Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Media

How furries resist a commercialized fandom (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom often has DIY ethics (intentional or not). That can mean nonprofit volunteer-led events, and directly supporting each other’s art instead of just consuming corporate products. A Daily Beast reporter asked about it and I shared lots of info that didn’t all make the news — so here’s a followup in 3 parts.

Why is commercialism a topic for an often disparaged subculture? Compare furry fandom today to its roots. Times change, and hindsight can help to see why. Let’s look at how industry and media influenced the American roots in the 1970’s, how it grew, and changes that come with bigger scale than ever.

The 1970’s could be a hungry time for fans with a taste for comics and animation of the 1940’s-50’s Golden Age. As it faded, funny-animal comics died off while the business suffered under the Comics Code. In movies, the fall of the studio system contributed to a dark age of animation. Hanna-Barbera reigned on TV with cheap formulaic product. Disney’s feature studio almost went bankrupt with barely any new artists hired for a generation. Robin Hood (1973) spread the furry virus before it had a name, but the movie wasn’t well loved by the studio. Then a new wave of artists (such as Tim Burton and Don Bluth) came out of Disney while it had a rebirth, peaking with The Lion King (1994), which launched a thousand furry projects. But by the early 90’s the furry fandom was already fully fledged to take off on its own. It happened under the influence of the ups and downs of industry, but also in spite of it.

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5 STAR VISIT: Furry gets Airbnb room in San Francisco, finds furry yiff art on the wall

by Patch O'Furr

When you travel, they say if you want real experiences, go where the locals go and do what they do. But you probably don’t expect to pack a black light.

One lucky traveler went to San Francisco, and got surprised by extra special hospitality with their stay. They had a rented Airbnb room. That can be a crapshoot. Airbnb (the service that lets people rent rooms out of their own houses) has had its share of horror stories. They’ve had orgies, pigsty conditions, con artists, and  hidden cameras; but this time the result was loads of customer satisfaction.

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Avian Invasion – Children Of The Stars – Album Review by Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Matthew Ebel is a well-known fandom musician who has begun a new project that sees him shifting from his roots of piano-based lyrical works to what he has dubbed “progressive (bird)house” with hints of trance peppered throughout. Performing under the name “Bird One,” Ebel dons a masquerade-like beak and colorful outfits as he crafts melodies that have been played at such important venues as The Roxy and even the Grand Ole Opry. How well does Bird One’s musical prowess transfer from Elton John to EDM? We are going to take a look at his 6-song EP titled Children Of The Stars to find out.

We Looked Up is the first song on the EP. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, explaining in a narrative form over a pulsing, dark, bass driven beat that the world has transformed into a dystopian society of people who do not trust each other. “Now the people built only walls. The shadow whispered in their ears, told the people that only darkness could defeat darkness,” the narrator states, his voice tinged with flanges and pitch shifts that give it an eerie quality, as if maybe you cannot trust him, either. For those of you who wonder about Ebel’s piano work, it is front and center here, clean keys tapping out a spacey melody over the grimy bass and drums in the background, evoking images of a clean galaxy over a dirty megacity. Indeed that is where the narrative goes next, as the narrator explains that one man said he saw light, and the people looked up, hence the track’s title. The song breaks into a happy tone after a rise, painting the picture of the land being flooded with light as they break down the walls. This track is a master class in how to use texture and tone to create a soundscape, and Bird One did an extremely good job at telling the story with more than words. “Only the light can defeat darkness, and there is always light,” the line the song is closed with, is particularly powerful and important to remember in trying times such as these. Absolutely a 10 out of 10.

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Interview with Ash Coyote, Chip Fox, and Eric (Ash) Risher on The Fandom and Kickstarter

by Pup Matthias

Can you believe it’s been nearly six months since This is Life with Lisa Ling: Furry Nation premiered? It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already since Furries had such a positive piece done on us. As good as that hour of television was, it could only cover so much when presenting a community with over fortyish years of history to those with no personal connection. If we want to showcase just how diverse and vibrant our community is, we will have to do it ourselves.

