Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Media

Buddy the Subway Rat says ‘cheese’ for the media.

by Joe Strike

Welcome to guest Joe Strike, journalist and author of Furry Nation, the furry fandom history book. (- Patch)

In New York City it’s hard to get peoples’ attention if you’re a struggling artist, or even if you’re not particularly struggling…unless you dress up as a rat and gambol around NYC subway platforms dragging a giant prop pizza slice, while making sure you’re videoed as much as possible for your social media platforms.

Jonothon Lyons

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They Are Smol: creating a fan community — guest post by TPH.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

The genesis of a community is today’s furry news. TPH (TinyPrancingHorse) asked if I could cover his humorous science fiction series that features several anthropomorphic species. I sent back an offer: Let’s see your own story that covers — (1) The content that makes the community’s backbone — (2) Proof of how it gets support like money or views —  (3) Nuts and bolts of how it got going — (4) Earned experience from doing it. I hope this inspires YOUR creation. (- Patch)

They are Smol has a main page here, and the first chapter can be found here.

What’s it about?

When people think of their favorite series – be it Star Wars to Tolkien, Discworld to Dune – there’s always a sense of mystery and nobility to how those series began. It starts with Men and Women, taking their life experiences, war stories, deep thoughts and desperate hopes, and pulling from that mysterious aether of the “could be” and bringing it into the real world.

Then there’s my series, Smol.

They are Smol was not created out of the desperation of homelessness, the pain of war, the desire to preserve culture, or any other number of excellent and moving reasons. They are Smol was created during a mental breakdown at work, where the author – on a throwaway reddit account – ended up tapping into something interesting in the human psyche.

All too often, in popular media – games, movies, books – humanity is depicted as this ascendant demigod given form, and they often have a cute sidekick character to play off of and highlight these traits. Think Rocket Raccoon, or if you’re in the Monster Hunter universe, the Palicoes. Something cute to headpat, something small to protect, yet noble in their own right.

Make our species that cute.

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#DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster — A fight with furry fandom influence.

by Patch O'Furr

I LOVE THAT SONG

First published in 1983-1987, Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger fantasy series struck a chord for a burgeoning fandom. It features a law student, Jon-Tom, with janitor work and rock and roll dreams. He wakes up in a strange land after smoking something weird to escape mundanity, where he meets a rabble-rousing otter (Mudge) and turtle wizard (Clothahump). His new talking-animal world sets a stage for learning to channel magic with music… but only once per song. Playing Pink Floyd’s Money on his “Duar” guitar can solve a problem once… if he even gets it right.

Loaded with epic fantasy, humor, cartoonish characters, and even moments to make an imaginative reader read extra hard (hot tiger-women and gay unicorns!) — It was the right kind of story that reached the right fans at the right time. The animals weren’t just for kids; they drank, stabbed, screwed, and swore! It made me a 90’s furry before I knew there was a fandom for it.

Foster’s writing was pure fun, spiked with a threat of apocalyptic invasion and a race to defeat it in classic quest mode. I’d assume this was mid-list bookstore fare; not bestselling but solid original work for a productive author. Bigger pay would come with franchise adaptations — his novels for Star Wars, the Aliens movies, and Star Trek.

Making canon work for such big properties should earn secure income for a challenging career of genre writing. That is, if Disney would honor what Lucasfilm agreed to owe, after they acquired the company in 2012 for several billion dollars.

SOUR NOTES FROM DISNEY

Disney isn’t paying Alan Dean Foster his due. Foster shouldn’t have to sing a magic spell to get what he’s owed. It sounds like plain power abuse because they can afford to run up expenses in court (we’re all familiar with Trumpian bullying now, right?) It’s a story with a roots creator as David vs. a corporate Goliath for the fandom today. This should hit a nerve for anyone deeply in tune with the Furry Thing. (I wish fandom founder Fred Patten was around to comment.)

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Miss shows and music? Melt your face with Algerian Furry Death Metal from GLÒZÓNE.

by Patch O'Furr

In March I had tickets to see Lords of Acid. They’re the industrial-rave act known for their 90’s banger I Sit On Acid. Furries with special taste may know it from the eye-popping video “Sexy male bunny fursuit striptease” from Albany Anthrocon 1997.  (Thank you Silfur Bunny for making furry weird. I love the video so much, and it deserves the fame that John Oliver gave to 90’s rat porn. r/industrialmusic thinks “it should just be the official video at this point.”)

