Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Art

Animosity #4, The Walled City — graphic novel review by Roz Gibson

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers. See Roz’s tag for more reviews.

Animosity #4, The Walled City (graphic novel compilation of issues 14-18)
Written by Marguerite Bennet, art by Rafael De Latorre, Ornella Savarese and Elton Thomas.
Published by Aftershock Comics

The  scenario of animals suddenly developing sentience has been used recently in at least two comics (Squarriors and Animosity) and two novels (The Awareness and the Mort(e) series). Animosity  has been ongoing for several years, chronicling the journey of young human teenager Jesse, her devoted bloodhound ‘father’ Sandor, and their group of companions, including a Pallas cat, goats, a bison, a ring-tailed lemur and Kyle, an adult human who may or may not have Jesse’s best interests at heart. 

The group is traveling from New York City to San Francisco, where Jesse can hopefully find her half-brother. Sandor is eager to make the trip as quickly as possible, since he’s old and is afraid he’ll die before getting Jesse to safety. The landscape is typically post-apocalyptic, and they encounter various obstacles and allies along the way. While this is volume 4, you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with the other chapters to pick it up, since it does contain a complete story arc and there’s a helpful synopsis of ‘what has gone before’ at the beginning of the book.

During their journey Jesse and Sandor encounter groups where animals are dominating humans, animal-only enclaves, and, in this volume, a place where humans still own animals. At the end of the previous volume, Kyle has kidnapped Jesse, ostensibly to ‘save’ her from Sandor, whom he does not trust. Kyle has heard of a human-only enclave called the Walled City in the south, where he thinks Jesse will be safe. Now, in volume 4, when they arrive at the Walled City, and find the inhabitants are eager to take in any female of childbearing age—and not so interested in taking single adult men. Too bad for Kyle.

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The Snow Cat Prince by Dina Norlund — graphic novel review by Roz Gibson

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers. See Roz’s tag for more reviews.

The Snow Cat Prince
Written and illustrated by Dina Norlund
Published by Hushbird publications

The Snow Cat Prince is a gorgeous hardcover graphic novel by Scandinavian artist Dina Norlund. I received my copy through a Kickstarter campaign, but it is available from her website: Hushbird.com (and the furry book sellers would be smart if they picked this up for sale at conventions). Unlike most of the graphic novels I’ve reviewed, this is not a zillion-volume series that will never get done — story is self-contained in this one book. What a pleasant surprise that was!

The plot is a standard “Prince searching for an artifact so he can reclaim his kingdom.” And it is definitely an all-ages title, with minimal violence (but some threat and peril).  After a short introduction setting the background, the titular Snow Cat Prince is introduced. Syv, the youngest of seven brothers, will probably not inherit the throne, and he’s okay with that.  But his six ne’er do-well brothers are concerned because he’s popular with the human inhabitants of the city, so they decide to send him on a wild goose chase to find the lost crown.

In the introduction we’re told how the evil shapeshifting foxes stole the crown from the first, mighty snow cat king, and if the crown can be found and returned the snow cat’s city will once again flourish. Syv is kind but very naive, and doesn’t question why his more powerful brothers would send him off on this important quest. Almost as soon as he leaves the city he comes across Kit—a red-haired elfin sprite who invites herself to tag along. The rest of the story follows their adventures and perils, as Syv learns a lot about the world and the real history of what happened to the crown.

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Terror, Teens, and Furaffinity — How a chain of violent hate incidents links to furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The biggest furry art site FurAffinity is hosting promotion for a neo-nazi mass shooter. Brenton Tarrant shot 100 people in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019. Tarrant came from internet radicalizing. He used 8chan to broadcast hate, and is now a far-right extremist hero for copycats around the world. FurAffinity has been closing many reports about it, including mine and others that tipped off this story. Furaffinity’s Code of Conduct (2.7) says: “Do not identify with or promote real hate or terrorist organizations and their ideologies.” They refuse to enforce it.

In Furaffinity’s policy, “organizations” may be a weasel-word to dismiss this as an isolated thing. Treating this as “just art” helps the goal of radicalizing — to worm inside with lying that hate isn’t tied to violence, and violence comes from “lone wolves”. (A goal to provoke, but deny it.)

