Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Business

How Yamer won a contest, a job, and the love of fandom by smuggling furry into the mainstream.

by Patch O'Furr

A Mazda dealership in Fort Wayne, IN, set a trap. Their mascot is a cute sheep-thing… but he isn’t just an ordinary mascot like the Carfax Car Fox. This one has the secret power to set off your Fur-dar. Look at those cute eyes… how can you resist them?

Those susceptible to his gaze can tell he was crafted by furry paws, even if he was smuggled out of fandom under cover of an ordinary ad campaign.  I’d say the difference from other mascots is he isn’t just a general character… he’s a fursona!  Leinado is his name, and he was chosen by an art contest in 2013. He’s been spreading the magic to the public ever since.

In January 2019, the trap sprung on a furry who was just there for ordinary car repair. Sharing the discovery “in the wild” won thousands of likes for Leinado on Twitter. With fur-dar tingling, furries began sniffing around the company website to trace his origin. They found the designer, and then she was revealed as a wielder of furry art magic under the name Yamer.

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Representing furries in 2018 with 10,000 at Midwest Furfest, Dogbomb’s magic, and more (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

Being fluffy is its own reward. Fun and creativity don’t need representing. What is this, a religion? But if a spotlight happens, it could be for hard work to help others, a lucky chance, or having the right dance moves at the right time.  Chasing attention might not be necessary, but it’s nice to show how cool this group is because that helps make it cooler. So here’s why the fandom is great in 2018.

Part 1 had good media: CNN’s This Is Life with Lisa Ling, Sonicfox at The Game Awards in Los Angeles, and Bucktown Tiger on Jeopardy. For Part 2 here’s conventions, charity, art, celebrities, awards, spending, and more.

Conventions and charity:

 

Midwest FurFest got the first five-figure furry con attendance! It took 29 years since ConFurence 0 to match the biggest WorldCon (started in 1939, that’s perhaps one of the longest running nerd events, where they hand out fancy awards like the Hugos). Now we’re giving Science Fiction fandom a run for its money. It’s not on Comic Con level and may never be (…good?) but that’s millions of dollars of support to build and share the wealth. And furry is still grassroots with little outside investment and high DIY power.

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Corgi Events Is the Fandom’s First Convention Management Company – By Grubbs Grizzly

by Patch O'Furr

Grubbs Grizzly is known for his “Ask Papabear” advice column, and Greymuzzles group popular among the original generation of fandom. He’s at work on The Furry Book and made The Good Furry Award for furs who demonstrate outstanding community spirit. Nominate one for a $1000 prize! Thanks to Grubbs for this guest article.

Corgi Events appeared here for their con Aquatifur. They made the fandom applaud in August 2018 when Denfur filled the vacancy left by RMFC. All eyes were on them when Denfur’s first year beat attendance estimates by double, as high as RMFC would have grown if it still existed. More than a mere numbers success, it represented fans rejecting bad behavior that ruined its predecessor, and embracing the ideal of a community. For that I would give Corgi Events all the support I can.

(UPDATE 1: a twist in the story shortly after publishing makes me modify this to say I support fandom and its members, volunteers and community that makes cons happen for the love of it. UPDATE 2: the issue is resolved.) – Patch 

Corgi Events Is the Fandom’s First Convention Management Company
By Grubbs Grizzly

The history of furry conventions is an interesting one indeed, one that was recently written about by the late, great furry historian and book critic Fred Patten in his Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015. As anyone who has read that book or is familiar with convention history knows, it all started with Confurence 0 in Costa Mesa, California, in 1989. After a couple years, new conventions started opening their doors. The phenomenon has snowballed until now there are nearly 100 conventions worldwide.

Up until recently, one thing fur cons had in common was that they were operated independently of one another. Often these would be organized by local fans, perhaps sharing crew with other events, but based in one community. Each would be organized by—typically—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States.

But the other day my attention was drawn to a company called Corgi Events LLC, when I heard its announcement of a new fur con in Irvine, California, to be called Golden State Fur Con. GSFC is debuting next year, along with another Corgi-created con, the Painted Desert Fur Con in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Reading this, bells started ringing in my fuzzy bear ears. Was Corgi trying to replace Califur, which failed to hold a convention this year, and may or may not in 2019? And Phoenix (Scottsdale is a suburb) already has the young Arizona Fur Con. Next, I saw that Corgi also runs DenFur, which has effectively replaced the failed Rocky Mountain Fur Con. The chosen locations look strategic, and multi-con management over distance is a departure from the furry norm.

