grubbs Grizzly’s Good Furry Award just went to Dogbomb with a $1000 prize donated to charity. The energy keeps going with an art book in the works. According to his wishes, his likeness is free to use as long as proceeds are donated.

The amount of donations will likely be a sizeable chunk of ALL furry charity done this year, but who knows how high it is? Ask Dogbomb’s inner circle of friends who were entrusted to carry on his legacy. Last month I spoke to Trip E. Collie, who knows a lot about the total impact.

Read the rest of this entry »

Little con in the big city: How New York furries are establishing a convention in the Big Apple

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Rocky Coyote wrote in: “Hi Patch, great work on the furries and commercialization stories! Those were excellent reads. I just wanted to let you know that there’s a new mini con in New York City. I was thinking about submitting a feature about it and the growing furry presence in NYC.”

I wrote back that I have looked for furry presence while traveling in NYC and not found a lot in the past because it seemed scattered, and would love to help. (If anyone has the urge to write, guests get offered thank you tips, which I have to mention out of gratitude about the awesome result here.) – Patch

Little con in the big city: How a handful of New York furs are looking to establish a convention presence in the Big Apple – by Rocky Coyote

For a city referred to as ‘the concrete jungle,’ New York has a surprisingly small furry presence in the United States. Despite living in the biggest city in the nation, furries from the Big Apple must travel elsewhere if they want to attend a convention. A handful of furs looked to change that by organizing and hosting a mini convention on Memorial Day that saw over 50 attendees participate in a day-long event in the heart of Queens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Arrest of Lee Miller (Foxler) brings a call for witnesses to come forward.

by Patch O'Furr

Report tips to Detective Steve Bishop, Denver Police Department Sex Crimes Unit, 720-913-6903 

In April 2019, Lee Miller, a Colorado man who goes by “Foxler” in the furry fandom, was arrested for enticement of a child. Sources in the legal proceedings think other potential victims may be out there and want to talk to them. (Sex crime charges have protected info, but this site was asked for help and verified a need to share.) Please help if you can bring them forward.

Miller’s Wikifur profile gives an introduction to his history in fandom. In 2017, Dogpatch Press broke news about activity by his Furry Raiders group that went up to coverage in Rolling Stone and Newsweek. (Deeper details are in these loose notes that are being organized by a publisher’s request.)

Miller’s 2019 arrest was for an offense in 2015, before there was public dispute about him. It took time for police to investigate, but the reason was first reported to them as part of research for Aristide’s 2017 Dogpatch Press article.

Read the rest of this entry »

“A book about joy:” the publishing of Tom Broadbent’s At Home With the Furries

by Patch O'Furr

“At Home With The Furries” is at US-based Amazon sellers now.

Sent by Tom via Furplanet

In early 2018 I wrote about a Kickstarter for a book of Tom Broadbent’s furry photography. These aren’t your usual convention photos. He stages them with characters in their homes like storybook pages. As soon as I saw what he was up to, I knew this would make extra special art. One publisher he approached was someone I knew, who I had already tipped that someone should do a furry photo art book. My copy sits on my desk where I write up crazy happenings in the fandom. Let’s hear from Tom how things went. – Patch

Hi Patch,

The book was officially published on 30th September last year. At the time I thought the Kickstarter was hard in terms of raising the backing. Producing the book was a whole different story, I could not be prouder of the finished product but it took a lot out of me. Essentially with the Kickstarter reaching its target I buried myself last year into producing the book to the absolute highest standard I could do. Not only because I felt a deep responsibility to the backers, but also the furries themselves, the furry community and ultimately myself. It’s only going to be published once after all, and it’s out there forever, sitting on people’s bookshelves, in bookshops, museums and a variety of National libraries (some of which I’ll come to shortly.)

Read the rest of this entry »

A furry resurgence is bubbling up in West Michigan with the Great Lakes Furs.

by Patch O'Furr

Con gone? Tears were shed when Michigan’s Great Lakes Fur Con washed up in 2017. But now, @OrangeYouGlad brings good news of a new group, (Telegram: @GreatLakesFurs), lifting a wet blanket off those in spitting distance. Through hell or high water, furries will keep sailing on. Dam-straight!

First let’s look at how it rained on their parade. (I guess it rained cats and dogs?) From greatlakesfurcon.com:

An Important Announcement

Posted on May 14, 2017

We have a bit of disappointing news to share with all of you. Great Lakes Fur Con will not be taking place in 2017. Recently some of our staff members stepped down due to personal obligations, and while we wish them the best (and they wish us the best as well), this means we do not have the manpower to put on the convention that you all deserve and enjoy.

That’s not too dramatic. It sounds like it just melted away. Dogpatch Press shared a little notice in What’s Yiffin’? – June 2017 edition of syndicated furry news:

Even though there was no official convention this story still has a happy ending, too; the remaining staff of GLFC elected to hold a big cookout/potluck and invited furs in the area to bring a dish and come hang out. Afterwards, everyone went bowling! Sure, it’s not a convention but that still sounds like a hell of a way to spend a day.

