Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Month: March, 2019

Sorry To Bother You: this dystopian comedy is off the hook.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement: Until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

RING RING. Did you ever get a scam caller who needs money immediately? One time I answered one of those and played along with a “dumb voice” (it was method acting) while I pretended to walk to Wal-Mart to send them a wire transfer. My friend played store noises in the background, and announced “Sir, you can’t be here without pants!” The caller persisted until I pretended to get lost and fall in a duck pond and couldn’t stop laughing at the quacking noises. Of course the dumb prank only tied up time (and maybe reduced scams), but now let me tell you about movies that are very worth the time. They’re wake-up calls that deliver truths about society while being artful and entertaining too.

VIDEO Q&A with director Boots Riley below. SPOILER WARNING – watch the movie before reading!

Sorry To Bother You (2018) is the debut movie by Boots Riley, a satire set in a worker strike among telemarketers. The story device that gets it going is code switching with different voices. The main character is a black guy (Cassius Green) who uses an absurdly ethereal “white voice” – when the actor Lakeith Stanfield opens his mouth, the voice of David Cross comes out. The trick makes him super successful at telemarketing. It gets him out of poverty that sucks down everyone around him, but sets him up to pay a horrible cost.

At first you think it’s a story about underpaid workers fighting for respect. Then it aims higher at capitalist dehumanization. Then it goes over the top with a hallucinatory sci-fi reveal that transforms the characters. The screenwriting is eccentrically formula-defying. Hollywood likes to play safe with big budgets and crank out polished turds, but this movie takes chances with a modest budget for a gloriously gutsy indie production with a message.

It looks like an odd choice to cover on a furry site, so why’s it here? The answer is in the reveal we’ll get to.

I saw Sorry To Bother You with Fruitvale Station (2013) at a small library screening for this program– RESISTANCE, RESILIENCE, & ANTICIPATION: ‚Äč a fresh look at the Black Arts Movement in Oakland. It was more than an ordinary show, it was a special community happening, so let’s look at how the movies connect. (It’s also the second Dogpatch Press story from the same neighborhood after the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland.)

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Furry Film Festival (F3) launches new site and opens for film entries.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement ‚Äď until March 31,¬†vote for the Ursa Major Awards¬†to support the best works of furry fandom!

These are good times to be a furry and a film maker. First there was news about something I’ve waited a long time for (no it’s not getting myself a dog bath). Utah is getting the first festival for all the creatively choreographed con videos, documentaries, animation and more that are burgeoning with online viewers.

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Great accounts to follow: Unintentional Furries

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement ‚Äď until March 31,¬†vote for the Ursa Major Awards¬†to support the best works of furry fandom!

If you’re a talking animal on social media, Furry Twitter is the place to be. And if you aren’t on there yet, or if you’re new, it may seem like a perplexing jungle of stunning art, cute fursuits, drama, social commentary, memes, nature videos, hitting on corporate mascots, and crazy happenings with a huge fandom of friends who have fun like nobody else. Finding the good stuff could use a guide to bushwhack through the wilderness. Wouldn’t it be cool to get an article series about entertaining and well curated accounts?

These will ask the account owners a few short questions about what they do. Enjoy whether they’re new, or you like learning more about stuff you already love.

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The conspiracy of Beto O’Rourke, AOC, Sex, Politics, Furries, Hackers and the 1980’s internet.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement: Until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Hang on, this will be a weird ride. Start with recent furry news about this guy:

The story goes like this – this dude was deep in Jesusland and high on snake venom and arm-wrestled The Zodiac Killer, and … OK, I can’t do serious writing about political battles here, but Beto almost won a Senate seat from Ted Cruz in Texas. I think it’s kind of unusual for a Democrat to do so well there. It’s unusual enough that he joined the 123547 people who want to unseat Trump in 2020. That made some Republicans want to embarrass him with typical anti-sex, anti-gay stone age bullshit, so they dug up an old video of him wearing a sheep costume on stage when he was briefly in a punk band, and called him a furry with insinuation about freaky sex. (Like that’s bad? Could anything else make him seem cooler? Yeah, wait for it…)