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Jello Biafra’s Incredibly Strange Interview and dance party with furries: San Francisco, 12/1/18

by Patch O'Furr

Info: Frolicparty.com or Facebook – Frolic with Jello Biafra

Are you a man or are you a mouse?
If you love your fun, die for it!
The Power of Lard by Lard

Man or mouse: why pick just one? Furries can have their cake and eat it too. (It’s cheese cake, of course!)

That line jumped out of my car music on a drive to San Jose’s PAWcon, on the day after Halloween. Besides rocking my giant ears, I was geeking out about just doing a 45 minute phone call with Jello Biafra.

Jello is a punk legend, the singer for Lard and the Dead Kennedys, the founder of Alternative Tentacles (one of the longest running indie record labels)… and he’s friendly to this fluffy fandom. Is that punk? Well, will it annoy purists and/or make you laugh? Then it just might be. And will the average furry care? I’d say it’s cooler than the times when furries infested the White House and assimilated Insane Clown Posse. If you could put all those things together, and let the mayhem commence with cute animals and crazy clowns doing a coup on the Capitol lawn, it would only be half as outrageous as this amazing event.

Speaking of Halloween, that wasn’t just a date on the calendar. Halloween is a classic Dead Kennedys song, and Jello referenced it when I asked for his thoughts on furries. The song rages against social regulations and asks why people don’t express themselves like that day, every day? So, furries, you got compared to a classic punk rager by the legend who wrote it. (He also wrote Nazi Punks Fuck Off. By the way, Nazi Furs Fuck Off!)

See why I was so stoked? Getting in that spirit also reminds me of Ministry’s Every Day is Halloween; Jello’s band Lard is a metal/industrial collab with the guys from Ministry. And when I asked what his fursona could be, he gave the punkest answer:

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A financial fuss about FurFlight – can it fend off a fandom fiasco?

by Patch O'Furr

Distressing news has come out about a furry-organized travel service, which appears to be in trouble with some big financial obligations at the moment. The fur is flying, and not in a good way.

FurFlight bundles furries together for group air travel from highly-active fandom regions to highly-attended conventions, most notably from Seattle and San Francisco to Midwest FurFest. The idea is to improve the boring parts and the endpoint arrangements. It happened successfully in 2017. (As far as I know, no fellow travelers complained about fur allergy flareups or the plane smelling like a zoo – score for fandom image!)

FurFlight isn’t affiliated with Midwest FurFest. One of the con staffers told me about previously advising people not to buy in because of no accountability for an independent operation. Trusting other fans comes with risks known to anyone who’s been burned by bad art commissions.

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Explore “The Depths” adult furry webcomic – interview with the creators.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet webcomic writer Leilani. She’s interested in discussing furry webcomics, experience working with them, and how furry artists can be more successful with them. We chatted together with artists ABlueDeer and Kino Jaggernov about their project.

What is “The Depths”?

The Depths is an adults-only webcomic featuring anthropomorphic creatures in a historical alternate-Earth setting from the 1920s through the 1930s. The narrator is Leilani Perierre, a beautiful, brave, and savage sea otter. The webcomic focuses not only on Leilani’s origins growing up on a remote paradisaical island, but also her tales of romance, mystery, and epic adventure – above and below the deep blue sea. “The Depths” doesn’t just relate to the sea, it also relates to the soul. The cast includes Leilani, daughter of a tribal chieftain in the South Pacific, David (Leilani’s main love interest), Malana (Leilani’s foil), Kalea (Leilani’s BFF), Jamie (antagonist and foil to David), and Thierry as a French detective whose story is mostly unknown.

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A look at furry business with a $17,017 record fursuit auction price, July 2018

by Patch O'Furr

(There are many reasons to give this thoughtful discussion and avoid knee-jerk reaction about cost – it will happen, but please read on! – Patch)

MixedCandy gets fandom’s current highest auction price at The Dealer’s Den.