Now they’re floating some new plans. @OrangeYouGlad joins me to talk about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sprawl: Review of the Sci-fi/Horror Webcomic – By Enjy

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome to guest author Enjy. Yesterday’s post was Enjy’s interview with comic creator Snowdon – now here’s how it rates for reading. – Patch

Now that we have spoken with the artist, we can look at his work and tell you, our readers, how it stacks up with the other furry webcomics out there. Is Snowdon’s dedication to his work and his storytelling skills enough to place The Sprawl at the top of the pile?

The Artwork

First and foremost, the most important thing about a comic is its artistry. This can go from amazing technical skills, such as the painting in Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s Blacksad, to the striking feeling of a style that is incomparable, like Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. The Sprawl offers heaping helpings of both, especially in the latest chapters where Snowdon really finds his stride in creating a cohesive aesthetic. The amount of detail that goes into his backgrounds, the vehicles, and especially the space ships, is something to be marveled at and inspired by. I can only gape in amazement as I count every individual pipe, every screw, every seam of every piece of complex machinery that the artist created. Every character he creates, even ones that are used as cannon fodder in his Game Of Thrones-like glee for shredding people left and right, have personality and individualism that shows from their clothing, to their faces, to their body shapes. I believe this sets Snowdon quite apart from the crowd, because one trope I seem to see in furry media is that there is usually a character or characters in a central focus that seem to be always front and center, always paid attention to, like the world revolves around them. He also is quite proficient at the basics of comic paging, using great bubble and panel placement and lots of creative setups for his page layouts. You can tell at first glance that this comic was definitely created by an industry professional.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sprawl: Webcomic Creator Interview with Snowdon – By Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to guest author Enjy, who goes above and beyond for any writing mission. I would have tackled this myself but couldn’t have done so well because comics aren’t my forte and neither is music reviewing (Enjy’s previous piece.) The opportunity to work together is part of the magic of fandom. Tomorrow, expect the comic review. – Patch

The Sprawl is a webcomic created by Snowdon. He was the lead artist for a small animation studio and worked on the Teen Nick show Alien Dawn, where you can spot some of his artwork in the series’ titular comic book and unique motion-comic scenes. Needless to say, Snowden has been working on comics for quite some time. His whole life has been spent drawing and creating. Before and after working at Nickelodeon, he was a high school art teacher, a private tutor, and a graphic design consultant. In recent years, he has turned to freelance comics like his creation The Sprawl. Making connections, having a good portfolio, and taking internship opportunities whenever you can get them are Snowdon’s tips for artists like him to get into the animation industry. I got to speak with this creator to help his fans learn more about him, his comic, and where he sees his art taking him.

(Enjy): My first question is, why did you choose for The Sprawl to be a comic featuring anthropomorphic characters?

(Snowdon): The original concept for The Sprawl was an idea I’d had all the way back in art school, in the late 90’s. A lot of my art school friends wanted to make comics and a lot of them were already making anthro art, so I thought it might be fun if we all worked on some comics set in the same world, as like an anthology. The idea didn’t go anywhere, unfortunately, but some years later, one of my art school friends was doing comics for one of the anthro adult sites and offered to put a pitch in front of the people running the site if I could come up with one. I remembered the old anthology idea and still wanted to do something in that setting, so I dusted it off and wrote an outline that included what would eventually be the first chapter of The Sprawl.

Read the rest of this entry »

How furries resist a commercialized fandom (Part 3)

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom often has DIY ethics (intentional or not). That can mean nonprofit volunteer-led events, and directly supporting each other’s art instead of just consuming corporate products. A Daily Beast reporter asked about it and I shared lots of info that didn’t all make the news — so here’s a followup in 3 parts.

Part 1 looked at the roots of fandom, with fans being “fans of each other”. Stigma and undermining showed how the fandom didn’t just follow the path of least resistance, it broke out under pressure. A sense of outsiderness and self determination has stayed ever since.

Part 2 looked at conventions making a platform for industry and expression that keeps the group untamed. Relations with the media got better while making a certain fandom identity (instead of letting others make it). It can even connect to deeper identity of members, because it lets them be who they want to be.

Furries care about fandom identity with a kind of tribalism. When members say they’re prone to “furry drama,” it can come from conflict about who defines it or benefits from it. That’s how The Daily Beast noticed conflict about a luxury “designer fursuit” brand, which usually wouldn’t matter to anyone except furries.

I told the reporter: “I think it really struck a nerve. It really got to the root of this possessiveness that the subculture has about itself and what it built for itself.”

It’s a case for looking at resistance to commercialism. Backlash at the brand was provoked by tone-deaf marketing, where bringing a mainstream approach wasn’t workable with art based on unique personal identity. Also, luxury brands don’t get made from scratch when others go back 100 years. (Fans in-the-know could compare this with furry brand Hyena Agenda, whose stuff speaks for itself without rubbing the wrong way against a certain fandom identity.)

Read the rest of this entry »