That’s what inspired Youtuber/Filmmaker Ash Coyote, her husband Chip Fox, and Filmmaker Eric (Ash) Risher (who also directed the Doc Furries) to create The Fandom. It’s a documentary series for furries, by furries, that just wrapped up their first season. Below is a Q&A with all three of them.

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Furry Film Festival (F3) welcomes guest judges Jib Kodi, Jesse Cox, Freddie Wong of RocketJump

by Patch O'Furr

Here at Dogpatch, if there wasn’t a Furry Film Festival to report about, we’d start one. Not even kidding. It’s been discussed. I’ve organized furry screenings and shaken my fuzzy tail as a performer in them. So seeing this long-overdue idea come to life means news about it will get shared with great fan love.

New guest judges are being announced since Freddie Wong – now, a fandom animation star is adding support. (Previously seen on Dogpatch: How furry animator Jib Kodi found his art: “When I saw that tail move, I was instantly hooked.”)

FROM THE FURRY FILM FESTIVAL (F3): Jib Kodi Announced As Special Guest Judge

The Furry Film Festival (F3) has announced their second guest judge: Jib Kodi! Even though he only became active in the fandom in 2017, he’s become one of the most well-known animators in it, thanks to his short 10-20 second animations released on Twitter to great popularity. These represent some of the most prevalent themes and subjects in the fandom, from quirky humor or beautiful tributes that bring tears to the eyes (like honoring the late DogBomb).

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Associated Student Bodies 2019 Reprint – Review by Summercat

by Summercat

Associated Student Bodies Yearbook Softcover Collection
Lance Rund, Chris McKinley. 2019, Rabbit Valley $35

“…Everyone has their own story of how they discovered and engaged with the fandom. For myself after finally stumbling upon the fandom and discovering that this strange collection of interests had a name, Associated Student Bodies was one of my first experiences of anthropomorphic fiction that wasn’t connected to a TV show or a movie. The college based coming of age story told from the point of view of Daniel, a young lion away from home for the first time and discovering himself and reconciling his faith with his sexuality. In the early days and the rush of finding this new community it felt thrilling, exciting and deliciously naughty to read. I’d be the first to admit that it seems innocently and oddly quaint by today’s standards as well as indulging in a lot of tropes. It’s a little dated and my fondness for it stems from mostly nostalgic reasons…”

– Bessie, Marfedblog

“As someone who was a kid during the AIDS crisis, I was ‘taught’ that the role of a queer man was to get HIV and die. ASB was one of the first narratives I found that posited a life beyond bars, sex, and an inexorable spiral into illness and death.”

– Syn Fawkes, via Telegram

“It was the second comic I read in the furry fandom after I heard it inspired Circles. It’s honestly a classic read, I think it’s something almost every furry should check out as a part of furry history.”

– Linea ‘LiteralGrill’, via Telegram

“It’s a fun fantasy exploration of coming out, self discovery, and free love, but often feels like a coming of age story written by someone who hasn’t, yet.”

– Dralen Dragonfox, via Telegram

First published in 1998 and completed in 2000, across 8 issues and six artists ( Co-Author Credit Chris Mckinely, Baron Engel, Terrie Smith, Jonas Silver, Chuck Davies, Zjonni), there is little to say about Associated Student Bodies that hasn’t been already said over the last two decades.

Released to rave reviews, Associated Student Bodies helped shape the mold of Furry Comics within the fandom, inspiring many to take the college slice of life format that became common afterwards. At the right time, at the right place, ASB spoke to many people – and still speaks to people today.

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Taxes, travels and getting weird with Big Nazo Lab

by Patch O'Furr

Whee, it’s tax season! You know what they say about death and taxes. Even dogs can’t avoid ’em. As you may (not) know, I run a business and have an awfully big job to sort a few million bones worth of transactions. (This update is getting written in a bank lobby while waiting to pull records, multitasking fur the win). Shortly after that I’m leaving on vacation. It’s been a while… furry news may be weird and irregular for a bit.