Covid killed my plan to go fursuiting at the Lords Of Acid show. It killed the whole club. That was Slim’s in San Francisco, which hosted some of my favorite events. It was in the city’s night life hot spot with DNA Lounge, where furries, raves, drag, and goth all melted together for some of the best times I’ve had. Missing good shows is frustrating, and watching their venues die is a tragedy!

This made me think about hungry musicians needing work. I realized if you aren’t spending money on shows… you can make your own band. Yes, there are musicians who can work with you to infest other people’s eardrums. You can bring the rock like you can be your fursona. That’s how the world has this:

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Protests in Poland “a premonition for what will happen” if LGBT rights are lost in the USA — Q&A with furry artist Jeanwoof who does charity for rights in Poland.

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 U.S. election is in progress, the future is at stake, and a tipper sent me this story. “It may be a premonition of what will happen here if abortion and LGBTQ rights are suspended by the supreme court.”

Maybe you’re sick of relentless gushing doom about politics. Sorry I can’t make it stop with the fabulous power of furry news reporting. But I can make a story for furries in and out of the U.S., and help you think about protecting rights everywhere. This won’t just tell you to vote, it’s about using fandom power!

Soatok Dhole explains why it matters.

Politics? In My Fandom? 

Soatok says “The furry fandom – which you can think of as the largely queer sector of geek culture – has a problem with negative peace”; and it’s hurt by the Trump administration’s effort to overturn marriage equality plus 33 more steps to push anti-LGBT hate worldwide.

The problem is not just about Trump — it’s about ultraconservative attacks on rights everywhere. You can’t get peace from it by turning off the news, so to make better news, let’s meet a furry who does art charity to advance people’s rights in Poland.

Hi Jeanwoof, can you give a brief bio about yourself?

Hi, I’m a 26 year old woman living in Northern Poland. I’m very active in the fandom — drawing furry art for 6 years, and for 3 years I’ve been doing a small furry convention (Kungfur) with friends. I attend local conventions and sometimes you can see me at Eurofurence in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley. I’m a fursuiter too, but I don’t wear my suit as often as I want to.

by Jeanwoof

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How the furry fandom gained a new artist — Lux Operon, weaver of light

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Lux, with a guest post about what she does when not hosting furry movie pizza parties. – Patch 

On a beautiful fall morning in Reno, the edge of sunrise starts to paint the desert mountains. The color in the sky is just right. I rush to my balcony and put on my glowing pup hood for photos, which I will share to a majority audience of people with fuzzy wolf characters. I am profoundly happy.

Electroluminescent wire is a sister material to LEDs. They look similar, but they’re functionally quite different. An LED is a diode that emits a single point of light, but EL wire works like a capacitor. Since it has no resistance within, it doesn’t heat up when lit. An exposed end might give a small shock if it touches your skin (but it won’t kill you, or I’d be dead). It’s flexible, continuously lit throughout its length, and has many applications to create an amazing glowing costume.

Like any wearable electronics, EL wire has limitations and can be finicky. Its battery packs (drivers) are each rated for a different length of wire. Knowing how to troubleshoot your costume is integral to being a fiber artist with this material. It’s easy to learn but very hard to master.

The technology has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the late 90s and early aughts when the folks at FunHouse productions in Oakland, California decided to really develop the platform. EL wire is the unofficial signage of the Burning Man event, where you can often find people in these costumes wandering around the playa as strobing neon silhouettes in the dark.

This art was largely contained to their scene in Black Rock City until dance troupes started popping up on America’s Got Talent. For the 2012 season, Team Illuminate put together dance routines and nearly went all the way. By weaving EL wire and using the interplay of darkness to create floating shapes and coordinated blinking, they made the world aware of wearable neon, including me.

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Monster Force Zero: loads of fun and furries in a movie out just in time for Halloween.

by Patch O'Furr

You’ll want to show Monster Force Zero at any furry party night if you love midnight movies. This new release went through a few years of production with crowdfunding and shooting in Colorado at Galaxyfest. Furries are included briefly, but with love. Catch it on Amazon or other services above.

