Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Art

You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year. (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

The Ursa Major Awards are open for nominations! Check the Recommended Anthropomorphics list for stuff to consider.

(Part 1): You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year.

Here’s more review of last year’s news from Dogpatch Press. These are highlights for this site, and they’re not listed by biggest or most-viewed, it’s a mixed bag of big stories plus inside stuff only a fandom knows.

(11) International animals — What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran? and Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

There’s so much going on outside North America. Furry scenes are coming up in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Art is common language for far-flung fans who’d never meet any other way. One in Iran thinks war should be about the best pizza. One in Sri Lanka dreams of coming to a furry con one day.

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You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year. (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

The Ursa Major Awards are open for nominations! Check the Recommended Anthropomorphics list for stuff to consider.

1 Year Ago: Hindsight is 2020 — Top 20 furry news stories of last year

“Covid-kun is a new coronavirus mascot from Thailand who teaches kids to wash their hands and social distance.” — @mondomascots (from There’s a Mascot for That? Cute COVID-19 Education.)

It was a multi-headed monster of a year of disasters. But here you are. Have a review of last year’s news from Dogpatch Press. These are highlights for this site and they’re not listed by biggest or most-viewed, it’s a mixed bag of big stories plus inside stuff only a fandom knows.

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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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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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Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

We’re back after Part 1 of the Q&A with Christopher Polt, PhD., from Boston College. His Twitter is full of art and animation history that welcomes furry fans.

Rate My Professor loves him.

(Dogpatch Press:) It was interesting that you mentioned teaching a course in talking animals. Tell me all about it! Since when, and how unique is that, and how is it being received? What sort of students are in it and what are they studying in general?

(Christopher Polt:) I love that course — the material is so fun and weird and meaningful. The basic question we ask is, “What are we doing when we speak by using animal voices, and what does that say about our attitudes towards humans, animals, and the lines we draw between them?” It’s also my chance to teach some cool, off-the-wall art and literature. We read Apuleius’ Golden Ass, which is a novel about a guy who accidentally turns himself into a donkey and goes on a journey through the Roman provinces (think The Emperor’s New Groove, but much sexier and more violent), and Nivardus’ Ysengrimus, which is the earliest major collection of stories about Reynard the fox, an archetypal animal trickster.

Sometimes I also take students on field trips to tie historical material we’re learning to lived experience. One of my favorites has been to a local pet cemetery. We spend a few days talking about how Greeks and Romans use animals to think about divinity, mortality, and the afterlife, and we look at epitaphs and funeral poems for dead pets, which are often written from the animal’s point of view. There’s a great example in the British Museum, which commemorates the life of a dog named Margarita (“Pearl” in Latin), who died while giving birth to puppies:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1756-0101-1126

She talks about chasing other animals through the woods, how she used to nap on her humans’ laps and sleep in their bed, and how she barked a lot but never scared anyone. So after we read a range of things like that, we go to the pet cemetery and read modern grave markers, and we compare how people grieve for animals differently and what they choose to celebrate and memorialize about them. My favorite is this one for a cat named Useless:

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Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

It wasn’t long ago that Furry Twitter found Christopher Polt, PhD. and his threads full of art and animation history that whole-heartedly welcome furries.

His content isn’t just catering to fandom — it goes deep into history in a fun and engaging way. But the parts with furry interest reminded me of another account profiled here before, Ancient Furries. I asked him if he wanted a brief “Great Accounts To Follow” article, and it led to a much more involved Q&A. It’s special to get such effort from a professor who handles lots of students and curriculum! Here’s Part 1, with Part 2 posting tomorrow.

(Dogpatch Press): I see you’re a Classicist and Assistant Professor at Boston College. That looks like a super active place (with beautiful architecture!) Can you talk about what it’s like to work there and what the job involves?

(Christopher Polt:) If you like Collegiate Gothic, we’ve got you covered! It’s a nice place to work — supportive colleagues, friendly and bright students, freedom to teach mostly what and how I want. Each semester I teach two or three courses, which are a mix of intro/intermediate ancient Greek or Latin, advanced seminars on Latin literature (esp. Roman poetry), and courses on ancient culture that don’t require knowing ancient languages (some examples: Roman spectacles; art and resistance under the early Empire; and “Beast Literature,” which is about talking animals in ancient and modern literature and film).

I also spend a lot of time on research and writing. My first book, which is coming out from Cambridge soon, is about how Romans in the 1st century BCE used theatrical comedy to think and talk about their everyday lives and relationships.

I’ll bet Covid has really affected everyone at colleges everywhere, what’s your story for that? You mentioned starting to tweet about Disney history a few months ago, is that using social media to maintain energy with your work that got disrupted by the pandemic?

