Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Month: June, 2015

Trap Me!: Finally, a Happy Gay Furry Adventure – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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


Trap Me!: Finally, a Happy Gay Furry Adventure, by Chris and Cooper Elkin. Illustrated by Cooper Elkin.
[?] November 2014, trade paperback, $14.88 (304 pages), Kindle $8.44.

“An Unforgettable Adventure Through a Steampunk World! Follow two furries in their quest for a mysterious artifact.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 9.17.50 PM“That looked like it hurt. The shattered glass reflected the sunlight and swung it into a gentle dance on the wooden floor of the attic. The still-startled Aidan Prowl, a canine in his right mind (sometimes), blinked twice and then cleared his throat.

‘Oh, please… do come in,’ he said to the stranger who was slowly getting himself together and stood up as bits and shards fell off him. At first glance, it seemed to be a long-eared feline, wearing a black, short leather jacket over his white shirt, which was complimented by his navy blue scarf and trousers. The rosewood fur was ruffled here and there and his charcoal hair was a mess.

‘Some of us prefer to use the door. Then again, I suppose it is a little bit late for that now,’ the canine added dryly.” (p. 5)

The setting is a Steampunk world of anthropomorphic animals. Aidan Prowl, a young canine pianist with dark golden brown hair and viridian green fur who lives with his mother, is startled when Zackary Pace, a black-haired, rosewood-furred feline, crashes through his attic window. Zack, the son of Rhodworth’s leading blacksmith, has been working on a secret invention, which causes the aerial crash.

Aidan is more adventurous than his pianist nature suggests. He has been creating new musical instruments and experimenting with new sounds. He is also looking for rare musical instruments that may or may not exist. When Zack cannot pay for a unique crystal statuette that was broken in his crash, Aidan proposes a solution:

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If there was a Museum of Furry, theatrical “Panto-Animals” would be a major exhibit.

by Patch O'Furr

IN THIS ARTICLE: Don’t miss the story of Charles Lauri, a famed “animal impersonator” who thrilled the stages of Victorian London, but is little known today. The story of his acting skill, uncovered from an 1893 magazine, could be an inspiration for fursuiters everywhere.

15038897804_834fc833e6_oMany people are familiar with a unique team costume for Halloween – the Pantomime horse, that takes two people to play it.  Like a tandem bike, it makes an interesting buddy situation.  This jogs a vague memory from when I was very young, of a 1960’s Flintstones cartoon with Fred and Barney in such a costume.  It may have been a dinosaur, or a false memory, but the silly situation must have happened in old comedies to the point of cliche. TVtropes has it under Animal Anthropomorphism tropes.

If you (like me) had no idea what Pantomime meant until just now, let’s start to learn.  The old-fashioned costuming seems like a traditional kind of activity, more social than commercial.  I had an impression of something belonging to the age of door-to-door Christmas caroling, that may be fading away.

Or is it?  In 2013, a Panto Horse race broke a Guinness World Record for most runners (42 teams.)  And, since this is a Furry blog, you know I’m connecting this topic to you and your thriving subculture.  (Imagine that race happening at a con! It would be an easy record to break.)  I’m happy to learn that such fun exists… check out The London Pantomime Horse Race:  a “fantastically silly”, “must-see event.”

This isn’t about Halloween, or silly races.  There’s much more to it.  The spark for this article was randomly running across 100-year-old photos of theatrical animal costumes.  They made me do a double-take – did some fursuiter have a time machine!?  They were incredibly well crafted, and made me very curious.  I wondered why they were made so well, and for what purpose?  They were fursuits- many generations before there was such a thing as Furries!  I thought the topic had a lot of potential.

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French anthro comic: De Cape et de Crocs. T. 11, Vingt Mois Avant – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Previously: De Cape et De Crocs is back! French anthro comic announcement, by Fred Patten.

De Cape et de Crocs. T. 11, Vingt Mois Avant, by Alain Ayroles & Jean-Luc Masbou.
Paris, Delcourt, November 2014, hardbound €14,50 (48 pages).

1590_couvThe book has a back-cover quote from Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac’s 1654 comic play Le Pédant Joué that roughly translates as, “What the devil are you going to do with this mess?” An excellent question, both for this book and to indicate the setting.