It leads me to mention the fun of dealing with the IRS. Speaking in canine, if we rank government employees, these ones are tastier than those super-chaseable mail carriers (those are too spicy with their pepper spray). It’s fun to talk to the IRS about furry business, like about how deducting the cost of a service dog includes yourself, or just about writing off con expenses. And if you pass an audit, they may even call you a good boy and find extra refunds for you. These civil servants aren’t as monstrous as pop culture says.

Speaking of monsters… I can’t wait to travel to the same town as this amazing lab I just discovered, Big Nazo. They grow mutant creatures. Hopefully they’ll let a stray dog in to sniff around and maybe write about it.

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Furry Film Festival (F3) launches official video series, reveals special guest judge

by Patch O'Furr

Immigrants are seeking asylum. There’s an ominous threat of war. Is this the regular news?

No, it’s science fiction about furries landing on earth, created especially for the Furry Film Festival (announced here in March). The event is landing in Utah in late 2019. But today you can watch the F3 Official Series, Episode 1: ‘Provenance’, just released by film maker and event organizer ChronoWolf.

Furry fandom has great power to gain attention (as seen with billionaires wanting to get in the party… can we trade Elon Musk for space furries?) But it’s still a very niche indie community for creative production. There aren’t big budgets or sponsors for new events outside of the con box. The community is still reaching the potential to support an ongoing film festival.  Is it ready for the first one?

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Sorry To Bother You: this dystopian comedy is off the hook.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement: Until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

RING RING. Did you ever get a scam caller who needs money immediately? One time I answered one of those and played along with a “dumb voice” (it was method acting) while I pretended to walk to Wal-Mart to send them a wire transfer. My friend played store noises in the background, and announced “Sir, you can’t be here without pants!” The caller persisted until I pretended to get lost and fall in a duck pond and couldn’t stop laughing at the quacking noises. Of course the dumb prank only tied up time (and maybe reduced scams), but now let me tell you about movies that are very worth the time. They’re wake-up calls that deliver truths about society while being artful and entertaining too.

VIDEO Q&A with director Boots Riley below. SPOILER WARNING – watch the movie before reading!

Sorry To Bother You (2018) is the debut movie by Boots Riley, a satire set in a worker strike among telemarketers. The story device that gets it going is code switching with different voices. The main character is a black guy (Cassius Green) who uses an absurdly ethereal “white voice” – when the actor Lakeith Stanfield opens his mouth, the voice of David Cross comes out. The trick makes him super successful at telemarketing. It gets him out of poverty that sucks down everyone around him, but sets him up to pay a horrible cost.

At first you think it’s a story about underpaid workers fighting for respect. Then it aims higher at capitalist dehumanization. Then it goes over the top with a hallucinatory sci-fi reveal that transforms the characters. The screenwriting is eccentrically formula-defying. Hollywood likes to play safe with big budgets and crank out polished turds, but this movie takes chances with a modest budget for a gloriously gutsy indie production with a message.

It looks like an odd choice to cover on a furry site, so why’s it here? The answer is in the reveal we’ll get to.

I saw Sorry To Bother You with Fruitvale Station (2013) at a small library screening for this program– RESISTANCE, RESILIENCE, & ANTICIPATION: ​ a fresh look at the Black Arts Movement in Oakland. It was more than an ordinary show, it was a special community happening, so let’s look at how the movies connect. (It’s also the second Dogpatch Press story from the same neighborhood after the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland.)

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Furry Film Festival (F3) launches new site and opens for film entries.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

These are good times to be a furry and a film maker. First there was news about something I’ve waited a long time for (no it’s not getting myself a dog bath). Utah is getting the first festival for all the creatively choreographed con videos, documentaries, animation and more that are burgeoning with online viewers.

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