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“Very surprised and very grateful”: fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 sale.

by Patch O'Furr

Previously: Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den.

A creepy-cute aesthetic

“I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs,” said UK-based fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass in her recent Dealers Den auction.

Ghatz, the suit shown here, doesn’t belong to the lucky winner — theirs is waiting to start — but this completed work can show why her talent earns a price as high as $14,000.

The Krampus-like aesthetic stands out in a crowd of technicolor fluff. Imagine basking in the spookiness in person, then being chased by this creature through delightfully twisted nightmares. The maker’s vision is detailed in her FAQ that pairs her with compatible clients.

(BotB) — Things I look for in a design and application:

  • A well written and thought out application form.
  • A clear reference of the character in question with a strong idea of concept and direction the client wishes me to go in.
  • On the other hand, I am looking for artistic liberty suits. These will be done on an ‘offer me a price’ basis.
  • Interesting, scary, gory, unique, tricky and extravagant designs will have more of a chance to go through.
  • I am wanting to do a belly suit, so will be looking for that opportunity!
  • WEREWOLVES. MYTHICAL CREATURES. DEMONS.
  • Silicone drool, skin and gore effects. This does not require lots of mold making, therefore I am more than happy to do this.
  • Willingness to go the extra mile for the extra effects and will be happy to push the boat out with me, as i’m wanting to push myself.
  • Unique species, uncommon species and hybrids.
  • Mutations, extra parts, double jaws, double faces, scars.
  • Long fur accents, manes and mohawks with the NFT fur upgrade.

It’s another example of unique vision seen in a 2017 story: Q&A with Kazul of Kazplay, first place winner for cosplay at Blizzcon. Kazul wanted to create a living illusion for her Hogger suit — to hide the human form and “look like he smelt like a wet, dirty dog” — and be more than a person wearing a rug.

(Kazul) — With all my work I strive to make convincing characters. When I hear people ask “how is it moving like that?” “How is a person inside that?” when I know that I’ve tricked their brain well enough that they can only see what is in front of them as a real creature, that’s when I win.

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Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den

by Patch O'Furr

Sweet success for MixedCandy and Beauty of the Bass

Beauty of the Bass, a Britain-based fursuit maker and performer, felt the love from fans when a commission auction sold for £10,700 this month. That’s $14,025 USD at current exchange rate, and over three times the full fursuit price quoted on her website.

There’s no suit yet. The winner gets to have it created. Her auction lists some conditions — certain tech options aren’t possible and “I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs” — but there’s one benefit only an auction winner can get. No denial. Direct commissioners may not be accepted depending on the maker’s discretion for what she wants to make; but this winner enters the queue unconditionally after current customers.

An auction like this makes a premium option for artists and customers who really want their work. The price proves the demand. It’s near the highest records for any fursuit auction, which was $17,017 achieved by MixedCandy in July 2018 (beating a $13,500 auction by Made Fur You in January 2018.)

MixedCandy herself received a new $15,600 price just days after this $14,000 price for Beauty of the Bass. These outstanding prices can help to show the state of the Furry Economy and its artists.

Of course this isn’t a fursuit-selling competition. It’s support that lets makers keep directly serving fans, a rare and special opportunity to go “pro fan” as a career. That’s not get-rich-quick work, and there can be a lot of turnover. (Many makers serve commissioners with smaller wallets). Fursuits aren’t really investments either — they’re functional art that adds photogenic magic to events for all furries. You can have an open fandom and well-supported artists too.

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A 1990’s fax to troll Confurence shows how long there’s been culture war with furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Hairy Horny Freedom

Media was different in the 1980’s. There was a TV channel just for music videos. Furry fans got their fix from Saturday morning cartoons or cult films on VHS. Smartphones, Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist. Sharing a meme could need paper mail or a fax.

On MTV, there were lots of metal videos with men who acted macho but looked like hot women. Think: bikers in mascara who switched meth for hairspray. They sang about love over widdly-diddly guitar wizard pyrotechnics. (They were rockin’ like Dokken.) There was an arms race to be the most Glam until Grunge bands stole their place. But first, they were challenged by disco DJ music, minus the hair farming and augmented by rapping and controversy.

In Miami, a club scene rose up that thrilled crowds with rappers doing porn lyrics. Horny young people loved it. The rappers were a few young guys in the Air Force with a music hobby named 2 Live Crew. A recent rap history podcast (Mogul) tells the story of how their song “Me So Horny” went huge even without MTV. It helped rap cross from black to white people, and also pissed off a lot of them.

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