“The faithful rabbit Eusebius, once sentenced to life imprisonment, finally reveals his past.” (blurb) The De Cape et de Crocs series (With Cape and Fangs) has been set in a mid-17th-century Europe (and on the Moon), starring the gentlemen-adventurers Sieur Armand Raynal de Maupertuis (anthro French fox) and Don Lope de Villalobos y Sangrin (Spanish wolf). In the first “Act”, The Janissary’s Secret, they rescue Eusebius, the cutest bunny-rabbit in the world, from life imprisonment as a Venetian galley-slave. Eusebius becomes their loyal squire all through Europe (and on the Moon) in the next nine, but he never reveals how he came to be chained as a rower in a Venetian war galley.

With “Act” 11, the series switches to Eusebius’ story before he met Sieur Armand and Don Lope. The setting is Vingt Mois AvantTwenty Months Earlier. This pastiche of Alexandre Dumas’ title of his famous sequel to his The Three Musketeers, Vingt Ans Après, establishes this bande dessinee’s new direction as both a parody of French 17th-century heroic action-adventure in general and of The Three Musketeers in particular.

Eusebius is not only the cutest bunny-rabbit in the world, he is the most naîve. He does not set out, as d’Artagnan does, to join the King’s Guard, but the Cardinal’s Guard! The King and the Cardinal are friends, aren’t they? Eusebius is introduced on page 1 as addressing a field full of peasant serfs as “My good men”, a well-meaning insult to them. The story, and Eusebius’ prospects, go downhill from there.

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Disney goes Full Furry, and All The Drama – Newsdump (6/12/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

Zootopia: Disney goes full furry, and this stuff is going to explode in 2016.  

How excited are you for the next furriest movie ever? “Anthropomorphic” isn’t quite an everyday household word, and it’s use in this trailer spells out an open secret.  Before they made this, they did market research up the wazoo about us. Of course, it’s still a regular Disney movie, but they KNOW.

I watched the trailer when it had less than 300 views – while I write it’s over 1,300,000. The first comments on it said “furries”, and a lot of the top comments on it still say “furries”. There’s no way they didn’t anticipate that.

My reaction: Furry is the opposite of exclusive to me, but this cool thing makes me fear a deluge of commercially shallow influence.  I’m scared, hold me! … NAHH, it will be awesome. I can’t wait for the day this movie comes out, with all the fursuit meets there will be to see it. Fan participation is a big deal. I’ll bet we’ll see tons of actual furries on the news because of this.

Queerty‘s article about sex at Califur has important message between the lines. (Via Greenreaper:) Read the rest of this entry »

Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins. Revised edition. Illustrated.
Austin, TX, Furry Logic Productions, February 2010, trade paperback $15.00 (136 pages).

AC01--Who_Killed_Kathleen_Gingers_[cover] (1)For those who object to funny-animal fiction – stories in which there is no reason for the characters to be anthropomorphic animals instead of regular humans – Who Killed Kathleen Gingers? can be easily skipped. For those who don’t mind it as long as the story is well-written, and who like crime noir murder mysteries in the Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe/Shell Scott/Travis McGee tradition, don’t miss Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?

Calico Rock sheriff’s office detective Allan Connell (ferret) is sent to investigate the reported murder of vivacious Hollywood star Kathleen Gingers (mouse) at her palatial Pacific Beach vacation home. When Gingers herself answers the door, it looks like the report was a prank – until Connell and Gingers find a real body, that of Gingers’ murdered private secretary, who looks very much like her.

Whodunit, and why? Does the popular Gingers have enemies? Or did the bland secretary, who was recently hired with nothing much really known about her? Was the secretary killed by mistake for Gingers, and is Gingers still in danger? Connell is faced with the crime noir detective’s usual comic-relief (but not totally incompetent) assistant, mysterious clues, and lots of suspects: an unconvincingly indignant husband, an overly-jealous wife, a too-affable producer and his hysterical associate who is very eager to accuse a particular suspect, a sultry mistress with a secret, the vengeful father of a long-dead friend …

Akins writes the right crime noir prose:

“The ocelot-fem was lying face-down on a beach towel by the edge of the pool, head cradled in her arms, sunning herself. She was sleek and well-toned, with graceful legs that went from firm, muscular thighs down to slender ankles and feet. The black and silver of the bikini pants made a nice contrast against her black-spotted, golden-yellow fur, and as near as I could tell that was about their only real contribution since the cut of the cloth left an extremely generous portion of each shapely buttock exposed to view. Her tail lay mostly limp along one leg, the tip twitching slowly every so often. Her fur had been carefully brushed and combed to a healthy, appealing luster, and I just stood there for a moment, appreciating the overall view of her.” (p. 39)

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Fight the Beigists! Furries defend the National Fun Reserve.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry militia (pic: Beastcub).