Congrats to MixedCandy for their successful auction. One of the fandom’s highest-powered creative stars has also raised attention for The Dealer’s Den, an online marketplace for this special niche.

This new record price was set 6 months after the previous one: $13,500 for a commission slot by Made Fur You, sold on The Dealer’s Den with 82 bids on 1/29/18. It was preceded by a record that stood for 3 years: $11,575 for Sniper Angeldragon by PhoenixWolf, sold on Furbuy with 187 bids on 2/14/15.

A few years ago, The Dealer’s Den looked like more or less a ghost town when I looked at its activity. Change of ownership to Vitai Slade brought healthy growth. It now roughly compares to the much longer established Furbuy, offering more options to the fandom. Both are free to use. At time of posting, both have around 350-500 active auctions and 1800 Twitter followers. The Dealer’s Den also has a Telegram group of 3,000 users advertising their goods, while Furbuy is doing in-person promotion with con panels and flyering. I’ve personally had good experiences with both.

A look at this auction and why it matters.

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Furry Socialism: You’re Soaking in It! – by Tempe O’Kun and Dralen Dragonfox

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks Tempe and Dralen for this guest post, a good followup to my “heart of the furry economy“. – Patch

The furry fandom is big and complex. We each have our own groups of friends, and our little sub-fandoms centered around specific shows and interests. It’s easy to not see the fursuit for the fluff.

Once it a while, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at it as a whole.

Furry is incredibly socialist.

This seems like a weird statement on its face. How can a community of people who like cartoon animal media be socialist? Well, we make, buy, and sell things.

“But wait!” you might say. “That’s using money! Furry must be capitalism!”

Socialism doesn’t mean abolishing money, like they do on Star Trek. It just means the economy has to benefit regular people, instead of companies and a handful of the ultra-rich. In fact, since the Furry fandom literally invents itself without some overarching canon coming from any one movie, TV, animation, or comics studio, no one person can ever control who gets paid for their unique creations. This power resides in the creators themselves and the furries who support them. Furry is open source.

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ArtworkTee issues and the heart of the furry economy

by Patch O'Furr

There was a lot of recent drama about Artworktee, an indie operation catering to furries. This video covers how it started, but there’s a lot more to say.

I had mixed feelings on watching it unfold on social media. “But Patch, isn’t reporting not supposed to have feelings?” I’m a fan like any other, and “objective fan” is an oxymoron.  I couldn’t pretend not to be one, or miss the point of having an independent subculture by fans, for fans that’s best written about from inside. For this story, I dug deeper into some of the issues involved:

  • Complaints about underpaid artists.
  • Questionable practices for the business of art.
  • The mission and allegiance involved in profiting from fandom.
  • The stakes of overlooking problems and calling it “just business”, vs. how formal business can solve problems too.

Let me try to bring understanding from several perspectives, including the travails of small-business, and the devotion of grassroots fans. This is a great case for that stuff, because it’s not every day that a business comes from this niche fandom that kind of resembles mainstream startup companies. Until now, the most successful commercial enterprise like that is probably Bad Dragon.

Pro-fans and profiteering

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SonicFox, world record Esports champion: fursuit “a peak thing in life for me”

by Patch O'Furr

It’s not every day that a POC furry pro gamer with 4 Guinness World Records wins a tournament in a fursuit. When I talked to a friend about interviewing SonicFox, I heard he was cool and didn’t have a big head about it. It was true, but the question lots of people are asking is how does he do it in a fursuit head? The best thing I do in mine is fit a beer through the muzzle. And SonicFox isn’t even quite drinking age while earning more than enough to pay for college.

Pro gaming is getting huge, and it has a juggernaut representing furries – but to SonicFox, it seems like the representing and hugeness is no big deal compared to the furry part. It’s like whether he was a rock star or just a guy next door with a cool hobby to share, he’d give it the same attitude. It’s about being friendly and as sincere as you can be in being who you want to be, especially if that’s a cute blue fox. He should win all the hugs.

Thanks to SonicFox for being so prompt and enthusiastic about an interview from a tiny furry blog – it was fast and good like his gaming. (And thanks for question suggestions from Chip, Summer, Matthias, Tempe, Codex and Tex.) Here’s some further reference, then the interview.

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