You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year. (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

The Ursa Major Awards are open for nominations! Check the Recommended Anthropomorphics list for stuff to consider.

(Part 1): You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year.

Here’s more review of last year’s news from Dogpatch Press. These are highlights for this site, and they’re not listed by biggest or most-viewed, it’s a mixed bag of big stories plus inside stuff only a fandom knows.

(11) International animals — What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran? and Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

There’s so much going on outside North America. Furry scenes are coming up in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Art is common language for far-flung fans who’d never meet any other way. One in Iran thinks war should be about the best pizza. One in Sri Lanka dreams of coming to a furry con one day.

(12) Founding the fandom — A brief history of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, America’s first anime fan club and 40th anniversary of Animalympics.

Imagine seeing something you start go around the world. Guest writer Sy Sable helped start the first furry con, and he tells stories from the horse’s mouth. (Actually his fursona is a Pine Marten.)

(13) Anthropomorphism before the fandom — Animal Impersonators of Vaudeville and Pantomime and More Animal Impersonators From Theater History.

The roots the fandom doesn’t know it has. These are “proto” or “paleo” furries who may have no direct connection (it’s in the spirit of art and performance history.) Tracing the history can find hidden depths for what we love, and open your mind to a parallel universe where it was never forgotten.

(14) Snapshots of progress — Unearthing a cool fossil: A 1980’s letter shows furry before the net and A 1990’s fax to troll Confurence shows how long there’s been culture war with furry fandom.

You can see a lot of familiar happenings if you trace the growth of the fandom. Before the internet, they met through pen pals, zines and art trading. Before “altfurry” alt-right trolling was a thing, 1990’s conventions faced down haters and a prudish war against adult art.

(15) Documenting fandom history — The Fandom movie: Furry paws seize the media

This documentary movie should be on Netflix. More than a snapshot, it used major effort to dig up and digitize archival video. The makers couldn’t have worse luck because Covid interrupted the release and held back distribution. Treasure it as an inside secret for those who know.

(16) Art and invention for the future — Pup mask making with WearWolf Creations/Snap Jaw and Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs and How the furry fandom gained a new artist — Lux Operon, weaver of light.

The ongoing story of makers using traditional costuming to play with technology. These ones use digitally sculpted fangs, motorized self-moving tails, and bioluminescent concepts made with EL wire. One started because of a Dogpatch article — FUTURE FURSUITING: furry’s most original creations and the rise of tech-enabled smart suits. (It was featured by Adafruit Industries, a big source for makers/hackers and wearable electronics).

(17) Colleges welcome furries — SCADfurs: These furry animation students will make shows you love one day and Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College.

A fursona can be a secret identity. It used to come with risk of bullying or worry about losing jobs in animation. But the next generation don’t have to be Secret Squirrels if they don’t want to. They can enjoy recognition for their own thing.

(18) Looking ahead with new platforms — The Dealers Den plans to rebuild and Q&A with Finn, founder of the Fuzznet Music netlabel for furries.

The Dealers Den is THE fandom auction site since others went away. Their rebuild is meant to use Cardano, a new blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin etc.) gets criticism, but from what I saw, Cardano is simply developing an exchange technology with potential to solve a problem. Fan-to-fan business is full of leaps of trust, but escrow and ratings based platforms with dispute mediation can be unobtainable on this level. This system could bring it.

Musicians have new support. Fuzznet Music is a furry netlabel, a publisher like the fandom has for books.

(19) More politics and culture war — Why is the National Police Association mass-blocking furries? and Pornhub and Xtube purge millions of videos.

Wasn’t last year a rollercoaster? We’ll see if there’s more twists on the same track so try not to barf. Having huge amounts of amateur videos taken down doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get your eyeballs jiggled, but it makes a threat from religious prudes and censorship. Who might be next?

(20) A troubling crime problem — Cecil McFly: Don’t Mess With Dogs: A Zoosadist Story partly sourced from a Dogpatch report

(Content warning.) It’s an ongoing story that came out in 2018 with reporting in 2019 and one serious conviction in 2020. A ring of criminals hid movie serial killer-like abuse of animals and kids, with darkweb activity on the level of urban legends. Most ring members stayed free and some busts haven’t gotten fandom news.

Unlike Covid and coups, this is a home-grown fandom problem. It crosses states and countries. It reaches back to the 1990’s when a zoophile sub-sub-culture put down roots among furries. It reaches up to convention staff who cover up with lying, claim impersonation between face-to-face coworkers, do backlash and threaten to sue for talking. (Having reports stay up is a clue about having no case, but wouldn’t it be interesting if they lied to courts while giving Discovery power to a reporter.) Laws haven’t covered these unique crimes and police haven’t been able to stop the ring from using this community under cover of “not my problem” denials. Self management doesn’t cut it.

When the community fails, the story goes to sources you wouldn’t want to tell it. Cecil McFly works with outsiders who don’t like furries, but extreme caution about talking to her was rewarded with a reliable 2-part video summary that covers the evidence. This is the worst story in the fandom, and fit for a social media study or Black Mirror episode. It isn’t a cold investigation, so wait for it…

Honorable Mentions

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)