Beige is the opposite of colorful.  Beigists are enemies of fun:

  1. A dull, dogmatic, unoriginal person who uses stale language and platitudes, and disregards the eccentric, daring, decadent, or unusual; a humorless bourgeois.
  2. One who lacks charm, joie de vivre, blitheness, or self-expression. A bland, banal person.

There’s nothing wrong with being average.  The problem is the “-ism”.  These walking wet blankets want life to be as exciting as a smooth jazz concert. They usually exist in spongelike complacency, consuming safe and supervised expression that’s pre-approved by the mainstream.  But from time to time, certain things make them sniff disapprovingly, like outrageous outfits and spiky music, or being within 6 blocks of a furry convention.  They’re mild-mannered, well-meaning cousins of puritans who think culture is full of immorality, and fun and sinful things should be stamped out.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 5.47.28 AMPuritans live in a black-and-white-world, where people are evil and need control for their own good.  Everything’s a slippery slope, and they’re the only ones with boots planted in the rock of convictions.  They’re convinced that comics cause Satanism, rap and horror movies cause violence, porn and video games degrade women, and children are perpetually being corrupted.  (For no reason, furries are worse than that with Ass Cancer on top.)  They’re often old, but sometimes they’re Body Snatchers disguised as young people.  They may even have blue hair and edgy beliefs, that allow no offense anywhere in their hypersensitive, insecure world. They have more than a little in common with the Taliban.

In extreme times, puritanical dictators gain power by offering safety to passive crowds.  They shovel books into bonfires while the crowds stand around warming their hands.  In moderate times, they just spread disapproval while control-freaks make War on Fun.  These fascists and Beigists fit together.  If fascists are toxic waste that destroys life, Beigists are sponges that suck the fun out of it.  If one sounds like a punch in the face, the other is an insidious whining noise.  What I’m saying is, it makes me slightly miffed when boring people judge others unfairly.  There isn’t a master race, and being comfortable isn’t a reason for superiority either.

War on Fun isn’t my term – it’s been around for a while:

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Mort(e), by Robert Repino – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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


Mort(e), by Robert Repino. Illustrated by Sam Chung.
NYC, Soho Press, January 2015, hardcover $26.95 (358 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $12.99.

31jpc4qtJoL“Before he took his new name, before the animals rose up and overthrew their oppressors, before there was talk of prophecies and saviors, the great warrior Mort(e) was just a house cat known to his human masters as Sebastian. It was a time that now returned to him only in dreams and random moments of nostalgia that disappeared as quickly as they arose. All of it except for Sheba. The memory of her was always digging at him like a splinter under a nail.” (p. 3)

The first dozen pages of Mort(e) are Sebastian’s early life as a housecat, and his meeting Sheba, the large, slobbery dog of the man next door. It’s not until page 14 that Sebastian first learns of the war to exterminate humans, when he observes one of “his masters” watching the TV news:

“It was always the same: a river of text flowed beneath explosions, people running, buildings on fire, green trucks rolling along highways, men and women with helmets marching, building bridges, demolishing things, using flamethrowers to burn massive hills of dirt. And in between all the images were videos of creatures that Sebastian had seen crawling in the grass outside the window: ants. They were always on the television, always marching in a line, sometimes covering entire fields and picking apart dead farm animals. Sebastian saw people running away from ants the size of the Martinis’ car. The monsters could walk on their hind legs, and their jaws were strong enough to lift a human at the waist. […] All the channels were playing the same thing now. Nothing buts ants and fires. But this time, there was footage of a new creature. A pack of wolves, walking on their hind legs, approaching the camera. One of them carried a club in his hands the same way Daniel would hold a hammer. This was followed by a choppy clip of a group of animals marching alongside the giant ants. Sebastian could hear people screaming.” (pgs. 14-15)

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Fursuiting from Minnesota to Moscow, and sentient beast fables – Newsdump (6/8/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

Reporters went to the MNfurs picnic.