Single data points make a much bigger chain. When insiders refuse to recognize it or do anything to help, they pass off responsibility to outside sources. This story will be one of those sources, along with FBI docs and current mainstream news that link a fringe of furry fandom to violent hate.

From top left: (1) Furaffinity post promoting the New Zealand shooter. (2) Vice explains hate symbols in it. (3) Furaffinity refuses to enforce their policy.

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Unearthing a cool fossil — A 1980’s letter shows furry fandom before the net.

by Patch O'Furr

Ursa Major Awards voting is open through March, vote now for the best creators.

News tips from non-furries are often worthy. They won’t suck you into fandom-gossip, and they’re more likely to use the Dogpatch Press Facebook page than Telegram or Twitter. That’s how I heard from a New Jersey estate liquidator (someone contracted to sell off goods when someone dies or can’t do it themselves). They had binders of furry art, and I had experience in brokerage (my other fursona is a pack rat.) Was there worth in them?

They didn’t smell like money, but I knew they might have at least curiosity value for a handful of sources like Confurence.com, so I broadcast it and tagged them.

Indeed it was just sentimental-value stuff — not even original art, just photocopies — but Jerry Collins tied this to old guard furry fandom. I thought about how scrapbooks of gay culture from pre-1960’s had high curatorial value, and was reminded of a contact with an archive for 8mm home movies that were picked up this way and sometimes licensed for documentaries. I smelled news!

I asked about reaching the family to find out more about the collector, or make sure it was OK to share:

The house had Manga stuff and role play games. Owner was in his 50’s. Unfortunately the estate was handled by an attorney who had no personal knowledge. I do not see any issue with sharing the binder contents. Enjoy.

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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.

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Meet the artists behind the site banners: Meteor05 and Azure Paragon

by Patch O'Furr

Dogpatch Press is commissioning regular new banner art — check out a gallery from past months. Each artist gets an article, with a goal to promote ones outside the USA. Last artist was Glasses Gator from Mexico. It’s a little behind schedule, so here’s catchup with both Azure Paragon (December) and Meteor05 (January.)

Hi Meteor, so you’re in Mexico and have a wolf fursona — why wolf? And you teach — ever teach cartoon art?

I choose a wolf as my fursona because something funny happened to me as kid, when I entered primary school. I was kind of a hyperactive/playful kid, so, in my first class, instead of doing stuff for class, I just wanted to play with the other kids, I started to shout “hey, there’s a wolf at the window!” and ran around, but none of the other kids wanted to play and later they started to call me “Wolf”, something that I hated at the time (and hated for years LOL). I eventually started to accept it, and even liked it, until it became part of myself.

About my work as a teacher, I really don’t teach anything relative to cartoons or art (that would be really nice though). I’m an elementary/primary school teacher, I work at the computer lab from the school, teaching kids how to use the computer (basic stuff of course). But even though my job is not fully related to art, I use it sometimes on school stuff, like the cover of my class planning book.

Can you say a little about fandom activity where you are? Do you go to meets or cons?

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What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran?

by Patch O'Furr

Fursona of Rastin, a furry in Tehran

Governments are supposed to represent their people. Instead they often end up representing a few haves against many have-nots. It might put oligarchy and corporate greed first, or theocracy and military power. You can read between the lines of headlines about the USA vs. Iran.

But how often do people in both places talk to each other directly without borders, filters, propaganda, stereotyping, and forced conflict? And when they’re pitted against each other, what could these different societies possibly share in common?

Like pizza, you don’t need to speak the same language to love art. So furry fandom builds bridges around the world. That’s how Croc (@Microdile), a California furry, first made friends with Rastin (@Rastin_woof). Rastin is a 16 year old member of a generation living after the 1979 Iranian revolution, which put religion and laws together, unlike the USA which separates church and state (at least in theory.)

In the following Q&A, Rastin uses forbidden internet contact to discuss forbidden topics — criticizing authority, oppressed LGBT identity, parents who don’t understand, and fandom that isn’t shared by anybody near him. His fursona species isn’t even tolerated (dogs aren’t loved pets in Iran.) What stands out more than differences is the universal stuff in common: creativity and self expression, and wishes to escape to a more peaceful world.

