Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: costuming

More Animal Impersonators From Theater History

by Patch O'Furr

Don’t miss the series of stories about animal impersonators.

George Ali as Nana in Peter Pan (1924)

Yesterday’s article revisited the history of animal impersonation for theater. It’s the study of how animals move and behave, for acting with emotion and character. Beautifully crafted costumes were used on live stages before cinema matured, from artists forgotten by time. It’s deep rooted “Paleofurry” inspiration.

Previous stories here looked at British Panto-animal actors, but overlooked other actors in American Vaudeville (which fed talent to Hollywood). An expert covered some of them to round out this history. (Thanks to Trav S.D. who is linked here; a theater director, producer, and author.)

George Ali: Critter for Hire, and Arthur Lupino

Trav’s short article adds a little about George Ali, who played the dog in the first filmed version of Peter Pan. But in 1904 the role was played by an actor who I haven’t found much about. There’s just a very short blurb from Encyclopedia Brittanica saying Arthur Lupino was an “incomparable animal impersonator” and chosen personally by Peter Pan playwright JM Barrie.

Fred Woodward: What an Animal

Mules and creatures from Oz. It’s another short mention of how “Animal impersonation was a whole sub-specialty in vaudeville… This was an era when fairy tales were frequently presented on stage for audiences of children and their families, so it’s not as odd as it may seem at first blush.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Animal Impersonators of Vaudeville and Pantomime: call them Paleofurries.

by Patch O'Furr

Check out this “fursuit” acting from 1924. That’s George Ali as Nana the Dog in the first silent-movie version of Peter Pan. (Here’s a longer clip).

In 1924, there were no archives for movies, so many were destroyed or disappeared when they stopped making money from screening. The first Peter Pan movie was believed lost, but two copies were found including one at Disney Studios (who must have studied the innovative special effects.) A restoration in 1994 was added to the US National Film Registry. It makes a rare recording of this kind of performing.

George Ali was an Animal Impersonator — much more than just a costumer, but a specialist artist. There must be tons of forgotten lore about this. It was featured in my furry history series about Panto-animals (with beautiful photos, but no videos I could find until now!)

What were animal impersonators?

Fred Conquest and Charles Lauri appear in those stories as British Pantomime theater players. Panto had roots as old as Shakespeare — a mash-up of clowning, burlesque, satire, and lower-class popular theater for the masses. It was for live stages, not permanent Youtube-ready media, so the actors may be barely remembered today. They were huge stars in their heyday 100 years ago. Most were known as human characters, but ones like Ali, Conquest, or Lauri won stardom in their own right as animals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Furries For Bernie talk about their support for the US presidential candidate.

by Patch O'Furr

Join Bernie Sander’s Furs on Telegram.

How we got covered by KQED in A Secret Weapon of the Progressive Left: Furries by Nastia Voynovskaya.

There was no time for breakfast. It would take a miracle to find parking for the Bernie Sanders rally in Richmond CA. We were nearby and already together after a dance party the night before. Now we could see him speak with 11,000 supporters.

Candy, BerryPecanTart and Lux rode with me. Wild Child and Zahi were there, and Apollo Wolfdog, who we didn’t know, made contact from seeing us in the crowd. We were a litter worth of furries in the blocks long line to get in while Bernie’s motorcade passed 10 feet away. The blazing sun and fursuit photos weren’t as big as a wave from the man himself.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Worst Year Ever gives the best look ever at furry antifascists; Furries rally for Bernie

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 American election year has a high-stakes power struggle. But The Worst Year Ever podcast isn’t just staying in the studio to report about it. They’re going out in real life to visit as many different groups as possible and show solidarity. They even got up close and personal with furries!

This must-hear podcast comes from Robert, Katy, and Cody (who also do Some More News, Behind The Bastards and more, with over 340,000 Twitter followers lumped together.) They make top quality media backed by research, wit, and dedication to truth. That’s how the fandom was introduced here.

Until now, outsiders have seen glimpses of a furry fandom struggle with far-right groups. It ties to happenings around the country. But few have gone all the way down our rabbithole to learn unique background that no mainstream media has covered. I had never heard some of this.

How The Furries Fought The Nazis and Won — by The Worst Year Ever

  • Part 1 — A look at the background of nazifurs and the Midwest Furfest 2014 chemical attack. (47 minutes)
  • Part 2 — Fandom responses, a big shoutout to Dogpatch Press at 4:00, and a visit to MFF 2019. (36 minutes)

Read the rest of this entry »

Fundraisers open for Pride events with furries in San Diego, LA, and San Francisco

by Patch O'Furr

Furries return to San Francisco Pride – June 28, 2020 

Back in 2012, the weekend celebration of SF Pride didn’t have any activities with anthropomorphic animals. Maybe they would just stay in their dog houses, or sit on eggs and wait for their terns, or whatever they do alone. That seemed like a loss when the SF Bay Area had the worlds most dense population of furries.

Why shouldn’t they go to Pride? Companies, schools, and all kinds of interest groups do. Pride is a statement about love that any group can support. But they didn’t seem to have any activity since a parade contingent around 2002-2005. (It’s not well documented, but the original organizers told me about overcoming some of the most friction for it from other fans, in fear of fear itself.)

Whose job is it to make it happen? Everyone’s. That’s why in 2020, I can report 8 years of starting and helping to organize award-winning floats in the parade, with partners like @Zoren, @StevenTigeron and hundreds of supporters and members. They’re coming back with a newly purchased trailer to have for the future. Generous donations last year covered it, but now they need to build a float on it and give everyone an experience to remember.

You can help on GoFundMe. Donations are matched by Spottacus.