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Q&A with Finn, founder of the Fuzznet Music netlabel for furries.

by Patch O'Furr

“World’s first furry-centered, full-service music distribution netlabel.”

A new netlabel for furry music has been announced! When I think of a label, especially on the small indie side, I think of curation for a certain sound or scene. (Example: a Q&A is coming soon with a fur from Sri Lanka where I asked about Goa Trance.) Here’s one I’ve been enjoying: Numero Group is a reissue label. Imagine digging through thrift store junk and finding a weird one of a kind record that sounds amazing — that’s everything they put out. They specialize in the history of unsung niches, local scenes and their heroes. It makes richer music history than the well-worn stuff on classic rock channels.

Specialty and indie labels make diversity. With that in mind I talked to Finn.

A music style for furries? 

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Fuzznet Music launches a netlabel to unite musicians of the furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

What if there was a convention for furry musicians? For BLFC 2018, a furry musical was created and performed there (and it wasn’t the first of its kind.) Imagine that kind of energy every year. Sustaining it would take a thriving scene with room for its own publishers.

But what is furry music? Why is it furry? A Dogpatch Press Q&A series asked musicians to explain. Some use animal themes or perform in fursuit. Some just share a social circle. Many music scenes work that way, so you don’t even need to ask why. A show takes a crowd after all. What kind of energy could they bring to a con? Furry DJ spots have a lot of competition, and musicians have played live for hundreds of fans at cons. Think: Matthew Ebel, NIIC The Singing Dog, or Fox & Pepper (who racked up $38,000 in crowdfunding for an album!) Some get lots of views, compose for films, and reach outside the fandom. FWA 2019 made brief crossover with mainstream act Mystery Skulls. Furry musicians are also collaborating to put out compilations.

That makes a scene with potential. Now they’re taking another step forward with a netlabel. So blow a horn and start a howl for FUZZNET MUSIC!

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Dysfurria: A Manifesto — by Alec Esther

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Alec Esther, a new media theorist and aesthetic scholar. Alec uses “affect theory” to  investigate how people find belonging and becoming in group spaces. Alec’s undergraduate thesis was about Porter Robinson’s Virtual Self project. Now here’s a critical personal reflection about the furry fandom, and the feeling of distance between internal self and external fursona.

I. Pentagon Dust

 
“Wait a second,” my bunny-eared DJ buddy stopped us mid-walk. “You don’t actually HAVE a fursona, do you?!”

We were hopping along the San Jose Doubletree halls to find refuge in a PAWCon room party when the question arose. I’d hoped to dodge his accusations at least before a drink or five, but my neck was barren of badges sans my con admission. I guess that justified his suspicion: what kind of furry would frolic about a convention without a testament to their fuzzy side? Yet the remark only reminded me of the discomfort of human skin, the way it bumps and tingles at the first sign of trouble. My DJ name was on a flyer of his creation, advertising the very same party to which we strode. He knew who I was. Was there a part of me that mattered more?

I stashed this question in my carry-on and flew it back to my then-home in Arizona, a state in which I’d just partied the weekend prior at Arizona Fur Con 2019. I had only 48 hours before I’d be on another flight to an even greater challenge: a weekend in Florida spent with a furry mentor and his friends. Loath am I to pass up an adventure, but the thought of being surrounded by more “established” furries filled me with a hollow dread. More intimidating than the social falsehood of “popufur” status was the feeling of self-fulfillment that I knew I lacked. From the moment of my arrival in MCO, I’d be a fursona non grata in the inescapable form of isolated flesh.

It was not yet the weekend when I landed in Orlando. The others would touch down on Friday, and Thursday had yet to wreak its temporal terror. That day I took my mentor’s offer to accompany him to the UCF campus as he took his Thursday classes. I sought comfort in the arts building, just as I often did during my Midwestern education in art history, and admired the great works of UCF’s aesthetes until one peculiar project tackled my stomach to the tile floor.

Londoño, Marcela. El Caballero del Fútbol. Woodblock print. 2019, Visual Arts Building, University of Central Florida. mlondono.com.

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