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Animation and documentaries break ground for an indie furry film scene.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement: Until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Hollywood favors big-budget explosion-based movies. For small indie makers, the epic approach doesn’t seem like an easy path to getting support. Instead, those in furry fandom might go for niche, weird and being real. Think of artists with bedroom studios. Think of high furry talent at low fandom cost. Think of making documentary with ingredients already available, like costumes worth millions in show-value, and a cast that needs no practice to feature their passion. There’s so much raw energy here waiting to come out.

With documentary, excitement is rising for The Fandom, a series in the works from Ash Coyote,¬†Chip Fox and Eric Risher. (The first episode is out on March 22). Ash’s co-director and editor, Eric “Ash” Risher (Furryfilmmaker) already made a well-received documentary and won a regional Emmy. At this point in fandom growth, such projects seem viable to go wider. Furries have recently risen to pro Youtuber status with 100k+ subscriber channels. (Call them “pro-fans”, which may be a unique status for this kind of grassroots fandom). Meanwhile a CNN news feature earned good mainstream notice, and furries spawned two good feature films; Fursonas won an award at the Slamdance festival and Rukus screened at SXSW.¬† And for the first time in 2019, a furry film fest is coming to Utah (an idea I’ve been wanting to see for years).

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Great accounts to follow: Furries Out of Context.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement ‚Äď until March 31,¬†vote for the Ursa Major Awards¬†to support the best works of furry fandom!

If you’re a talking animal on social media, Furry Twitter is the place to be. And if you aren’t on there yet, or if you’re new, it may seem like a perplexing jungle of stunning art, cute fursuits, drama, social commentary, memes, nature videos, hitting on corporate mascots, and crazy happenings with a huge fandom of friends who have fun like nobody else. Finding the good stuff could use a guide to bushwhack through the wilderness. Wouldn’t it be cool to get an article series about entertaining and well curated accounts?

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Tim’rous Beastie, edited by Amanda Lafrenais Рreview by Roz Gibson.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement ‚Äď until March 31,¬†vote for the Ursa Major Awards¬†to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 6. Read in order as they were posted: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Tim’rous Beastie

Edited by Amanda Lafrenais
Story and art by a whole lot of people

This is an anthology put out by a name that should be very familiar to older fans‚ÄĒCharla¬†Trotman. She‚Äôs¬†moved¬†from being an anti-furry gadfly and troll to¬†publishing¬†indy¬†graphic novels using¬†Kickstarter¬†to fund them, under the name of C. Spike¬†Trotman¬†or Charlie Spike¬†Trotman.¬†This particular anthology is not supposed to be furry per se, but closer to¬†Redwall,¬†Wind in the Willows¬†and¬†Watership¬†Down.

The book has¬†18 stories, and I‚Äôm not going to give¬†detailed reviews of all of them, just brief comments on the art¬†and specific comments on the ones I did read. A lot of stories fell under the blanket of ‚Äútoo long; didn‚Äôt read,‚Ä̬†(People¬†really¬†need to take to take to heart the ‚Äėless is more‚Äô school of¬†storytelling.)¬†There was also a repeated theme of cute animals with a¬†‚Äúsurprise!‚ÄĚ twist ending where something awful happens, or the characters discuss profound philosophical ideas.

The first two stories,¬†A Pig Being Lowered into Hell in a Bucket¬†and¬†Better Nature¬†are both philosophical discussion. The first is exactly what the title says, with very¬†toony¬†style art, and the second has some nice art but a ‚Äėmeh‚Äô¬†story, unless you‚Äôre into philosophical discussions.¬†The third story,¬†Burrows, has some very nice artwork of¬†Watership¬†Down-style rabbits. This falls under the ‚ÄúSurprise!¬†Something grotesque happens to cute¬†animals‚Ä̬†theme.¬†The story after it,¬†Chosen Ones, also follows that trope, but has dialogue spoken in rhyme which was kind of neat. That was one of the handful I actually did read.