Read the rest of this entry »

Animal Farm: a furry fetish party at the Citadel in San Francisco, February 22.

by Patch O'Furr

Art by Alterkitten (Furaffinity / Twitter)

There’s so much news about politics lately. What kind of liberation will the next election bring? Does it make your mind wander?

At Animal Farm (formerly Wild Things), you can get liberated as heck. Get in that headspace where you’re a pup and let your paws wander on a furry friend. Consenting adults only of course. Come explore kink at a safe licensed club, with super cute furries, pet-players, trainers, and opportunity to go ALL the way.

In San Francisco, this is one of the only openly advertised, public-access furry fetish parties in the world. Shy newcomers are welcome! Dungeon monitors are there to help. Any curious visitor can get a healthy nonjudgemental sample, or go whole hog. Bring a partner into trying a new kink. Come find a new partner in the lounge where there’s just chatting, a counter full of snacks, and temptation beckoning you to the dungeon for a frisky good time.

Read the rest of this entry »

An exclusive look at pup mask making with WearWolf Creations and new brand Snap Jaw

by Dogpatch Press Staff

The Noah’s Ark of furry fandom has many ways to get on board. Friendly and toony characters you can hug bring me there. But others are drawn to a sleek, inhuman-but-warm latex sheen that takes them to their headspace. Headspace is a good word. Despite negative notions, pup-players say it doesn’t start below the belt, and adult topics need no mention for this story about a team of artists who craft their headgear. How about marketing it as useful? When it starts to rain, these animals can stay dry and wear one instead of an umbrella. No? Even if they aren’t for you, you may enjoy learning how the secret ingredient that floats this business is the brainstorming and collaboration that furry fandom provides. Pup players are part of a community of makers. (See also the recent article — Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs.) –– Patch

WearWolf Creations is spinning off into two independent businesses for latex hoods to serve the pup community: @CreationsWear and @SnapJawForge.

FC 2019 art show entries

Behind the scenes with the team, shop, and creation process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Thanks to Ocelynk for this guest post. To submit for public access, get in touch from the About page.

As night falls in the South American jungle, an ocelot comes out to hunt. The small spotted cat’s ears perk at the sound of a snapping twig in the trees above, and the pursuit begins. Eighteen razor-sharp claws extend to grip a branch for an effortless ascent, and a tail balances every movement. With its prey in sight, the ocelot pounces, its fangs glistening in the moonlight…

Imagine if the furry fandom could develop fursuits that do all that, in addition to being friendly. Since the summer of 2018, I’ve been working on animatronic technology to make it possible.

It all started when I came across a post about fursuit technology that opened my eyes to the possibilities of fursuit animatronics. This was an opportunity to apply my experience with electronics and robotics to a new and exciting area.

Before long, inspiration struck. I decided that I would make a realistic fursuit with all the animatronic technology I could build. I wanted the animatronics to work without anyone actively controlling them. To decide which projects to start with, I thought about my favorite features of cats: the ears, eyes, claws, and tail. Since then, I’ve developed working prototypes for all four features.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Furry Karate Hero who stopped an assault at Fur Con

by Patch O'Furr

“I threw my paws to the ground and took my head and collar off” — The last thing they see before the furpile.

In San Jose on January 17, fursuiters were cooling off outside Further Confusion‘s main hotel. That’s when a car stopped short, and they heard the driver screaming “Get out!” She was being beaten. Onlookers ran to the car and pulled a male passenger off of her.

“Among the first on scene was the pink dinosaur, who wrested the suspect by the head and shoulders while a massive tail bobbed in his wake” – The Mercury News

Kin Z. Shiratsuki is the furry they quoted: “This guy was just walloping a lady,” Shiratsuki said. “He had to have hit her 10 times.” But wait, pink dinosaur? She’s a KOBOLD/ROO (also sometimes a purple gryphon). Get it right… read furry news!

The group of helpers show that not all heroes wear capes — some wear fursuits. They can join the ranks with furries in a past story who helped crash victims escape a car on fire.

Kin is often at local SF Bay Area meets and responded to a Q&A.

Hi Kin. Did you see the video of the incident went around a lot? It even made CNN’s front page.

Oh gosh it did, meep meep I did not see. I just saw one Twitter post and a Facebook post. I’m just glad that the cops came and arrested the guy.

What’s the story from being on the scene? 

I was walking around the corner in suit with a friend. I heard some people talking, and focused on two in the car. As soon as I saw what was happening I yelled at the group of people, “get the car door open, get him out of there!” and they acted. I told people to call 911, and called myself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Help Make a Parents and Kids Programming Track at Further Confusion

by Patch O'Furr

UPDATE: The person running programming has had to drop out. Anyone interested in helping take their place should contact the con.

Who brings kids to a furry con? Check out Furscience.com: Resources for parents, or Moms of Furries. Vice has a report: How the Furry Community Became a Safe Space for Youth. Sometimes kids bring their parents, and sometimes furries have their own kids. Of course they do, this fandom started in the late 1970’s. Multiple generations is what makes it grow.

BunBun, a mom and furry near San Francisco, proposed kid-friendly programming to Further Confusion in January. She said the board really wants to make it happen. She’s now working to make special events for kids. There’s a schedule including guided story writing/mad libs (maybe with a writer guest?) and having the kids design a space ship, matching the sci-fi theme of the con.

It will be the best time ever for them. You can help!

  • WANTED: STAFF. Bunbun needs people willing to volunteer.
  • WANTED: ART SUPPLIES. Including hands-on craft or sewing supplies, like scrap fur, needles and thread to help them start furry costuming of their own.
  • Is anyone willing to put on a fun panel for kids, or be a DJ for kid friendly music?

Contact the con if you want to help make it happen.

Read the rest of this entry »