“Call of the wild: Local Furries say they are misunderstood.”

A Minnesota newspaper has a standard-issue “meet the furries” article.  The last Newsdump (5/28/15) reported that MNFurs have been growing with an active community, a registered nonprofit, and a new convention (Furry Migration.)  Their activity caught the notice of their local newspaper, and reporters went to their picnic.  The article includes these standard features: 1) All-fursuiter gallery 2) Apologetic sex denial 3) Weirdos aren’t so bad!  We see it over and over, but it was very well received, and it’s OK if the news readers haven’t seen it before.  There’s also a wedding, frisbee and hugs… The more of that, the better.  MNfurs discuss the article on their forum.

International mascot Trip E. Collie goes to France.

An April Newsdump shared Trip’s surprising experience of seeing his fursuit photo advertising a large international festival in France.  Trip went there to meet the organizers, and possibly sit down with them for a bowl of kibble.  Good boy!


Animation and books


Mort(e), by Robert Repino, gets a great review about “Sentient beast” fables. Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Horizon: The Captain’s Journal, Book 2, by Ted R. Blasingame – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Blue Horizon: The Captain’s Journal, Book 2, by Ted R. Blasingame (with Eileen Blasingame and Steve Carter). Revised edition.
Raleigh, NC,, March 2015, trade paperback $16.99 (346 pages).

product_thumbnailBlue Horizon, Book 2 follows smoothly after Book 1, reviewed here in March. If you liked Book 1, what are you waiting for to get Book 2? If you haven’t read Book 1 yet, you should start there to introduce yourself to Captain Merlin Sinclair (wolf) and the anthro crew of the interstellar freighter SS Blue Horizon, and the human and Furred worlds of the galactic Planetary Alignment.

Ted Blasingame, his wife Eileen, and Steve Carter originally wrote 31 adventures of the Blue Horizon on their early website during 1996 to 2003. They were published in separate Books, then combined in one volume in December 2003 that was HUGE – I literally could barely lift it. Blasingame and the others continued to write new online adventures until 2009, when they closed their website and went on to new projects. Now Blasingame is revising and polishing the out-of-print stories, adding the newer ones to them for a total of 45, and dividing them into four more easily-held Books with new covers by Elizabeth Jackson. Books 1 and now 2 have been published so far.

Book 2 contains Episodes 12 through 22. Although they are presented as separate stories, they flow smoothly into one another like the chapters of a novel. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the characters and events covered in the first eleven episodes. These second eleven episodes are no longer all presented in the format of an opening excerpt from Captain Sinclair’s journal, with a flashback to the full adventure.

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Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss.
London, Hammer Books, March 2014, hardcover £9.99 (233 pages), Kindle £4.31.

British cover

British cover

As usual, this review lists the first, British, edition. American readers will find it easier to get one of the American editions (Melville House, March 2015).

An unnamed narrator is writing from an isolated English seaside vacation cottage. His wife of many years has died; despondent, he quits his dead-end Cambridge librarian’s job and rents this cottage in an off-season winter month to wallow in grief. But it is too lonely, and he becomes bored.   He has his laptop computer, and when a Cambridge ex-colleague e-mails him some lengthy mysterious text and audio files named “Roger”, he opens them.

The files, from Roger and a man identified only as “Wiggy”, make it clear that Roger is supposedly a talking cat. Although incredulous at first, the narrator gradually comes to believe that the files are genuine. Roger really is a talking cat. What most convinces the narrator is Wiggy’s unmistakable denseness. The witty, sarcastic Roger constantly makes references and comments that go over Wiggy’s head, which the narrator gets. (Wiggy also tells enough about himself in bits and pieces to identify himself as a youngish amateur actor in Coventry named Will Caton-Pines.)

The first files relate to a screenplay about a talking cat that Wiggy is writing and is enthusiastic about selling. Roger is bored out of his mind. He doesn’t want to reveal himself to the public, and he is sure that Wiggy’s screenplay will be unsaleably bad. Different parts of the files explain how Wiggy acquired Roger (he was the pet of Wiggy’s sister, who has disappeared), and give Roger’s life story at length.

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