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Cinderfrost (volumes 1 and 2)  Story and art by Demicoeur. Рreview by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement ‚Äď until March 31,¬†vote for the Ursa Major Awards¬†to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 5 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Cinderfrost (volumes 1 and 2) 

Story and art by Demicoeur. 

Of everything reviewed here, this is the type of book people think of when you mention ‚Äėfurry comic:‚Äô slick digital art with a distinct¬†manga¬†influence, and lots (and lots) of dick.¬†Along with cock, more dick, and one naked chick.¬†Artist¬†Demicoeur¬†has an extremely successful¬†Patreon, which has been serializing¬†Cinderfrost¬†for years, along with other stories that are outright pornography (or ‚Äėerotica.‚Äô Choose your label).¬†

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Second Life’s philosophy of genuine expression for Furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Luca is a long time Second Life user who recently sniffed her way to my inbox with a news tip: many furries in that world want to show this one what they’re all about. (I noticed that she’s pretty good at this – having appeared on Vice’s Motherboard with a video about the huge size of the world. It tells me that while it may not be as big as it was a while ago, it’s still very active.)

Luca believes that Second Life’s philosophy of Virtual Existentialism / Embodiment allows furries to genuinely, fully express who they are without physical limits. So she made a video to promote their wish to transcend the inner self on the virtual plane of existence.

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Shanda the Panda #50, by Mike Curtis and Razorfox Рreview by Roz Gibson

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. This is Roz’s furry graphic novel review part 4 of 6 on the way. Read in order as they post: 1) Myre 2) Angelic Book 1  3) Marney the Fox 4) Shanda the Panda  5) Cinderfrost 6) Tim’rous Beastie. See Roz’s tag for the rest. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers.

Shanda the Panda #50 

Written by Mike Curtis 
Art by Razorfox 

Part of the furry comics boom in the early 1990’s, Shanda the Panda recently published its fiftieth and final issue. Written by Mike Curtis, illustrated by a dozen or so artists over the years, it was one of the longest-lived furry titles. Following the life and loves of the titular character and featuring a large cast of friends, family and neighbors, it was the quintessential slice-of-life furry comic. Each issue featured a main story, with one or two back-up comics focusing on the supporting characters. 

Over the 50 issue series there was a lot of stuff going on, with side plots and a cast of thousands. The main story followed Shanda (the panda) and her courtship with Richard (a Cajun raccoon). This is complicated by her lesbian best friend Terri, who wants to be more than just friends, and Richard’s very vindictive ex-wife.  Shanda works as a movie theater manager, and the other employees (mostly high school kids) provide a lot of the supporting cast. Shanda’s very traditional Chinese family, who doesn’t want her dating anyone other than another panda,  Richard’s nasty ex-wife and a misogynistic panda from Hong Kong provide some antagonists to keep things interesting. 

And ‚Äúinteresting‚ÄĚ is certainly a word to describe this series. A furry soap opera is probably closer to what Shanda¬†the Panda is than simple slice-of-life. Among the issues the characters deal with: domestic abuse, incest, unplanned pregnancy, kidnapping, murder and alcoholism. There‚Äôs also lots of sex among the cast, particularly the randy high school kids and the lesbian Terri. One of the kids is nicknamed ‚ÄúTripod‚ÄĚ because he has an enormous penis, and the main character attribute for a rabbit girl is that she‚Äôs extremely promiscuous. ¬†

Characters grow and evolve over the course of the series. Enemies become friends, couples break up and form new relationships, people die or move on.  Despite the lack of plausibility with some of the events or character motivations (Richard is unrealistically tolerant of Terri’s pursuit of Shanda, for example) I always found the book to be extremely readable. There were several distinct multi-issue story arcs, as well as stand-alone issues that made it easy for new readers to jump into the series, with the back-up stories adding extra depth to the world. 

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