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SCADfurs: These furry animation students will make shows you love one day

by Patch O'Furr

Continuing from Furry college clubs — a place for artists and animators with dreams and fears.

Fall Fest 2019

Yesterday’s article looked at college clubs for furries being a new movement in a growing fandom. It covered clubs at art and animation schools being a special place for people who haven’t always been in synch with the mainstream. It could involve stigma with jobs, but the upside is pro artists making good ties to fandom, and indie artists finding opportunity.

Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design is a top rated school near Furry Weekend Atlanta, and a place to find furry talent. SCADfurs is a club for them you can see on Furaffinity or Twitter. SCAD furs president Bucky is a Sequential Art major, and here’s our Q&A.

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Furry college clubs — a place for artists and animators with dreams and fears

by Patch O'Furr

A staple comic, 1998-2000

Furry College Clubs are a new movement

Furscience, the group researching furry fandom data, say the majority of members are around college age. By law, they can only track ages 18+, so this growing subculture may have an army of new lurkers just finding their whiskers and tails.

Looking back, furries at colleges are nothing new (check big furry comics of the 90’s) — but having enough members at the same schools to start official clubs is a new chapter in fandom.

A 2005-era Livejournal-connected list has a few dozen college furries — in the world, not the same place. A 2008 forum topic mentions handfuls finding each other (but more likely at anime clubs.) Then during a watershed time of mainstream media turning from mockery to fascination with the fandom (between MFF 2014 and Zootopia), a USA Today headline says: Growing community of ‘furries’ finds acceptance on campus.

Student newspapers love the topic now. It’s a common reason for alerts about furries in the media. And in big online forums, college location lists get hundreds of responses. Looking into it gives an impression that many are majoring in tech, science, or arts. But one subject stands out the most.

Pro animator dreams

Furry fandom overflows with art talent. And the animation industry is a hoped-for destination for many. For a guiding light, they can look at artists like Joaquin Baldwin (Disney’s Zootopia) joining furries as a popular convention guest.

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A furry pilgrimage to the Adult Swim Festival and the Prancing Skiltaire house, Part 3.

by Patch O'Furr

Part 1Part 2Part 3

Here’s Part 3 for yesterday’s article, which asked: If you could do a furry travel tour, where would you go? When I got invited to the Adult Swim Festival in Los Angeles for their second animation/comedy/music event, I added a side trip to the nearby Prancing Skiltaire house. That’s a shrine to cartoon animal art made by the founders of the first furry con, who open it to fans by the hundreds. It was all started by an invite from “Dr. Girlfriend.”

Fan video screening at the Prancing Skiltaire

House resident Changa showed parody videos where he recut Disney’s Zootopia to emulate iconic TV show openings. There’s a channel of them that goes with curating videos for Furry.Today, one of many projects run from the house including The Confurence Archive, InFurNation and the Ursa Major Awards.

What Dr. Girlfriend says about visiting:

Going to the “iconic” furry house was interesting. Rod gave Patch & I the “nickel tour” which was awesome! What stood out to me was the vast collection of animal characters, including: ceramics, plushies, anime, drawings, zines, videos & so much more.

They told me that they have furry parties every month that have gotten to around 300 people! Whoah. Also that the local In-N-Out restaurant banned the furries from congregating there because their patio was so small. Hehe. I know a little about being kicked out of venues (public spaces?) as someone who helps organize Bike Parties, which sometimes get into the thousands of bicycle riders having a dance party on the street.

Anyways, everyone was super friendly and they even had Christmas furry art up (before Thanksgiving, but who’s counting?) These guys are immersed in the culture, and there’s even a documentary coming out about the fur-dorks that I got a mini sneak peak of! Look forward to The Fandom in 2020!

The self-proclaimed “dorks” and originators of some of the first furry cons and Prancing Skiltaire house gave us an interesting and informative look into the heart & love & art that goes into a fandom. Also we got dinner together and it was delicious and full of great conversation and good vibes.

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