Great accounts to follow: Shadow Raccoon
by Patch O'Furr
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 ask the account owners just a few questions about what they do. Enjoy whether you’re new, or like learning more about stuff you already love.
SHADOW RACCOON is the Certified Cuddly proof that anything is more adorable with a British accent. I’m sure that’s nothing special for his friends, but I’m in California and I just want to give him a hug until he goes “I can’t breathe” with it, OK? Shadow made it here because – He’s nice – He started tagging me (good idea!) – He does fun and wholesome videos – and I like giving notice for a smaller furry creator who is working hard to earn it. Saying to follow Adler Eagle (who is super nice and wholesome too) makes me happy to spread his good taste. Even if it comes out of a trash can.
— Toxicoow (@Toxicoow) August 10, 2019
(Dogpatch:) What’s the story of your account – was there anything that inspired you to start it, is there anything special about how you direct the content, and what’s it like to run in general?
It was just before Christmas 2017 that I decided to start my YouTube channel, going live with it in 2018. Initially it was just me, on a sofa talking about movies and how “raccoon friendly” they were. These I cross posted to twitter at the time as I felt more people would see them. The quality wasn’t the best and we shot the videos with my phone; however I had fun producing them and people enjoyed watching them.
Soon though I found myself wanting to expand outside of this and beyond into more general furry topics. So I started to make videos covering a vast range of subjects and not just movies – everything from a comedic sketch comparing 2003 in the fandom to 2018 to videos covering Furry Commercials. Every video has a furry aspect to it. I have over 100 videos at time of writing and whilst theres a few I’m not a fan of, I generally am happy with what I have created over the years.
It can be quite stressful running the channel from day to day, writing scripts, editing and filming can be quite tiring. I usually spend 2 or 3 evenings a week at least editing the videos; and a good part of most Sunday mornings filming.
Finding inspiration for new videos can be difficult too! – I keep a (very) long list of ideas for new content – I try to keep it furry focused and offer either something new, or a new twist on something that has been done before. I always aim to keep my videos fandom positive and upbeat and engaging.
I’m pleased with the growth of my channel – Ive recently crossed the 5000 barrier and my views are consistent. My personal goal is to get it to 10,000 as that will allow me access to YouTube space which has some cool places to film. A lot of it now is getting the word out and making the channel known; something that is hard what with the algorithms on YouTube and the like.
The response and feedback from my channel has been fantastic. And with the support of my Patreons; and the furry fandom in general I am spurred to keep on creating new content and entertaining others. Nothing cheers me up more on a rough day than a comment from someone saying that a video made them smile.
The story of my twitter account is a little different to YouTube. I first created an account in 2016 at the recommendation of a few people to see what was going on in the fandom. Originally I wasn’t sure on Twitter. My real life counter part had never really figured it out or found a use for it.
However in the furry world I found it to be a lot more engaging and fun. For a good while I used to post a LOT of raccoon photos; usually with captions. My brag was that I had a folder with over 100 raccoon photos in it on my computer for this purpose. Twitter was also the first time I started to interact with other furs; well along with Telegram of course. It’s been a great place to get to know people.
Once I got my first full fursuit my twitter activity changed a bit, I stopped posting random raccoon photos so often and started focusing a lot more on fursuit photos and stuff about myself and my character. This proved to feel a lot more fulfilling and is still how I post today. I like to think its a great place to keep up to date on what I am up to and to follow the adventures of a raccoon. It’s also a good accompaniment to my YouTube channel.
Would you like to talk about who’s behind the account?
Shadow Raccoon is a red, silver and gold raccoon. He has changed a bit from my original design, which started off with black as the main colour and no gold. I’m glad I made the changes to my character over time, I couldn’t imagine him without the gold now. Always excited, sometimes a little sarcastic and always a friendly face.
I chose a raccoon mostly due to the fact that I’d been playing a lot of Sly Cooper games at the time and had been googling what a real raccoon was like. We don’t natively get Raccoons in the UK; so to me they seemed incredibly fascinating and a little exotic! It wasn’t until a few years after becoming Shadow Raccoon that I even got to see a raccoon; they are mainly in zoos or wildlife parks here – and it just so happened to turn out there is a wildlife park down the road from where I live that has a raccoon.
I’ve always tried to make my character seem positive, and not too serious. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% toony; but I’m far from being a realistic raccoon.
I tend to refer to myself by my full name – Shadow Raccoon, primarily because there are soooo many fursonas called Shadow and it’s hard to tell who is who if you just say “Shadow”.
My first fursuit was made by my partner Theadore Rabbit, and together we build the bodysuit. I used to wear a pineapple hawaiian shirt to cover up our slightly wonky sewing. It was a fantastic suit and I had many fond memories in it, it’s the one I started my channel and twitter account with so it’s very sentimental to me.
In 2018 I got my current and better known fursuit was made by Made by Mercury. It is her first raccoon and I am super pleased with how it came out – I honestly can’t picture what Shadow would look like made by anyone else. Originally I was going to go for Plantigrade, and it was about a month before she started work on my suit that I made the change to Digitigrade. Possibly the best choice ever.
I like to think I am very approachable and I am usually more than happy to offer hugs and pose for photos and selfies when asked; just don’t ask me to climb on anything – whilst raccoons are known for being very agile, I am one raccoon that is not. I ate too much pizza!
I’m frequently found fursuiting at London Furs meets; I try to get to as many of these as I can with Theadore Rabbit but some weeks life happens lol. I’ve been to Southampton fur meets in the past too and want to get to another again some time so people could possibly spot me there. Conventionwise Confuzzled is my big con, always aim to do that – I’ve gone to JFTW the past few years too, and got to MFF in late 2018 also. In 2020 I will be going to my first convention in Canada, at Furnal Equinox. Very excited to fursuit in the world capital of Raccoons!
What are some of your greatest hits and why?
On YouTube, my most successful video to date is still my 2003 vs 2018 fandom comparison. I’m not sure why that turned out to be such a success – its certainly not a serious; factual video but the topic really engaged people and is still often the video people reference first when they meet me. Also learnt a lot from it in the comments!
Other than this my furry commercials videos always seem to be popular – It’s a topic I love discussing and its quite fun to look at how engrained anthropomorphism is in the world around us. These videos are always a LOT of fun to make even though I have to do a lot of research.
Another popular video is the Bunnys Vs Birds challenge – this involved getting my partner Theadore Rabbit and friend Regdeh together; to create a battle for who owns easter. We collected over 20 videos from various birds and bunnies across the internet; including Adler the Eagle to put together a video where everyone made a case for why Bunnys or Birds represent easter best. Was a very ambitious project and took quite a lot of planning. However the end result is a lot of fun and its one I like to rewatch!
On twitter, Ive found a photo of me booping a screen always makes for a fun tweet and looks good on other peoples timelines; thus getting lots of interaction from others. My most successful tweet though still remains when I did my own version of that guy and girl meme after Midwest Furfest sold out in seconds. People sure love memes!
Would you recommend any other good furry accounts?
There’s a few accounts I think people should check out – Firstly, do check out my partner Theadore Rabbit’s account – you’ll get lots of fun bunny stuff on his twitter; and he is starting out on his own YouTube channel too where he looks at old cartoons. I do also recommend following Toxicoow on twitter too – Lovely guy and I have to say he is easily one of my favourite animators in the furry fandom. He recently made me a fantastic animation where I jump out of a bin haha. And finally, if people aren’t already following Adler the Eagle; they really should, he has to be one of the most positive upbeat people in the fandom and is really entertaining too!